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My First SEA Meeting

Tuesday, January 28, 2020  
Posted by: Karen J. Souter, MB, BS, FRCA, MACM
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Karen J. Souter, MB, BS, FRCA, MACM

SEA President

I am going to take a little poetic license with this description of my first SEA meeting, because my very first SEA meeting was the inaugural meeting of the SEA-UK held (I think!) in Newcastle – UK in 1999. What I remember of the meeting was discussion of a new concept - ANTS - Anaesthetists’ Non-Technical Skills1, a framework being developed as both a taxonomy and behavioral rating system for skills such as decision-making, communication, team-work and leadership. It was the first time I had encountered the concept of teaching and evaluating anesthetists in ways other than by their knowledge and technical skills. It is interesting to reflect back because I got re-exposed to this idea of “all round” competency-based education in anesthesia at the SEA breakfast panel during the 2001 ASA in New Orleans. The breakfast panel theme was the new ACGME “Core Competencies,” which need no further description to this audience! It was fascinating to witness the concept of competency-based education emerging more-or-less at the same time on both sides of the Atlantic!

My first “proper” SEA meeting was the 2002 Spring Meeting in Hershey, Pa., hosted by Penn State University. This was where I had my first personal introduction to the society. I remember the meeting also focusing on the core competencies. I enjoyed the plenary sessions, but the most memorable parts were the workshops – this was the first time that I had experienced such excellent workshops. These small-group interactions provided not just discussion, but also practice and take-away tools. I was also drawn in by the friendliness and approachability of the people I met and interacted with. Even though it was my first meeting, I sensed that I belonged and my ideas were welcomed. This was a place I could keep coming back to …and I did! The 2020 Spring Meeting (May 5-8) in Philadelphia, will be my 38th consecutive SEA meeting!


1. Flin R, Patey R, Glavin R, Maran N. Anaesthetists' Non-technical skills. BJA. 2010. 105: 38–44.

The SEA is proud to be a member-driven organization, dedicated to the teaching and development of future anesthesiologists, and to the advancement of those who educate them.

Contact Info:

Society for Education in Anesthesia
6737 W. Washington St, Suite 4210 • Milwaukee, WI 53214 • (414) 389-8614