James C. Eisenach, M.D., Editor
20th Annual Spring Meeting and Workshops of the Society for Education in Anesthesia. Tucson, Arizona, March 19-21, 1998.
The 20th Annual Spring Meeting of the Society for Education in Anesthesia was held at the Sheraton, El Conquistador, in Tucson, Arizona from March 19 - 21, 1998. The meeting was entitled, "Harnessing Educational Resources, Skills, and Know-how for Anesthesia Educators" and had the objective of informing anesthesiologists interested in education about resources available to them to enhance their ability to educate residents and medical students. In addition, workshops addressed issues of interest to faculty involved in resident education.
Three panels, entitled "Skills and Know-how I," "II," and "III" were presented over 3 days. In the first panel, M. Olympio, M.D., reminded anesthesia educators of their core business, by presenting "How to Teach Effectively in the OR," emphasizing that learning is the only successful outcome of teaching and that the goal is for residents to become independent, safe, and skillful anesthesiologists. During patient management, this can be accomplished by showing organization, problem solving, interpersonal skills, humility, and values, while creating an environment of "ownership" of the case for the resident. During the next lecture, "Effective Use of University Resources," Philip Liu, M.D., highlighted the complicated fiscal environment in which educators and institutions find themselves. In "Effective Use of Today's Library and Information Services," P. Lei, M.L.S., A.H.I.P., updated us regarding new developments in the "digital library," which will enable librarians to assist physicians by delivering information in time frames acceptable for emergency care. The first panel concluded with a multimedia presentation by G. Sheplock, M.D., entitled "Tools and Methods for Developing Multimedia Computer-Based Educational Resources," wherein Dr. Sheplock developed the theme that only basic computer skills are necessary to create useful computer-based educational resources.
In the second panel, C. McLeskey, M.D., addressed "Teaching Perioperative Medicine Effectively" and developed the argument that, in our endeavor to expand beyond the operating room, we should involve residents in the process. We should model/mentor appropriate value-based anesthesia and perioperative patient management before attempting to define curriculum requirements at this early stage in this fast-developing field. "Effective Use of the Internet" was illustrated beautifully by M. Smith, M.D., using digitized, computer-generated video clips to show the ability to distribute educational material on the Internet.
Panel III started with a talk entitled "Requirements of an Effective Residency Program: A personal view," by G. Thompson, M.D., who serves as chairman of the Residency Review Committee (RRC) for anesthesiology. Dr. Thompson described the areas of particular sections of the Residency Review Committee "Bible", "The Essentials and Information Items for 1996-1997" (published by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education), on which Residency Review Committee members place particular emphasis. In addition, he reflected about 10 key ingredients that might be essential to an effective residency program, developing the theme that it is important for a resident to be part of the "family" (hence small is better) and an integral part of a winning team (success breeds success). He thought that a residency of 15 - 25 residents, in an attractive location (Seattle), with training occurring primarily in one hospital while still handling a good case mix were important factors.
Dr. Andrew Lee, provided a good overview of the pros and cons of body stimulators as an effective teaching tool in "Effective Use of Body Simulators," pointing out that their use allows reproducible presentation of important clinical scenarios that occur rarely in real life. They are particularly effective in teaching and evaluating the resident/medical student's (perhaps one day, faculty's) ability to function at higher levels of knowledge (designated in Bloom's taxonomy as Analysis, Synthesis and Evaluation, rather than the lower three levels of Factual Knowledge, Comprehension, and Application), for which conventional means of teaching are more appropriate and cost-effective.
Workshops are an important aspect of the Society for Education in Anesthesia meetings because they allow in-depth presentation of subjects of current interest to anesthesia educators and residency directors. In addition, they allow the free interchange of ideas pertaining to difficult issues in the process of running resident education programs. Eight workshops were presented, five or six concurrently, on three different occasions, allowing delegates to attend three different workshops. In addition, on the final day of the meeting, a panel consisting of workshop presenters was devoted to the brief presentation of key points developed in the workshops.
The workshop, "Interview Techniques for Recruitment," was presented by S. Shysh, M.D., M.Sc. (M.Ed.) F.R.C.P.C., in which he focused on the technique of behavior description interviewing. This technique embodies a structured pattern of questions related to a real-life situation to evaluate the applicant's past behaviors in specific situations relevant to critical job events. Although the predictive ability (of future performance) of the usual employment interview is 0.14 - 0.20, for behavior description interviewing, it is in the range 0.3 - 0.7. Workshop participants then practiced developing appropriate questions for behavior description interviewing. In the workshop "Recruitment techniques: How to Structure Your Interview Day," Kathy Schlect, D.O., developed a blueprint for a successful, structured, interview day, by drawing on her experience and that of others. Key points were that the candidates should be informed of the plan for the interview day in advance and that this plan should be carried out meticulously on the day of the interview to build confidence that what is promised is delivered. First impressions of the program are the longest held, and these should be good. Interviewers should be relaxed and well rehearsed in appropriate (brief) small talk, should allow candidates to talk (90% of the time), and should have senior positions available in the department to build prestige. Dr. Schlect presented her institutions' impressive improvement in numbers of matching resident applicants using these methods.
Continuing the currently important theme of resident recruitment, Drs. S. Polk and W. Silverstein reviewed materials (brochures, video tapes and CD-ROM programs) and methods used by anesthesia residency programs in "Marketing your Residency Program to Maximum Advantage." A related and important aspect of anesthesia education is "Achieving a Presence in the Medical School Curriculum," which was presented by Drs. S. Curry, L. Teller, and K. Madsen. The workshop "Maintaining Resident Morale in Changing Times," run by Drs. D. Wilks and N. Doron, identified that the key factor in maintaining resident morale may be to maintain faculty morale because of the trickle-down effect on residents. In "Preparing Residents for the Work Force," M. Rosenblatt, M.D., and S. Schartel, D.O., described aspects of academic and private practice and ways that we might prepare residents for these differing scenarios.
Dr. G. Sheplock used the workshop "Creating Educational Resources on your Personal Computer" to expand concepts generated in his lecture and to give a hands-on demonstration of the computer as an educational tool. Dr. M. Smith was joined by Dr. E. Worth to provide an excellent workshop about the principles of education and the appropriate use of slides in "Power-up Your Presentation with Power-point."
This meeting was notable for its ability to attract anesthesiologists knowledgeable in education, as well as anesthesiology and medical student education directors, which provided a lively supportive exchange of ideas, advice, and help from diverse departments of anesthesia in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Berend Mets, M.B., Ch.B., Ph.D., F.R.C.A., F.F.A.
Meeting Coordinator; SEA Spring Meeting 1998; Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology; Education Section; College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University; New York, New York; E-mail: BM44@Columbia.edu