2020: Embracing Tradition and Visions of the Future: The 45th Annual Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine Meeting, April 23-25, San Francisco

Feb 1, 2020, 20:37 PM by Jaime Baratta, MD

I am thrilled to be the chair of the 45th Annual Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine Meeting taking place April 23-25, 2020, in San Francisco, CA. The process of planning this meeting actually began a few years ago, and our team has done our homework by listening to the feedback from past meetings and developing a collection of lectures, interactive sessions, and workshops geared to your needs. There are many hard-working volunteers behind the scenes (Figure 1) who are putting together a thought-provoking and inspiring event that I know regional anesthesiologists and acute pain medicine practitioners will enjoy.

“We play an integral role in driving enhanced recovery and managing the complicated issues in perioperative pain management.”

Following the immensely successful 18th Annual Pain Medicine Meeting, we want to continue to promote diversity and inclusion. Regional anesthesiology and acute pain medicine continue to grow and evolve exponentially in not only science, research, and guidelines, but also in our membership. This year, you will see a number of new faces sharing their expertise throughout the refresher courses, parallel sessions, problem-based learning discussions, and workshops.

Scientific Education Planning Committee

Figure 1: Planning Committee

One of the main themes of the meeting is the role of acute pain physicians in perioperative medicine. We play an integral role in driving enhanced recovery and managing the complicated issues in perioperative pain management. As I’ve said before, the PACU is not the finish line and there is so much more we can do to provide value for our patients beyond the operating room. We are bringing together leaders in our field to discuss our impact on outcomes. Does ERAS work for every patient? What about the complicated patients who are outliers? We will also talk about the pain trajectory – from acute pain to transitional pain to chronic pain – can we predict which patients are most at risk and intervene earlier so as no patient is left behind? Expert faculty will address these topics throughout the meeting, including Dr. Kristin Schreiber, Dr. David Clark, Dr. Tong Joo Gan, Dr. Sean Mackey, Dr. Meg Rosenblatt, Dr. Rebecca Johnson, Dr. Ellen Soffin, Dr. Andrea Nicol, Dr. Stephen Macres, and Dr. Tessa Walters.

Regional anesthesia is continually evolving and developing, and ASRA is dedicated to not only embracing our tradition with comprehensive experience in upper and lower extremity blocks, but continuing to introduce new techniques that can greatly help our patients, including erector spinae blocks, retrolaminar blocks, costoclavicular blocks, iPACK blocks, pectoralis blocks, quadratus lumborum blocks, and more. What is the future of regional anesthesia and acute pain medicine? Our expert faculty from around the world, including Dr. Manoj Karmakar, Dr. Amit Pawa, Dr. Sarah Madison, and so many more, are here to tell you. Open scanning sessions and master classes in both adult and pediatric regional anesthesia will give participants at all levels time to further hone their skills and learn from our experts. Has the ultrasound become the new stethoscope? Point-of-care ultrasound (PoCUS) experts Dr. Karen Boretsky and Dr. Stephen Haskins will debate this topic as well as help participants get hands-on experience in PoCUS. We’ve invited orthopedic surgeons to give their perspective on enhanced recovery and pain management in ambulatory joint surgery, joint revision surgery, and spine surgery including Dr. Sohail Mizra, an expert in enhanced recovery for spine surgery.

Meeting Highlights

Figure 2: Session highlights


We will again offer the Practice Management Portfolio (PMP) to help anesthesiologists ensure viability and accountability of their regional and acute pain services in this challenging healthcare environment. Dr. Alexandru Visan, Dr. F. Kayser Enneking, Dr. Sanjay Sinha, and Dr. Colin McCartney will help us to understand the cost of our services and the path to take charge to ensure consistency and reliability in our practice.


One of our main focuses this year is physician wellness. We have a special session on recognizing and combating burnout and enhancing physician wellness as it continues to plague medicine as a whole. Dr. Michael Weinstein, a renowned trauma surgeon, will offer his inspiring journey and ultimate triumph through this all too common topic, while Dr. Jody Leng will give insight on physician wellness programs. In addition to panel discussions, we will have a number of wellness activities including a fun-run through the beautiful city as well as a “Bark Break” visit from some local rescue dogs just looking for some hugs. Our wellness program will surely provide opportunities to both get your heart rate going as well as unwind.

ASRA meetings always include a lot of fun, too. On Thursday, we have our Wine & Bubbly Networking Reception in the Exhibit Hall, which provides an opportunity to connect with colleagues and learn about the latest products and services in the industry. We will again offer our ASRA Let’s Eat program, where you can sign up to eat dinner and network with some new friends.

On Saturday, don’t miss the Excellence in ASRA Awards Luncheon where Dr. Guy Weinberg will be presenting the Gaston Labat Lectureship. Finally, on Saturday evening, we will again offer our popular Annual Meeting Celebration, a time to enjoy old friends and new and relax high atop the hotel with a view of the beautiful City by the Bay.

Throughout its history, ASRA has always been very inclusive of those who are newer to the field and still in training. In addition to dedicated workshops offered at substantially lower prices, our Resident/Fellow Meet and Greet on Friday evening is a great way for trainees to connect with one another and meet Regional Anesthesia and Acute Pain Medicine Fellowship Directors.

 As we embrace the future of regional anesthesia and acute pain medicine in this innovative program with expert faculty and amazing networking opportunities, the 2020 Spring ASRA meeting cannot be missed! And as the Journey song goes…. “When the lights go down in the city, and the sun shines on the bay,” you want to be there! We cannot wait to see you in San Francisco.


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