This is National Physician Anesthesiologists Week, a great time to recognize the Wyoming doctors who apply over 12 years of school and over 12,000 to 16,000 hours of clinical training to provide care in the operating room, the emergency room, the intensive care unit and labor and deliver suites across the state.
In addition to planning and implementing a safe anesthetic plan for your elective surgery, physician anesthesiologists are the "go to" doctors for emergencies in trauma, critical care and obstetrics, called on every day by other doctors when there is a medical emergency and the patient care team needs our help. On any given night across the state roughly a third of our members stand by to provide emergency care as well.
Over the past few years we have used technology to dramatically improve anesthetic safety. While this has made surgery safer, it has also led to the temptation to believe that our expertise and experience is not critical to good surgical outcomes. Coincidentally this year is the tenth anniversary of Chesley Sullenberger's heroic emergency landing on the Hudson, saving everyone aboard. Like this experienced pilot, anesthesiologists amass almost 40,000 hours of clinical training and experience by the time they are 40.
When disasters happen, and they do, our clinical experience enables us to rapidly utilize our technology to save lives. While we celebrate this week every year, we are honored and proud to care for Wyoming all year long.
John Mansell, MD
President, Wyoming Society of Anesthesiologists