The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) hosted Anesthesiology® 2015 in San Diego. With over 13,000 attendees from 90 countries, the conference provided a great opportunity for industry and medical professionals to come together to share ideas, network, and discuss the future of anaesthesiology.
This year’s conference featured over 500 sessions, special lectures, and hands-on workshops led by more than 100 global presenters. It was hard to narrow it down, but here is a list of our top three takeaways from Anesthesiology® 2015.
Social media: Why and how doctors should use it
Social media was a hot topic at Anesthesiology® 2015, which hosted lectures and problem-based learning discussions that offered participants a wealth of information. Presenter Dr Marjorie Stiegler, herself an active social media user, asked attendees ‘Have you Googled yourself lately?’ and cautioned that ‘nothing is ever really secret on the web.’ She encouraged the audience to Google themselves to see what is being written about them online, and she stressed the importance of being aware of online reviews. Just one negative review, she said, can tarnish a physician’s reputation, and she outlined best practices for responding to negative online reviews.
Dr Stiegler also highlighted Research Gate, a free online tool that lets users see, in real time, who is citing their published work. These sessions also addressed how to set up and actively manage an online professional profile, how social media can be used for networking opportunities, and how it can be used to stay abreast of the latest research.
Challenges of obesity and morbid obesity in anaesthesia
Anesthesiology® 2015 hosted a two-hour panel discussion focused on obesity, an issue that affects virtually all specialties of medicine. The panel of experts began by identifying successful techniques for anaesthesiologists treating morbidly obese patients. Then they went on to explain why they think those same techniques can be successfully used on patients in the lower range of obesity. The presenters encouraged physicians to design appropriate airway management strategies and plan for difficult ventilation for all obese patients, not just those who classify as morbidly obese.
Burnout among anaesthesiologists
Several discussion-based, interactive sessions examined the prevalence of burnout among anaesthesiologists and critical care specialists. Presenters helped attendees become familiar with the signs of burnout and identified professional difficulties encountered by burned-out physicians. According to the presenters, burnout can affect patient care, interaction with colleagues, and clinical competency. These sessions emphasised the importance of formulating a plan for preventing and reducing burnout and offered advice for putting such a plan in place.
In addition to spending time at Anesthesiology® 2015, other members of our team were at annual conferences for the American College of Chest Physicians and the American College of Emergency Physicians.
Dr Marjorie Stiegler is not a paid consultant of Cook Medical.