The American Society of Anesthesiologists installed local physician anesthesiologist Mary Dale Peterson, MD, as president on Oct. 23.
Here, Dr. Peterson explains what she aims to accomplish during her one-year term.
Note: Responses were lightly edited for style and clarity.
Question: What is your top priority for the coming year as ASA president?
Dr. Mary Dale Peterson: The top priority this coming year is to ensure that patients have access to safe care led by a physician anesthesiologist. This includes addressing drug shortages, multimodal pain management to address the opioid crisis, and appropriate payment mechanisms.
Q: How do you plan to build on the accomplishments of your predecessor?
MP: The ASA strategic plan is a multiyear plan that builds on the strength of prior years. Dr. Mason addressed many of the issues that I described above. The ASA will continue its advocacy for physician-led care, support for our physician scientists and fair payments while we continue to improve the care we give to patients. The Ad Hoc Committee on Women in Anesthesia has now become a standing committee as ASA continues to support diversity, gender equity and inclusion.
Q: What do you think is the most opportunity for innovation in anesthesia?
MP: Innovation arises from scientific research. The ASA's Brain Health Initiative is an opportunity to improve the care of elderly patients at risk for neurocognitive dysfunction. Another opportunity is to continue to find the best multimodal pain management so that patients can recover quickly from surgery without the need for opioids and their significant side effects.
Want to participate in future Q&As? Email Angie Stewart: firstname.lastname@example.org.