Education / Meetings
SPA Committee on International Education & Service
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I know I'm ready for sunshine, warm weather and flowers and Seattle has been most obliging this past few days. I also know some of you just finished digging out from a last (at least we hope so!) snowstorm. I hope the Pacific Northwest weather finds its way across the country.
Our Winter Meeting in Phoenix was spectacular and our biggest yet, with more than 450 attendees. Starting with a pre-meeting PALS workshop for 30 registrants, Lynne Maxwell organized an outstanding three-day event, with a thought provoking keynote address by Lucian Leape on a systems approach to minimizing errors. Anaphylaxis and an update on the POCA (pediatric operative cardiac arrest) registry were followed by excellent talks about surviving litigation from personal experience, from the lawyer's perspective and the institution a la sentinel event reporting. The speakers were all extremely engaging, so the room remained full despite the appearance of sunshine. Workshops, refresher courses and PBLDs continue to be popular and well-attended sessions. Sunday's talks included sessions on different ways to approach international medical service, continued with updates on anesthetics as neuro-protectants or neurotoxins and finished with the experience in California with credentialing for those practicing pediatric anesthesia. The topics were varied over the three days but shared the feature of excellent engaging presentations. If you weren't able to attend, check out our website for syllabus materials.
The ability to produce such meetings is a testament to the dedicated work of many, starting with the program chair and all of the faculty involved. For those who are SPA members, most or all of the substantial amount of work to develop a plenary session lecture, PBLD discussion, workshop, or refresher course is donated to the membership, since the SPA Board is very stringent about its reimbursement policy. As President, I want to take this opportunity to thank the faculty and acknowledge their hard work and dedication to advancing pediatric anesthesia education.
I would also be remiss if I did not remind the members that we have been gifted in having long-term support from corporate sponsors. Their unrestricted educational grants have been an integral part of the success of our meetings. They are listed on our website and I hope we all realize that these represent the forward thinkers to my mind, in realizing that advancing pediatric anesthesia care is important even if our patients are not old enough to do much purchasing. Abbott Laboratories has been an outstanding example of long-term significant support, both for our meetings (specifically the CD-ROM syllabus) as well as support for our website. As you go to the new educational offerings on the website, take a moment to reflect on those who are helping SPA accomplish this education.
Progress is being made on the development of pediatric anesthesia modules that SPA hopes will prove useful for the needs of anesthesiology graduates with time-limited certificates. As the American Board of Anesthesiology develops the criteria for demonstration of Life-Long Learning, pediatric anesthesia material will be an important part of portfolios for many practitioners. Dr. Frank McGowan, the President-Elect of SPA, is leading this effort. It will again ask major effort from many members without any financial remuneration, only the satisfaction of helping the field and the care of pediatric patients.
Finally, I want to thank those members who read my last message and contacted me about becoming active in SPA committees. I know some of you joined committees in Phoenix when they met. Welcome aboard. For any others who felt shy, don't! SPA is meant to be inclusive of all our members who wish to be active participants. Committee memberships are time-limited to encourage new faces and points of view. The next election for officers and Board Directors will occur before our October meeting (by mail or e-mail) over this summer. We are moving to this method to allow fuller member participation, even if one can't attend the meeting in October. Watch for ballots and vote. Most who run for office started as committee members.
Anne M. Lynn, MD
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