Resident Review  |   October 2017
The Anesthesiology Rotation: A Case for Making It Mandatory in Medical Schools
Article Information
Airway Management / Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems / Education / CPD / Respiratory System / Technology / Equipment / Monitoring / Resident Review
Resident Review   |   October 2017
The Anesthesiology Rotation: A Case for Making It Mandatory in Medical Schools
ASA Monitor 10 2017, Vol.81, 80-81.
ASA Monitor 10 2017, Vol.81, 80-81.
One of the most widely known mnemonics in medicine is ABC: Airway, breathing and circulation. This is the cornerstone in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and central to our role as anesthesiologists. Despite this, many physicians still fail to understand the full scope of our practice, often joking that in anesthesia, ABC stands for airway, book and chair. Perhaps anesthesiology is a misunderstood field because anesthesiologists work alone in operating rooms and are not as visible as other physicians in the hospital. While other specialties incorporate oral presentations and discuss clinical plans in large teams, anesthesiologists often work independently and silently. Our anesthetic record is technically part of the medical record but is rarely seen by other physicians. Because anesthesiology is not a mandatory clerkship in most medical schools, it is not hard to imagine why other physicians do not fully understand what we do or the challenges we face. Such misunderstandings can compromise perioperative care as anesthesiologists rely on primary care physicians, subspecialists and surgeons for multidisciplinary management. Some of the biggest challenges anesthesiologists face are inadequate preoperative evaluations of patients and poor communication and coordination with surgeons in the operating room. Anesthesiologists play a vital role in providing airway management, yet basic life saving airway maneuvers such as effective bag mask ventilation should be taught to all physicians. A mandatory clerkship in anesthesiology would aim to inform medical students about the importance of medical optimization, physical and hemodynamic risks of anesthesia, and the skills required to maintain airway patency and successful ventilation.
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