The Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists

Volume 33 | Issue 1

President’s Corner
by Miguel Cobas, MD, FCCM

By the time you read this newsletter, you will have been informed that our annual meeting—in conjunction with the IARS’—for this coming March has been transitioned from in-person to virtual. This will mark the third consecutive year that we are not meeting in person and our second full virtual meeting. It’s a long time!

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Committee on Communications Update
by Brent Kidd, MD

I will start out by saying that I share everyone’s disappointment in the annual meeting being (necessarily) converted to virtual yet again. Still, as the months drag on, we all become more adept at living in the “virtual meeting” era. The Communications Committee has experienced this first hand and has been hard at work spreading the many messages of SOCCA via these virtual avenues over the past two years from interactive webinars and educational content, to new initiatives and committees. I think it is safe to say that we have begun to collectively see the fruits of this labor in the metrics we follow from webinars joined, links clicked, and webpages visited. Just in terms of website traffic we have seen our unique visitors/sessions double year over year. I attribute this to all of the committees that are hard at work making sure that SOCCA produces a continual stream of quality content and opportunities for engagement from our membership.

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Committee on Membership Update
by Suzanne Bennett, MD, FCCM and Alisha Bhatia, MD

The main mission for the SOCCA Membership Committee is to coordinate all membership activities for SOCCA. Our membership numbers and interest in SOCCA continue to grow. This interest and growth are a direct result of our members’ engagement and efforts to truly make this society desirable and valuable to each of the members and all of the Anesthesiology Critical Care community. This past year our focus was to launch a strategic structure realignment intended to better serve the members of SOCCA and the Anesthesiology Critical Care community with the goal of increasing engagement, diversity, and opportunities for members to contribute to the current and future of SOCCA.

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Membership Subcommittee Update: Students | Residents | Fellows
by Christopher Choi, MD

The SOCCA membership committee decided to make subcommittees this academic year for better creativity and engagement amongst its members. In the fellowship subcommittee, we held a job search webinar in the fall for the current critical care fellow class. We were able to invite panelists from both the private and academic settings; we were also able to include a current program director and academic chair. Comfort with virtual conferences may be one positive to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, as we had good participation from all over the country. Highlights included: discussion of timeline for job search, growth of private practice opportunities, approaches to contract negotiation, and types of ICU settings available. The webinar is available to view for SOCCA members as well as a follow-up thread in the Docmatter community.

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Committee on Education Update
by Ashish K. Khanna, MD, FCCP, FCCM, FASA, Allison Dalton, MD, and Kunal Karamchandani, MD, FCCM

As we start the new year with some bittersweet memories from 2021, we are again reminded that the pandemic still exists with the most recent surge again filling hospitals and ICUs alike. This current surge with the highly transmissible Omicron variant has not only overwhelmed hospitals but has also impacted the critical care workforce across the board. This has again upended many a plan, including the scheduled in-person annual meeting in Hawaii this March which has been converted to a virtual-only format. Although the decision was not easy, we believe that it was in the best interest of our members and the society in general. A lot of behind-the-scenes activity and hard work has gone into making this transition seamless and we are confident that we will be able to provide our membership, the same high quality and enriching content that the in-person meeting would have provided. For this, we would like to thank our administrative and education staff partners from the IARS, SOCCA and AUA. It was not easy to suddenly pivot and reorganize everything on the same dates as the actual in person meeting, within a less than two months span, and we would have not been here had it not been for their tireless efforts. The combined IARS/AUA/SOCCA meeting will be held virtually from March 17-20, with the dedicated SOCCA meeting day on Friday, March 18; and aligned SOCCA-IARS content on Saturday, March 19.

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Research Spotlight
by Emily A. Vail, MD, MSc.

Inspired by positive experiences as an undergraduate, I signed up for the opportunity to gain research experience during residency in the Columbia University Apgar Scholars program. When Dr. Margaret Wood advised me, as a junior resident, that a career conducting clinical research path would require additional research methods training and dedicated time away from patients, I was astonished. Clinical work is exciting and energizing. The roles are clear, the gratification can be immediate, and positions are secure. In contrast, early in my clinical training, reinvesting my efforts in a parallel but separate career path felt uncertain and risky. I could not imagine, at that time, how complementary my clinical and research work would become.

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Women in Critical Care
by Shahla Siddiqui, MD

We had our first ‘kick off’ meeting for Women in Critical Care. We had 59 pre-registrants and 17 participants for the first zoom meeting on February 23. Our objective was to introduce the mission as well as to decide a structure and goals for the year. We discussed a website launch as well as a first, official meeting on March 17 at the 2022 SOCCA Virtual Annual Meeting where we will have an invited guest speaker: Dr. Deborah Cook (a truly inspiring woman intensivist).

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ICU Bootcamp: A New Spin
by Mada F. Helou, MD and Angela Johnson, M.D.

Despite the fact that incoming senior residents have had experience in the intensive care unit (ICU) as interns, they may have insufficient skills for advanced level care processing. In order to address this gap we initiated a three day “ICU Boot Camp,” delivered at the end of PGY-2 year. The purpose of the curriculum is to equip junior residents with the foundational knowledge and skills required to transition efficiently into the senior resident role. Additionally, this training increases resident confidence and sets expectations for faculty regarding the starting performance level of the newly minted senior. The curriculum covers commonly encountered clinical scenarios, diagnoses, treatments, monitors and devices in a systematic manner.

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