President's Message

As 2022 draws to a close and I am charged with writing my first President's message for the SEA. At this time of year, I find it best to express gratitude, do a bit of reflection, and set some resolutions for the new year.

First, I want to thank all our members, both new and established, for helping to keep this society vital, inclusive, and welcoming through the long first act of COVID. We came to together to utilize all our creativity and skill to exchange ideas during one of the darkest times in modern history. Dr. Stephanie Jones deserves special recognition for her stalwart leadership and resolute commitment to our core values. Members of the board and committee leaders and active members all played critical roles in keeping our organization going strong through this difficult period. While we still live under the shadow of this pandemic, we have entered a new phase that allows us to travel and meet again and I am truly grateful for that. The supportive energy that we transfer to each other is unmatched and priceless.

The lessons on developing a professional identity we learned from our friends and colleagues during formal sessions at the fall 2022 meeting were beautifully augmented by the timely workshops informal discussions had between sessions. As I reflect on this meeting, I was pleased to see many new faces amongst the crowd. I hope these new members felt welcome and know how their ideas and perspectives will be valued as we move forward. Our mission is to support, enrich and advance anesthesia education and those who teach. This can best be accomplished through inclusiveness and collaboration as we forge new paths in scholarship and innovation.

The resolutions I wish to share with you are both audacious and achievable. SEA has a strong membership base with the most visionary educational leaders in our specialty. There are many incredible initiatives ongoing in our committees and I will highlight only a few in the areas of Inclusion, Research, and Collaboration.

Our DEIJ committee, led by Drs. Straker and Ellinas, has been active in setting the national tone for our specialty’s response to social injustice and avoidable tragedy. Their responses have been co-adopted or emulated by a wide range of organizations in our specialty. They are also responsible for providing educational aids and coordinating efforts across several partner organizations and helping to define a new vision for how wholehearted support for DEIJ initiatives can enhance our specialty, profession, and society.

Our Research Committee, led by Drs. Sakai and Cerza has added an innovative research mentorship program to an already robust catalogue of offerings to support the development of researchers in education. The aim is to enable budding researchers to grow with support from across institutions that best matches their areas of interest. They also seek to enhance and celebrate the development of resident researchers with additional recognition and awards for these new researchers while continuing the SEA'd grant and top abstract awards for members.

Across all committees is a pervasive spirit of collaboration both within SEA and across our specialty. Dr. Schwengel's program from cross pollination of SEA sponsored speakers at other national meetings is one facet of this this expanding national profile of our society. Over the past several years, we have been invited to provide input into key initiatives in our specialty such as the revised Milestones and concepts surrounding Time Variable Training. We have also had expanded collaboration with the SAAAPM on developing complimentary meeting plans as well. We offer our expertise happily, placing the interests of learners and educators in the forefront.

Emerging from the darkest period of COVID, the future of our Society and our Specialty appears bright. I believe that through collaboration, teamwork, and remaining true to our values, we can advance the mission of our society Support, Enrich and Advance anesthesia education and those who teach. I am grateful for the opportunity to work alongside you to usher in this new ERA of innovation.

John D. Mitchell, MD
SEA President