President’s Message

I hope that you are having a great summer.

The contributions from many SOCCA volunteers are helping develop exciting projects with deliverables I believe the membership as a whole will find engaging and valuable. In this issue of the Interchange, I would like to highlight some the current efforts by the Education and Research Committees since they met in May in Montreal.

The Education Committee serves to coordinate all of SOCCA’s educational offerings. The charge of this group was expanded beyond development of our Annual Meeting as we are increasingly involved in developing educational content in a variety of settings. In addition to our Annual Meeting, these efforts also include the critical care aligned content at the IARS Annual Meeting, SOCCA sponsored content at the ASA Annual Meeting and critical care content at the SCA Annual Meeting. While we are exploring collaboration with other relevant professional societies, a new initiative promises to offer year round value for our membership.

SOCCA will be conducting a Board Review course the day prior to our annual meeting. This offering will differ from our annual meeting in a variety of ways and differs from other board review courses in several ways. Content for this day long meeting will be derived from the ABA Critical Care In-Training Exam Keyword content and prioritized by how recent examinees have performed on these concepts. Presentations will be by junior faculty identified by fellowship directors and in a TED-talk type format. The aim is to provide a venue for more, and younger, members to be involved and to deliver content in a manner increasingly favored by learners. The presentations will be 10-12 minutes in duration, narrowly focused and grouped by organ system or general theme. Content will be recorded and we are working with IARS to create a library of these presentations that will be accessible to SOCCA membership through our website. In addition to serving as a resource for general subspecialty learning, this would facilitate ‘just in time’ education for both trainees and SOCCA members. As an example, a 10-12 minute talk on stellate ganglion blocks for adjunctive management of cardiac arrhythmias could cover mechanism of action, recommended agents/volume and discussion around unilateral or bilateral blocks. Over time, this highly pertinent content will grow (more than 30 topics per year) and allow for increased membership engagement. We will communicate more about this exciting effort as the process is further developed between now and next May. While focused on those starting their careers, the topics and content for the review course will be applicable to all anesthesia intensivists and likely to be viewed as complimentary to our traditional Annual Meeting format and content.

Our membership survey also identified that research is viewed as an important aspect of SOCCA. We are attempting to balance this desire with the realities of funding and time. The Research Committee, chaired by Robert Stevens, has several initiatives underway. This committee is responsible for the Annual Meeting abstract program as well as acting as a clearinghouse for any membership surveys requested by outside entities. The group is also helping facilitate original research. Last year’s Anesthesia Critical Care fellows were surveyed in an effort to describe post-training professional plans. There is a paucity of information available in this domain and better understanding would seem important to the future of the specialty. This is envisioned as an ongoing effort and will allow us to better describe who we are and what we do. It is likely that this information will also be useful to training programs and to the leadership of SOCCA as we continue to try and meet member needs. To this end, the research group is also working on developing a survey of our membership as a whole with the goal of understanding the roles that critical care anesthesiologists currently play in their healthcare systems.

These are just a few of the activities currently being advanced by SOCCA volunteers. We will use the Interchange, our website and social media (@SOCCA_CritCare) to help communicate within our community. We are making great progress in pursuing the strategic goals as identified by our membership survey. I encourage you to reach out and become involved. Even if your current commitments only allow you to complete a survey or attend our annual meeting, your involvement is important to the future of SOCCA.

I wish you a safe and enjoyable summer.


Daniel R. Brown, MD, PhD, FCCM
Mayo Clinic
Rochester, Minnesota