100 Years of Regional Anesthesia: A Century of Innovation and a Future of Inclusivity
It is an honor and privilege to welcome one and all to attend the ASRA Pain Medicine 48th Annual Regional Anesthesiology & Acute Pain Medicine Meeting, taking place April 20-22, 2023, at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, FL. In 1923, Dr. Gaston Labat and his colleagues founded the original American Society of Regional Anesthesia shortly after publishing his landmark textbook on regional anesthesia techniques. In the century since its inception, both the original and the current-day ASRA Pain Medicine have been consistent innovators in regional anesthesia and pain medicine – serving as an early example of diversity and inclusivity in thought and practice. With the spring 2023 meeting, ASRA Pain Medicine will simultaneously celebrate the field’s past while looking forward to and expanding on these foundational principles. In doing so, this meeting will be one of ASRA Pain Medicine's most diverse and inclusive meetings yet. And it is with this lens that I enthusiastically put forth the meeting's theme, "100 Years of Regional Anesthesia: A Century of Innovation and a Future of Inclusivity."
In 1923, Dr. Gaston Labat and his colleagues founded the original American Society of Regional Anesthesia shortly after publishing his landmark textbook on regional anesthesia techniques.
Two distinct components of this meeting speak to the great arch of ASRA Pain Medicine. The first explores the society's fascinating and brilliant history through panel and workshop content to showcase this journey (Table 1). There will be a rare opportunity to engage with many ASRA Pain Medicine past presidents and Gaston Labat Award winners, who helped shape our modern practice of regional anesthesia and pain medicine. And, for the history buffs out there, I am particularly excited about the "ASRA Pain Medicine Journey Through the Decades" Parallel Session that will give us an illustrative and dynamic walk-through ASRA Pain Medicine's past.
For the regional anesthesia purists, be sure to enroll in the "The Art of Regional Anesthesia Surface Anatomy, Back to Basics" workshop that will provide an opportunity to learn from sage regional anesthesia and acute pain medicine (RAAPM) experts as they demonstrate how surface anatomy continues to play an essential role in our performance of peripheral nerve blocks.
Table 1. Summary of Anniversary-Themed Sessions at Spring 2023 Meeting
And, of course, what is a centennial without an amazing celebration?! Make sure you stick around for a “Roaring 20s”-themed celebration on Saturday evening. If you can’t wait to dive into ASRA Pain Medicine’s rich history, be sure to indulge immediately in the incredible interviews of past presidents and Gaston Labat Award winners available on social media and the ASRA Pain Medicine YouTube channel.
The second component of the meeting will highlight the bright future of ASRA Pain Medicine as an inclusive society fully prepared to advance the needs of its increasingly diverse membership – diverse in background, thought, practice, and opportunity. The program will address the impact of gender, race, ethnicity, and LGBTQIA+ status on regional anesthesia outcomes and health equity. It will also discuss how age can affect practice and how to promote career longevity. In addition, there will be an insightful discussion about what it means to practice medicine with a disability. We will also highlight the unique challenges and opportunities associated with different practice environments, including private vs. academic, military vs. civilian, rural vs. urban, and the role of RAAPM for the emergency medicine physician. We'll even delve into the potential future of regional anesthesia in space.
The meeting will highlight the bright future of ASRA Pain Medicine as an inclusive society fully prepared to advance the needs of its increasingly diverse membership
Building upon the theme of inclusive practice environments, several "meeting-in-meeting" tracks will allow tailored content relevant to the practitioner (Figure 1). For our pediatric and obstetric anesthesiology colleagues looking to incorporate regional anesthesia into their practice further, there will be obstetric and pediatric content across multiple panels, interactive sessions, and workshops. And for the first time, pediatric models will be incorporated into regional and point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) workshops to provide more opportunities for hands-on training.
Figure 1. Program tracks for the 48th Annual Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine Meeting
Miami is the gateway to Latin America, and we are honored to have the president of the Latin American Society of Regional Anesthesia (LASRA), Dr. Juan Carlos de la Cuadra, in attendance and leading a bilingual pro-con interactive session discussing the practical implication of ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia throughout Latin/Central America. Several workshops will also feature faculty teaching in Spanish to provide a more inclusive and engaging learning experience for LASRA members in attendance.
Oh, what's that? Do you love POCUS as much as I do? Well, another first to this meeting is the incorporation of POCUS into every regional anesthesia workshop, demonstrating the value of POCUS in our routine clinical care, such as ruling out a pneumothorax after performing a block near the pleura.
Other highlights will be the role of political advocacy in anesthesia and the innovation occurring in the perioperative setting with techniques such as acupuncture and hypnosis through our first Integrated medicine workshop. More firsts, why not? An “Ultrasound-Guided Percutaneous Cryoneurolysis” workshop and, for our Resident/Fellow workshop, there will be an opportunity to attend our "Preparing for the BIG Transition" workshop, where they will learn tips and tricks to the first 90 days of being an attending and can get directed feedback through a "teach the teacher" format.
I could go on and on, but, in summary, the goal is to make this 100-year celebration an opportunity to continue to grow ASRA-Pain Medicine even further by advancing its innovative and inclusive roots! We hope to see you in the Spring of 2023 in sunny Hollywood, Florida!!
Stephen C. Haskins, MD, is a clinical associate professor in the department of Anesthesiology at Weill-Cornell Medical College and an associate attending anesthesiologist in the department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Management at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, NY. Dr. Haskins is the chair of #ASRASpring23.