Professional Identity Formation, the Thunder, and Fireworks

The SEA Spring meeting in Louisville, Kentucky was memorable, not only for the fantastic view of the annual “Thunder Over Louisville” airshow and fireworks from the top of the hotel, but also for the keynote address given by Dr. Thomas J. Nasca, MD, MACP, Chief Executive Officer, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). I must confess to being a little wary going into the presentation, as I wondered what new checkboxes he would have in store for us. I could not have been more wrong.

Dr. Nasca gave an engaging and scholarly account of the philosophical traditions underpinning the American conceptualization of both Medicine as a Profession, and Professionalism within the practice of medicine. At its heart, this involves a commitment to scientific and clinical competence and altruism. Dr. Nasca focused on Professional Identity Formation and the challenge of inculcating not only professional behavior, but internalizing a set of professional values in our trainees. This socialization into the profession is described in detail by Cruess and Cruess (Acad. Med. 2014), and results in the individual “thinking, acting, and feeling like a physician.”  He emphasized that this transformation can take place only in a healthy educational environment, and ended in a rousing call to arms:

“Only you,
 in collaboration with all in your community of learning, 
 can create the systemic change 
 required to change our culture.
 This Commitment, to Identity Formation, Professionalism 
 and Physician Well-Being, 
 is essential to fulfill our promise 
 to Society, to our Patients, and to Each Other”

(Nasca TJ: SEA Spring Meeting 2018)

I would like to thank Dr. Rana Latif and his department at the University of Louisville, and Dr. Tom McLarney and the University of Kentucky for hosting and organizing the meeting. Louisville was welcoming and hospitable, and I was very happy to experience the beauty and culture of that part of our country. The SEA officers found the Sunday morning “Strategic Dialogue with the Members” forum to be very useful. I hope that this innovative session will be continued at future meetings.

The workshops continue to be the hallmark of our meetings, and I’d like to thank all of our members who contributed to the success of these sessions. A highlight of the meeting was the awarding of the 3rd annual $10,000 Starter Grant in Research in Education (SEA’d Grant) to Ashley Szabo Eltorai, MD of the Department of Anesthesiology at Yale University School of Medicine for her project: “Working Memory Interruptions and Errors in Anesthesiology: A Randomized, Controlled, Simulation-Based Study”. This year’s Philip Liu Award for Innovation in Anesthesia Education (Research) went to Erica Sivak, MD of the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh for her abstract “The Effect of Gender on 360-Degree Evaluations at One Academic Center”. The Philip Liu Award for Innovation in Anesthesia Education (Curriculum) went to K. Karisa Walker, MD of the University of Nebraska Medical Center for her abstract “Coaching for Anesthesiology Trainees – Development of a Workplace-Based Assessment Tool”. Thank you to Nina Deutsch and the Research committee for the hours of work that goes into evaluating the workshop submissions and abstracts.

A big vote of thanks is also due to the organizers and faculty of the Leadership Program for Chief Residents: Herodotos Ellinas, MD, FAAP, FACP; Melissa Davidson, MD; Stephen Kimatian, MD; Bridget M. Marroquin, MD; Stacy Fairbanks, MD; Kathy D. Schlecht, DO and Elizabeth H. Ellinas, MD. No meeting would be complete without the pleasure of renewing old friendships and forming new ones at the breakfast meetings, coffee breaks and dine arounds. We must continue to reach out to new members and residents, make them feel as though they are a part of the organization, and that they have found a community of like-minded educators. I hope that the new website will foster the development of year-round community and committee engagement. We have yet to capitalize on some of the features of the website platform, and I hope these will be highlighted at the Fall meeting which will be held at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square, prior to the ASA Annual Meeting, on October 12th, 2018.

The first SEA-IARS Panel, organized by John Mitchell, MD, was held at the IARS annual meeting in Chicago the week following the Spring Meeting. The 90-minute Panel focused on “Professionalism Issues in the Workplace”, both with Trainees and Faculty. Speakers included Drs. Mitchell, Franklyn Cladis, Annette Mizuguchi, and Carol-Ann Diachun. I would like to congratulate them on an innovative, interactive approach which modeled active participation applied to a traditional panel setting. It was well received and well attended, even though it was scheduled at the very end of the meeting.

The work of the Society would not be possible without our management team led by Andrew Bronson, our Executive Director at Svinicki Association Management; our Committees; Members; Officers and the Board of Directors. Thank you, and see you all in San Francisco in October!

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