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Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Michael R. Sandison, MD


Delmar, NY

The best advice that I was given after I was appointed Director of Resident Education at Albany Medical Center in 1999 was to join the SEA. As a member, and a participant in the SEA Teaching Workshop in 2003, I developed as a medical teacher and professional educator. I gradually became involved in the educational offerings of the society, and in 2004, as a member of the SEA President’s Task Force on the ACGME Competencies, I co-chaired the Patient Care Workshop at the Harrisburg meeting. In 2006, I co-chaired two workshops at the Spring Meeting dealing with Phase 3 of the ACGME Outcomes Project, and we produced a final evaluation tool, which can also be used as a graduate employer assessment.

I also served as Program Chair for the SEA Fall 2008 meeting in Orlando. I have completed two terms on the SEA Board of Directors, and two terms as Treasurer. The past two terms were a challenging transition for the SEA, as the ASA moved to relinquish management of the sub-specialty organizations. I played an active role in the appointment and transition to SAMI as our management company.


SEA has nurtured my career in residency education, and I feel a very strong loyalty to this organization and its future well-being. My vision for the future of the Society is first to ensure that we provide expert educational offerings to all physician teachers of anesthesiology, while protecting our financial solvency and reserves. Second, we must develop and share educational tools, including curriculum and milestones assessment products. Third, we must continue to foster and protect the spirit of idealism, the principle of inclusion, and the shared educational mission that characterizes the culture of SEA.

Karen J. Souter, MB, BS

Vice President/President-Elect

Seattle, WA

I consider it a very great honor to be nominated for the role of Vice-President/President-Elect of SEA. I have been a SEA member for 14 years of which 6 years have been in service as a member of the board and the last 4 years as secretary. I have led a number of workshops over the years; I have chaired 2 SEA Spring meetings in Seattle in 2009 and 2015. As a long-standing member of the Educational Meetings committee I have a strong understanding of how our society works and particularly how we continue to create interesting and innovative meetings. The main role of the Vice-President/President–Elect, according to the SEA Polices and Procedures manual is to “oversee the committees of the society”. The committees are the lifeblood of the SEA! It is the committees that keep the day-to-day tasks of the society going and whose innovations continue to move us forward and upwards! SEA has 13 standing committees and various task forces.

Some of the more notable achievements of different committees in recent months include:

  • Getting the Journal of Education in Perioperative Medicine (JEPM) listed in PubMed Central (PMC)
  • Developing the “SEAd” Grant program, a $10,000 education research starter grant open to SEA faculty members (Research committee)


These highlights are just tips of the enormous “icebergs” of work that our committees generate. I shall look forward to the opportunity to work closely with the committee chairs and members to support their important work.

My vision for the future of the society is to see it continue to grow and advance anesthesia education. The SEA is a strong supporter of academic anesthesiology educators; we already offer a wide portfolio of resources (research opportunities, The Workshop on Teaching, milestone assessment tools, faculty development, etc.). I would like to see the society explore new avenues for supporting academic educators such as leadership development and by being at the forefront of new teaching strategies. In 2015 I co-chaired the SEA Spring meeting in Seattle where we joined forces with surgical educators. This experienced helped me better understand how our society can collaborate with other like-minded societies. I believe SEA has a great deal to offer as well as learn from collaborations and I hope we can forge more joint ventures with educators in anesthesia as well as other disciplines.

I am excited to be offered this opportunity to take the next step in the leadership of our society. At the same time I am grateful for the continuing support of the SEA members that has brought me to this point and I look forward to continuing to work with the society and all its members.

Stephanie B. Jones, MD


Boston, MA

I am Associate Professor and Vice Chair for Education and Faculty Development, Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston. I attended Cornell University and completed my medical school and anesthesia residency at Washington University, St. Louis. After six years on the anesthesia faculty at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, I joined the staff at Beth Israel Deaconess in 2003.

SEA has played a key role in the progression of my academic career. My participation in SEA began simply with gathering information at annual meetings. I was excited to meet other educators who shared my enthusiasm and faced similar challenges. Later, I joined the Committees on Resident Evaluation, then Educational Meetings, and Research. I served as Program Chair for both the 2009 Fall and 2014 Spring Annual meetings, and as a member of the Board of Directors (2009-2015). During that time, I progressed from junior faculty to assistant Program Director to Program Director, and now Vice Chair for Education and Faculty Development. As my personal career development needs have changed over the years, I have come to understand better the various roles that SEA must play in faculty development to provide resources and learning opportunities for everyone from residents and early faculty to senior leadership.

My clinical interests include the anesthetic implications of obesity and bariatric surgery. I have served as a member of the statewide Weight Loss Surgery Expert Panel and Anesthesia Task Force, Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety and am immediate past President of the International Society for Perioperative Care of the Obese Patient. Recent research projects include development and validation of a virtual airway skills trainer and provision of feedback on professionalism and interpersonal communication skills. I am also Editor-in-Chief of International Anesthesiology Clinics and UpToDate Anesthesiology.

Jane Easdown, MD


Nashville, TN

I am seeking election for a second term as SEA treasurer. SEA is a dynamic society that continues to grow in membership as well as academic standing. That growth has been possible because of our unique membership and sound financial management throughout our history. I wish to continue that financial stability and be open to every new opportunity to use our funds wisely for our common vision and goals.

In the last two years the Finance Committee has worked diligently to create our first investment policy. Through this policy adopted in April 2015, SEA has invested funds conservatively so that future projects can be supported. We were very excited to be able to create a new endowment fund for an educational grant we call the "SEAd grant". The SEAd grant supports the educational research of an early career SEA member selected through our Research Committee. That grant was awarded for the first time at the 2016 Spring meeting. Initiatives of this quality that support and benefit the SEA membership are key to our future financial direction.

I am a SEA Member since 1999 and a Board member since 2010. My medical training began in Canada at McGill University and University of Toronto. It was during my residency at McMaster, a non-traditional medical school, that I became aware of alternative methods to train physicians. That launched a life long interest in medical education and membership in SEA. As Chair of the Educational Meetings Committee I helped steer the Spring and Fall meetings for the years 2007 to 2010. I was the course director for the 2006 SEA Spring meeting in Nashville. In my own professional life, I have sought to promote SEA’s vision of medical education. I am a member of the ASA Patient Safety Editorial Board who create the on- line modules for patient safety CME and MOCA. I am an elected member of the Academy of Excellence in Education, a group at Vanderbilt who peer coach and mentor other faculty. I have facilitated panels and workshops at ASA, SEA, ACGME and IMSH meetings. SEA has been central to my career and development as an educator.

It is the duty of the Treasurer to support the vision of the Society through its financial activities. Our new investment policy and SEAd grant are examples of what we have achieved in this last term. And we are always open to new opportunities. A sound financial foundation supports the future for all of us in SEA. I would be honored to continue to serve you in this position. Thank you for your support and consideration.

Stephen J. Kimatian, MD

Past President

Dallas, TX

Bio coming soon!


Jeffrey S. Berger, MD, MBA


Washington, DC

After completing residency in 2005, I joined the faculty of New York University where I was awarded Teacher of the Year for 2005-2006. In 2007, I relocated to Washington, D.C., where I began my service for The George Washington University’s Department of Anesthesiology as Director of the Residency Program in 2008. From 2009-2014, I also served as Director of Obstetric Anesthesiology. At the University level, I serve as Physician Advisor to the Office of International Medicine Programs and I was appointed Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education in March, 2014. Nationally, I was elected to the Executive Council for Core Program Directors from 2012-2015, I was elected to the Association of University Anesthesiologists in 2015, and I was awarded the ACGME’s Parker Palmer Courage to Teach Award in 2016.

As an active member of the SEA since 2007, I have led several ASA and SEA workshops, and I have Chaired the 2012 Fall Meeting. I have served as Chair of the Resident Education Committee (2012-2014) and currently participate in the Research and Journal of Education in Perioperative Medicine (JEPM) Committees. I received MERC certification and annually serve as a moderator for SEA poster sessions. I serve as Co-Editor-in-Chief of JEPM (2015-Present), editing manuscripts and co-leading the successful effort to achieve PubMed indexing.

Franklyn P. Cladis, MD


Pittsburgh, PA

My name is Franklyn Cladis and I am currently a Member of the Board of Directors for SEA. This society is an incredibly important resource for anesthesiologists involved with education and it has helped me in a variety of ways. I have been the program director for the Pediatric Anesthesiology Fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC since 2007 and I am the President-elect for the Pediatric Anesthesia Program Directors Association (PAPDA). I am also one of the editors for Smith’s Anesthesia for Infants and Children, a Senior question writer for the ABA Pediatric Anesthesiology Certifying exam and a Part 2 ABA board examiner. I have personally benefited from my SEA membership over the past decade.

In 2005 I became a member of SEA to network and to expand my education skill sets. I found mentorship, friendship, and camaraderie. Over several years I became more involved with the SEA Research Committee and was fortunate enough to chair that committee from 2009 to 2015. The success of the Research committee comes from the hard work of the members. During my term as Research Chair our primary responsibility was to grade and provide feedback for all of the abstracts and posters submitted to the yearly spring meetings. In addition we also implemented several changes. Over the past five years we transitioned to an on-line abstract submission and grading system, created the research consultant, and navigated the introduction of MERC for two SEA meetings.

One of my greatest honors was helping with the development and implementation of the SEAd Grant. This starter grant represents a significant milestone for SEA by financially giving back to its membership. It is statement of the commitment of SEA to medical education research and to its members. This grant is self-sustaining and will continue to be a resource to our society for years to come.

It has been a privilege to serve SEA as the immediate past Research Chair and Member of the Board. I look forward to serving the members of SEA in my second term.

Melissa L. Davidson, MD


Burlington, VT

Thank you for allowing me to express my sincere interest in becoming a board member of the Society for Education in Anesthesia. I will try to summarize my passion for education and convey how important SEA has been in my life.

My entire career has been focused in medical education at all levels. Just months after graduating from residency, I was asked to assume responsibility for a nearly non-existent medical student Anesthesiology elective. The reason for choosing me was simple: I shared an office with the outgoing director. Somehow that qualified me for the responsibility of mentoring young physicians! This was to be the best decision I ever made. With no formal training in education I created a new medical student curriculum, which included a take-home exam consisting of open-ended questions that was provided to students on the first day of the elective, with instructions to find the answers “any way you can”. While the original intent was to encourage dialogue between students and faculty in the OR, the outcomes were far bigger. I was fascinated by students’ resourcefulness in those pre-internet days, and my philosophy of a leaner-centered approach in all things educational was borne. I had found my professional purpose.

I was fortunate that Phil Liu became my chair in 1996 and encouraged me to attend the SEA Teaching Workshop. There I met the “best of the best” anesthesia educators who became (and remain) my mentors, colleagues and friends. If anesthesia education had become my purpose, then the work of SEA became my passion. I was honored to be asked to co-direct the SEA Workshop on Teaching with Steve Kimatian in 2006. We have worked hard to continually update the curriculum to meet the needs of our learners. My greatest joy has been meeting the nearly 400 faculty from across the country who have attended this workshop over the past 11 years. I have also been privileged to participate in SEA meetings with many workshop presentations, panel discussions, and abstract submissions, as well as serving on committees including Competencies, Milestones, and Research. I have witnessed SEA’s significant growth through the years as our mission has broadened, not just with increased emphasis on education with ACGME initiatives, but also through faculty development, educational research, and curriculum innovation.

Various leadership positions throughout my career, including Medical Student Director, Program Director, Interim Chair of the department, Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education, and Associate Editor of MedEdPORTAL, has given me a 360-degree perspective of anesthesia education. I believe these experiences would allow me as a board member to appreciate many viewpoints as decisions are made for the benefit of our members and for advancement of SEA’s mission. In addition, serving departments with small residencies allows me to understand challenges being faced by smaller programs, such as limited research funding, mentoring opportunities, etc. My specific goal as a board member would be to respond to and advocate for the needs of small to medium sized programs. My philosophy has always been to do whatever needs to be done to help students, residents, colleagues and programs succeed. Or in the words of Bob Willenkin, to do “whatever it takes to get learners to learn.” It would be an honor to serve the society in this capacity.

Carol Ann B. Diachun, MD, MSEd


Jacksonville, FL

I am truly honored to work for this Society as a Member of the Board of Directors. I cannot imagine my career as an educator, associate residency program director and now program director and associate chair for education without SEA. This Society has provided me with the tools for teaching and evaluating my residents as well as numerous opportunities for my own professional development. Through SEA I have developed a network of colleagues, mentors and good friends. The excitement and enthusiasm for education is literally infectious at our meetings. Since joining SEA more than a decade ago, I have been heavily involved in this community.

My dearest mentor, Dr. Denham Ward, encouraged my passion in education fostered my work in committees at SEA, including sponsoring me at SEA’s Teaching Workshop many years ago. These opportunities only spurred me to become an even better educator. I completed a Dean’s Teaching Fellowship at the University of Rochester and graduated with my Masters of Science in Health Professions Education in fall 2014 from the Warner School of Education. In 2014, I moved to become Residency Program Director and Associate Chair for Education at the University of Florida – Jacksonville. In this role I have used many of the ideas and innovations I learnt through SEA to redesign our entire program to incorporate a flipped classroom model, active learning and reflective practice - both from a viewpoint of the residency as well as faculty development.

Since 2004 I have contributed numerous workshops and posters at SEA. I have also been actively involved in committee work. With the Committee on Faculty Development, I helped organize the initial Educator’s Portal for the SEA website and was one of the original Peer Teaching Coaches for our Society. I have continued to actively provide feedback to workshop presenters in this role.

Some of the most challenging work I have done for SEA was as the Program Director for our highly innovative June 2013 SEA national meeting,” Milestones & Assessment: Are You Ready?” The meeting utilized 36 workshops to teach about Milestones and provided a collaborative environment in which participants designed over 50 assessment products addressing Milestones that are available to all SEA members via the SEA website. This meeting was the highest-attended spring meeting for SEA and was accomplished during a period when the Society’s management was in transition.

Since 2012 I have also served as Chair and Chair-designee of the Educational Meetings Committee. During this time, we have had many highly successful and innovative meetings. We created a peer-review process for the meeting workshop submissions process improving quality; we incorporated the AAMC MERC workshops in 2012 and 2014; we designed a huge collaborative effort with the Milestones workshops in 2013 and we shared ideas with our surgical colleagues in the first-ever combined meeting with the Association of Surgical Educators in 2015 in Seattle. These all reflect my inherent belief in innovation and collaboration. With hard work and the willingness to try, together we can accomplish so many things.

John D. Mitchell, MD


Boston, MA

I am currently the Residency Program Director for the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and an Associate Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School. As Program Director, I am involved with all aspects of teaching and educational administration, including curricular design, education research, and leveraging technology in education.

I have been fortunate to be supported and recognized as a teacher and education researcher. To build my teaching skills, I participated in the SEA workshop on teaching in 2005 and pursued a Rabkin Fellow in medical education in 2009-2010. I was selected as Departmental Teacher of the Year by residents three times and received the S.Robert Stone Award for outstanding Medical Student Teaching from Harvard Medical School. To build my education research skills, I participated in both the Rabkin fellowship noted above and the Medical Education Research Certification course sponsored by SEA in 2012. I was selected for a John Hedley Whyte research grant in 2010-2011 and a FAER education research grant in 2012-2014 to pursue topics in faculty development of feedback skills. I also received a grant from the Shapiro center for education to explore using patient feedback to shape resident professionalism and communication skills. My current areas of interest also include perioperative ultrasound simulation. I am excited to participate in fruitful research and curriculum sharing relationships with other SEA members, who have fostered my growth and aided my efforts.

I am thoroughly engaged in educational leadership. I enjoy mentoring other educators as a member of the Harvard Academy, a Senior Member of the BIDMC Academy of Educators, and a member of the FAER Academy of Education Mentors in Anesthesiology. I serve on the FAER research in education grant review committee. I contribute to the Board of Directors for the SEA and SAAA to lead these groups forward in their respective missions. I am honored to work with the Interhospital Study Group to develop and refine the AKT exams. I serve on the Steering Committee and advisory board for, and lead the cardiovascular section of, the Anesthesia Toolbox curriculum sharing project. I examine for the ABA oral exams, serve on the OSCE exam task force, and lead the development of the echo OSCE station. Through these activities, I have gained an understanding of the issues at play in the world of anesthesia education.

I believe that the future of our specialty lies in collaborative efforts in teaching, training program design, and education research. Using what I have learned through my relationship with SEA, I have improved my own program, developed novel curricular and lead educational research endeavors. I am grateful to those who have shared their innovative ideas and eager to share what I have learned with others.

Deborah A. Schwengel, MD, MEd


Balitmore, MD

It is with great enthusiasm that I submit my candidacy for a Board of Directors position for SEA. I have been a member of SEA for over 10 years; my enthusiasm for the society continues to grow. My leadership experience in medical education in my home institution, Johns Hopkins, has included clerkship director, associate program director, pediatric fellowship director and residency program director. I have completed a Master of Education in the Health Professions, have been actively involved in health professions innovations and program building and educational research. I now serve as Director of Educational Research in our Department. I was SEA Spring meeting Chair in 2016 in Baltimore and am an active member of the Meetings and Research Committees. Over my years of involvement I have realized that SEA provides a community of educators that is supportive, informative and welcoming. This nurturing community should be advertised. I believe there are many anesthesiology educators who would thrive with us and need to know about SEA. We need to be sharing our enthusiasm for the society with our colleagues across the country.

My experiences have given me significant understanding of the needs of both faculty and trainees interested in medical education and the challenges of building programs and overcoming barriers to change. I enjoy working in a collaborative environment and wish to bring my talents to an already talented Board. I believe we should be creative and open-minded about the possibilities for SEA. I am interested in exploring new endeavors and new ways of conducting our meetings to attract more members and to make our meetings and sessions more valuable to members and guests. Options could include destination meetings, changing the structure of the sessions, providing more options within the meeting schedule and continuing the momentum that has built around the presentation of curricular and research projects. I believe we need to actively engage in new technologies, more mentorship and ongoing community building. As a society we should aggressively help each other flourish as educators and prepare for promotions especially given the challenges that many educators face in pursuing academic advancement at some institutions. I see the following as priorities:


  • Build the SEA community: aggressively infect others.
  • More professional development related to program development, curriculum development, educational research, educational leadership and sustainability in the modern medical workplace.
  • Adjust our meetings to reflect best practices in teaching and use of innovative techniques.
  • Maintain networking and community building at SEA meetings that continue between meetings.
  • Create bulletin board of presentations for people working on promotion – help each other get promoted as educators, invite each other to give talks at home institutions.


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