Scientific discovery and advancing anesthesiology research requires collaboration to make progress. That’s why the International Anesthesia Research Society, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), and Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research (FAER) came together to form the Anesthesia Research Council (ARC). Other stakeholders will also provide input, including the early-Stage Anesthesia Scholars (eSAS), Association of Research Managers and Administrators (ARMA), and Society of Academic Associations of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine (SAAAPM) among others.
About the Anesthesia Research Council
ARC’s mission is to advance scientific discovery and health care policy through the development and dissemination of research in anesthesiology, perioperative, and pain medicine with the goal to become the go-to resource for state-of-the-art review, synthesis, and future recommendations in anesthesiology, perioperative medicine, critical care, and pain medicine research.
ARC currently is a 3-year pilot program, supported by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), Foundation for Anesthesia and Education Research (FAER) and IARS and overseen by a Steering Committee. The Steering Committee, chaired by Max Kelz, MD, PhD, is responsible for choosing the annual study focus and generating a series of concrete questions to be addressed resulting in a final work product. The Committee also identifies and recruits a diverse working group of 5–6 people responsible for generating the final outcome.
Steering Committee Members
Max Kelz, MD, PhD
University of Pennsylvania
James C. Eisenach, MD
Wake Forest University
University of Washington
Colleen Koch, MD, MS, MBA, FACC
University of Florida College of Medicine
Mark D. Neuman, MD
University of Pennsylvania
Rose Marie Robertson, MD, FAHA
American Heart Association
Elizabeth Whitlock, MD, MS
University of California, San Francisco
Opportunities identified for improvement by ARC include:
- Inadequate funding for research;
- A lack of recognition of and appreciation for the contributions anesthesiologists have made to medicine as a whole;
- Insufficient institutional support for research and the development of physician scientists;
- Difficulties in sustaining a culture of inquiry and problem-solving in a specialty constrained by financial imperatives; and
- The important role research plays in the future of the specialty and advancing anesthesiology practice—including the development of new drugs.
Find out more about the aims of ARC in “Creation of the Anesthesia Research Council,” an article published in Anesthesia & Analgesia, as well as an update from FAER, “The Anesthesia Research Council: Hard @ Work,” posted on its website.
During the 3-year pilot plan, ARC will convene working groups for each year to address separate goals and present a report on their findings at the conclusion of that year.
Work Group Year I
Report 1: Strengthening the Research Environment: Addressing the Pipeline of Researchers
Working Group Chair: Charles W. Emala, Sr. MS, MD
This Working Group presented a report of their study during the ARC session at the IARS 2021 Annual Meeting.
Study Charge: To support the continued commitment of our specialty to discovery and clinical science, which is threatened by the decline in the physician scientist workforce.
Study Charge 1: Evaluate anesthesiology’s past and present research pipeline to define the scope of physician scientist shortage. Benchmark Anesthesiology against comparable medical specialties to better define relative scope of problem.
Study Charge 2: Identify factors associated with successful physician scientist launch in an effort to recommend broader adoption of putative important factors/traits. Identify the factors associated with physician scientist failure to facilitate early intervention.
Study Charge 3: Drill down to further address diversity in the pipeline, identifying factors that may differentially affect underrepresented groups.
Study Charge 4: Create a series of strategic recommendations for all anesthesiology residents as well as clinical anesthesia fellows to strengthen their training in research and scientific methodology. Moreover, to foster the scientific development for those wishing to incorporate research into their clinical careers, additional recommendations should specifically target individual physicians, scientific mentors, departmental chairs, and medical school deans to facilitate the growth of this vital workforce. Finally, explicitly highlight the potential risks for patients, departments, medical centers, and the broader research community of failing to support physician scientist maturation.
Work Group Year II
Report 2: Transforming Patient-centered Outcomes Research in Anesthesiology
Chair: Michael Gropper, MD, PhD
Study Charge: Multicenter clinical trials and prospective cohort studies focusing on patient-centered outcomes after surgery and other common procedures have potential to increase the value of anesthesia care and transform the scope and impact of anesthesiology as a specialty. To support the ability of anesthesiologists to improve patient outcomes and contribute to public health through collaborative multicenter trials and prospective cohort studies.
Study Charge 1: Summarize the current state and future prospects of collaborative patient-centered outcomes research in anesthesiology in the United States.
Study Charge 2: Identify facilitators and barriers to establishing one or more collaborative, US-based patient-centered outcomes research networks in anesthesiology.
Study Charge 3: Recommend 4-5 specific actions that key stakeholders, including but not limited to ASA, FAER, IARS, and academic and private groups, should undertake to transform the landscape of patient-centered outcomes research in anesthesiology in the US over the next 5-10 years.
Work Group Year III
Report 3: Strengthening Discovery and Application of Artificial Intelligence in Anesthesiology
Chair: Jonathan Porter Wanderer, MD
Study Charge: To advance development and application of AI in Anesthesiology practice, education, and research by addressing each of the following:
- Evaluate anesthesiology’s standing in development and application of AI at present and in the past, including areas of strengths, and magnitude and scope of efforts. Benchmark Anesthesiology against comparable medical specialties to better define relative scope of problem.
- Describe barriers to development and application of AI in Anesthesiology.
- Identify factors associated with specialties which are more advanced or successful in developing and implementing AI and methods they have used to overcome barriers.
- Provide a consensus list of examples of high priority immediate and future applications of AI/ML in practice research, and education in Anesthesiology and indicate whether these address the population in an equitable fashion.
- Create a series of strategic recommendations to advance the development and application of AI in all facets of Anesthesiology. Considerations of investment, training, advocacy, and implementation should as build on examples of medical specialties that have succeeded in these areas.
The Future of the Anesthesiology Physician Scientist: An ARC Update Session Recap
The ARC year-one Working Group, chaired by Charles W. Emala, Sr. MS, MD and focused on “Strengthening the Research Environment: Addressing the Pipeline of Researchers,” held a discussion and listening session on this topic during the IARS 2021 Annual Meeting. Learn more about the session here.