ASA 2022 Highlights

November 2, 2022 | Miranda Le, Jane Moon, MD

The UCLA Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine (DAPM) had a strong presence at the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) Annual Meeting, which was held in New Orleans, Louisiana, from October 21-25. Our faculty and trainees participated in over 60 workshops, panels, and presentations on the latest topics in anesthesiology research and practice. Between sessions, festive social gatherings also contributed to lasting memories in the Big Easy.

Faculty Teachings

Sandra Sacks presenting
Sandra Sacks, MD, MEd presenting for a panel

As leaders in anesthesiology, several faculty members gave presentations on strategies to optimize patient care. During a panel hosted by the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation, Emily Methangkool, MD, MPH, our Vice Chair for Quality and Patient Safety, discussed how to tackle problems in non-operating room anesthesia with effective teamwork and communication. DAPM Chair Maxime Cannesson, MD, PhD, served as lead speaker for a Society for Technology in Anesthesia panel that reviewed the artificial intelligence and autonomous systems available for clinical use today, along with their potential future applications. Sandra Sacks, MD, MEd, addressed the challenge of caring for patients with debilitating cancer pain in the midst of the current opioid epidemic during her engaging 60-Minute Panel. Dr. Sacks urged the audience to “focus on patients’ long-term health to improve function and quality of life, with the goal of minimizing both immediate and chronic side effects of any selected treatments.”

Jonathan Ho, MD and Andrew Disque, MD Workshop
Jonathan Ho, MD and Andrew Disque, MD leading their workshop

Our faculty’s workshops at ASA 2022 offered guided skills practice for participating clinicians. The topics varied widely, from a tutorial on acupuncture given by Eric Hsu, MD, to a session on basic transesophageal echocardiography given by Dr. Methangkool. Rana Movahedi, MD, also provided a high-yield tutorial on “how to perform ultrasound-guided upper extremity, lower extremity, and truncal blocks.” Another workshop that featured Jonathan Ho, MD, as the moderator, and Andrew Disque, MD, as a speaker, taught participants “all about perioperative pacing, including new pacing technologies, use of temporary pacing, and management strategies for implanted pacemakers and defibrillators.”

Anesthesiologists in the Making

Drs. Jack Buckley, Christine Myo-Bui, John Kleinman, Ramita Rahimian, Victor Osnos, Jonathan Dahan, and Jennifer Nam
DAPM Residents and Program Directors at the Residency Meet & Greet

This was the first time that many of our resident physicians attended the ASA Annual Meeting. Jennifer Nam, MD, MBA, CA-2, enjoyed a variety of activities at the conference, including “supporting co-residents in presenting their research and challenging cases, networking with various anesthesia groups, and reconnecting with residents from other programs.” The fun also extended beyond the conference. Our residents explored the French Quarter while tasting iconic New Orleans fare. “We even had the chance to enjoy frozen custards while walking along the Mississippi River,” Dr. Nam said.

In addition to presenting their own research, many DAPM faculty members also mentored medical-student speakers from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Third-year medical student Opemipo Akerele worked with Marisa Hernandez-Morgan, MD, MA, to present a Medically Challenging Case on anticoagulation strategies for patients on extracorporeal life support. Ms. Akerele remarked, “I have been blessed to have Dr. Hernandez-Morgan as a mentor throughout my years of medical school, but also more recently have been able to learn from her as a clinical educator through the Charles Drew University (CDU)/UCLA Longitudinal Preceptorship Program.” 

Cecilia Ramirez with her mentor, Cecilia Canales, MD
Cecilia Ramirez with her mentor, Cecilia Canales, MD

The conference also provided graduating medical students with the opportunity to present their culminating projects. For her Quality Improvement presentation, fourth-year medical student Cecilia Ramirez highlighted disparities in the preoperative neurocognitive screening of patients with limited English proficiency compared to their English-fluent counterparts. Danny Le, MS4, also gave a poster presentation on liver transplantation outcomes in patients with coronary artery disease. “It's been a privilege to share a lot of our hard work throughout the years, as well as to meet a lot of the pioneers in the field,” he said.

UCLA in NOLA Social

After a full day at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, our department convened at Preservation Hall for our “UCLA in NOLA” Social on the evening of Sunday, October 23. Shevaughn Marchese, DAPM Program Manager, worked with Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Administrative Manager Olivia Vallejo to selectively engage vendors whose social causes align with our department's JEDI goals. Preservation Hall is a historic Creole mansion first owned by a free woman of color, which became a home for New Orleans Jazz artists and the audiences that supported them through the Jim Crow Era. Today, the Preservation Hall foundation is dedicated to preserving New Orleans musical traditions through education and community engagement programs. The evening's Chef, Charly Pierre, is an active advocate for gender rights and social equality and the Bartender, Jessica Robinson, is a local GirlBoss community organizer.

In a courtyard decorated with lights and historic artifacts of New Orleans jazz, DAPM faculty, residents, and alumni mingled over traditional Haitian street food. We then gathered in the performance space for a live acoustic concert by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. It was a festive occasion to celebrate our achievements, enjoy the camaraderie, and revel in a rich New Orleans tradition.