The Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists

Women in Critical Care

The past two years have been challenging for the critical care community, yet it has brought us to the forefront of providing excellent and evidence-driven care for the sickest of all patients. Teamwork and resilience have been the mainstay of our efforts. However, at the same time, the pandemic and its fallout have shown our community’s crevices with high rates of burnout. Women intensivists have been facing the brunt of many of these issues.

We at SOCCA would like to invite you to join Women in Critical Care (WICC)—our initiative to form a women’s group within the ACCM community. (Both SOCCCA members and non-members are welcome, although within one year of joining we will expect non-members to make a membership commitment to SOCCA.)

Similar to groups such as Women in Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology (WICTA) and Women in Anesthesiology (WIA), Women in Critical Care is aimed at delivering academic advancement, networking, and a social community to anesthesia trained women in critical care, as well as others who wish to advance women in academics.

Initially, we aim to meet quarterly, maintain a presence on the SOCCA website and within the Interchange newsletter, formulate a list of potential speakers and panelists, and reach out to editors for special issue authorships.

Look for updates on SOCCA’s Twitter feed and on SOCCA Drip.

Upcoming Events

Visit SOCCA’s full calendar of events.

WICC Steering Committee Members

Shahla Siddiqui, MD, MSc, FCCM
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA

Sarah Alber, MD
University of Colorado, Aurora, CO

Talia Ben-Jacob, MD, MS
Cooper University, Camden, NJ

Jessica Cassavaugh, MD, PhD
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA

Elizabeth Cotter, MD
University of Kansas, Kansas City, KS

Nazish Hashmi, MBBS
Duke University, Durham, NC

Erin Hennessey, MD, MEHP
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

May Hua, MD
Columbia University, New York, NY

Sarah Khorsand, MD
University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, TX

Teresa A. Mulaikal, MD
Columbia University, New York, NY

Cortessa Russell, MD
Columbia University, New York, NY

Amanda Kore Schilling, DO
University of Arizona, Tuscon, AZ

Melina Shoni, MD
University of Colorado, Denver, CO

Margo Short, MD
University of Kansas, Kansas City, KS

Kirsten Steffner, MD
Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Lauren Sutherland, MD
Columbia University, New York, NY

Sheida Tabaie, MD
Weill Cornell Medical College-NY Presbyterian, New York, NY

Past Events

Deborah CookFireside Chat: March 17, 2022
On March 17, Professor Deborah Cook, Academic Chair of Critical Care Medicine, Professor, Department of Medicine, Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact, McMaster University joined Women in Critical Care for a Fireside Chat.

Professor Cook graduated from McMaster Medical School (1985) and Internal Medicine Residency (1988). She completed General Internal Medicine Fellowship (1989) and the MSc (Design, Measurement and Evaluation Program) at McMaster. She then did a Critical Care Fellowship at Stanford University (1991).

Dr. Cook practices intensive care medicine at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. At McMaster University, she is Co-Chair of the Evidence-Based Practice Center. As Academic Chair of Critical Care Medicine at St. Joseph’s Healthcare and McMaster University, she has trained many residents and mentored many junior faculty on how to conduct, publish and appraise clinical research.

Dr. Cook is interested in risk factors for critical illness, prevention of ICU-acquired illness and complications, life support technology, ethics, and end-of-life choices for critically ill patients. Her research interests are in the design and conduct of multicenter studies, minimizing bias in systematic reviews of the literature, incorporation of diverse kinds of evidence into practice, and end of life decision-making.

As a Canada Research Chair of Research Transfer in Intensive Care, and former Chair of the Canadian Critical Care Trials Group, Dr. Cook has published over 600 peer-review articles and supervised many young trainees and successful faculty. She has received numerous local, national and international awards for her practice, teaching, mentoring and research. In 2016, Dr. Cook was named an Officer of the Order of Canada for her global contributions to improving the care of critically ill patients.

Cortessa RussellMay 25 Meeting: Cortessa Russell, MD
On May 25, Guest Speaker Cortessa Russell, MD, presented on “Moving from Burnout to Engagement.”

Dr. Cortessa Russell
Medical Director, Anesthesia Perioperative Evaluation and Exam (APEX) Clinic
Education Director, SICU and CTICU
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at CUIMC, Division of Critical Care
New York-Presbyterian LEAD Academy Physician
Columbia University Irving Medical Center
Department of Anesthesiology

Daryl OakesSOCCA Women in Critical Care: A Fireside Chat with Guest Speaker Daryl Oakes, MD
On June 21, Dr. Daryl Oakes joined Women in Critical Care for a Fireside Chat.

Daryl Oakes, MD
Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine
Program Director, Adult Cardiothoracic Anesthesia Fellowship
Associate Dean, Post Graduate Medical Education
Stanford University School of Medicine

Hannah WunschSOCCA Women in Critical Care: A Fireside Chat with Guest Speaker Dr. Hannah Wunsch
When: August 10, 2022

Hannah Wunsch, MD, MSc
Professor of Anesthesia and Critical Care Medicine
University of Toronto;
Intensivist at Sunnybrook Hospital
To learn more about Dr. Wunsch, visit:

Dr. NjokuSOCCA Women in Critical Care: A Fireside Chat Featuring Guest Speaker: Dolores B. Njoku, MD
When: September 28, 2022

Washington University in St. Louis | Dr. Njoku is Wise Professor of Anesthesiology, Adjunct Professor of Pathology and Immunology Division Chief, Pediatric Anesthesiology and Vice Chair Department of Anesthesiology and the Pediatric Anesthesiologist-in-Chief at the St. Louis Hospital for Children | Dr. Njoku is President-Elect of Association of University Anesthesiologists (AUA)

Deborah CookSOCCA Women in Critical Care: A Fireside Chat with Guest Speaker Dr. Natalia Ivascu Girardi

When: December 8th, 2022 | 4:30-5:30 pm ET

Natalia Ivascu Girardi, MD | Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology
Weill Cornell Medicine | Cardiac Anesthesiologist & Critical Care Intensivist

Dr. Natalia Ivascu Girardi cares for patients as a Cardiac Anesthesiologist and Critical Care Intensivist in the Cardiothoracic Surgical Intensive Care Unit. Dr. Girardi is the Executive Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs and the Medical Director of the Cardiothoracic Surgical Intensive Care Unit (CTICU). Her academic interests include medical ethics and patient blood management.

Dr. Girardi completed her undergraduate studies in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She went on to earn her medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan. She began her career at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Medical College as a resident in Anesthesiology. Dr. Girardi completed an additional year of fellowship training at NYP-Weill Cornell, in Cardiovascular Anesthesiology. She then spent a year at NYP-Columbia as a fellow in Critical Care Medicine.

Dr. Girardi is board certified in Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine. She is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Echocardiography with certification in Advanced Perioperative Transesophageal Echocardiography and Special Competency in Critical Care Echocardiography.

April 13, 2023 at 7:00 pm MT: SOCCA Women in Critical Care Meetup at the SOCCA Annual Meeting.

May 11, 2023 from 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm ET: Women in Critical Care Fireside Chat with Dr. Rebecca Aslakson.

Rebecca AslaksonAbout Dr. Aslakson

Rebecca A. Aslakson, MD, PhD, FCCM, FAAHPM, is the Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont.

Dr. Aslakson is devoted to an academic and clinical career improving the delivery of effective and equitable palliative care, particularly to surgical and critical care populations, and her research team has been supported by diverse funders including the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), The National Palliative Care Research Center, and the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research (FAER).

Dr. Aslakson is deeply and longitudinally committed to mentoring, coaching, and sponsorship of trainees and junior faculty into successful careers in medicine and research.

June 22, 2023 from 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm ET: Fireside Chat with Dr. Margaret Wood.

Margaret WoodAbout Dr. Wood

Dr. Margaret Wood received her medical degree from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. Following anesthesiology residency training in Scotland at the Dundee Teaching Hospitals, she came to the United States for fellowship training at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. She joined the Vanderbilt faculty with appointments in both the departments of anesthesiology and pharmacology and rose through the ranks to become Professor of Anesthesiology with tenure in 1986, and Division Chief for Cardiac Anesthesia. In 1995 she was recruited to Columbia University as the E.M. Papper Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology at Columbia University. She was the first woman to chair a clinical department at Columbia University, a position that she held until June 30, 2016.

Dr. Wood has conducted extensive research in anesthesia, has published more than 140 articles and book chapters and lectured extensively. She co-authored two editions of the anaesthesiology textbook, Drugs and Anaesthesia: Pharmacology for Anesthesiologists. She has served on the boards of several medical journals, including the journal Anesthesiology, and numerous committees and boards for national societies and organizations. She has advised the Federal Government through her service on the Food and Drug Administration’s Anesthetic and Life Support Drugs Advisory Committee, and served as the Chairman of the ACGME Residency Review Committee for Anesthesiology.

She was the first woman to be elected as president of the Association of University Anesthesiologists and has written and spoken on the issue of promoting gender diversity in academic medicine. Dr. Wood was the 2016 recipient of the Foundation for Anesthesiology, Education and Research (FAER) Research Mentoring Award. In 2008, Dr. Wood was recognized by the award of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa from The University of Dundee, Scotland.

At Columbia University she built the Department of Anesthesiology into one of the highest ranked departments in the US, with its Residency Program one of the most competitive programs with 104 residents. The Department also built its subspecialist-training programs to more than 35 post residency fellows across subspecialty programs representing every ACGME recognized program in Anesthesiology. Research Funding was increased substantially so that the Department consistently ranked in the top 10 in NIH funding nationally. Dr. Wood strengthened the subspecialty divisions of the Department and expanded the breadth and depth of its research portfolio including the creation of an Epidemiology Center for Population Research.

In 2016, after more than 20 years as Chairman Dr. Wood stepped down as chairman and is now a Special Lecturer and Professor Emerita at Columbia University. She remains active as a mentor, teacher and lecturer.

September 25, 2023 from 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm ET: Women in Critical Care Fireside Chat with Dr. Laureen Hill.

Women in Critical Care ASA Image

November 2, 2023 Fireside Chat Event