Administrative Update  |   December 2019
You Can Get Involved in ASA
Author Affiliations
  • Patrick Y. Giam, M.D., FASA
    Vice Speaker, ASA House of Delegates
Article Information
Education / CPD / Administrative Update
Administrative Update   |   December 2019
You Can Get Involved in ASA
ASA Monitor 12 2019, Vol.83, 6-7.
ASA Monitor 12 2019, Vol.83, 6-7.
I have the honor and pleasure of being able to work with anesthesiology residents on a regular basis. Of course, we spend the majority of our time talking about the mechanics of how to give an anesthetic, e.g., how to do this, and how to avoid that. But, as part of their education, we always talk about a physician’s responsibilities – and not just to his or her patients, but to our specialty and to the House of Medicine. As anesthesiologists, we have the opportunity and privilege of taking care of individual patients during their time of great stress and need. But have you ever considered the health of our specialty as you would the health of your patient? Indeed, the medical specialty of anesthesiology is facing the stress of several significant and simultaneous challenges. Health care plans seek to reduce network breadth and impair the process of free market negotiation of physician payment, resulting in the patient receiving surprise medical bills. Mid-level providers are using inappropriate and patient-confusing terms such as “nurse anesthesiologist.” Scope of practice expansion into fields such as interventional pain management threaten patient safety. Drug shortages and the opioid crisis continue. Is it enough to only be expert with the science and art of our specialty? It is not. As 2020 approaches, more than ever we must seek to expand our involvement in organized medicine, because it is only through this loud common voice that we will be able to influence the health systems of our patient population and the critical future of our specialty.
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