Episode 100: This is why anesthesiologists are the best – a short reflection after 100 shows

May 31, 2021

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Celebrating 100 episodes.

Justin (00:01):
Well, we made it, this is episode 100

Justin (00:06):
And I’m going to keep it short and sweet.

Justin (00:08):
I’m coming to you today just to say thank you to the anesthesia and pain management community. When this podcast was started at the beginning of 2019, I could not have envisioned how much fun it was going to be and

Justin (00:22):
How much work it was going to be. And also

Justin (00:24):
I couldn’t have envisioned the incredibly high caliber of the people that I was going to have the privilege of interacting with. And as I’ve reflected back on the work that this last year and a half has represented, I feel incredibly lucky to be working with this group of physicians. I was talking to a friend the other day and trying to explain who anesthesiologists are specifically in the healthcare ecosystem. And this analogy came to mind. They’re like the right tackle on the offensive line to borrow from football. They protect the quarterback when they do their job really well. No one can tell everything goes smoothly and you know, the team scores a touchdown. They seldom get the headlines even when it’s deserved. And

Justin (01:10):
They’re cool with that. They embrace that idea identity.

Justin (01:15):
It just says so much about the, the character

Justin (01:19):
Of the people who are in this profession. Classic example, perhaps you’ve heard of Dr. Richard Harris. I don’t know if you have or not. If you haven’t do yourself a favor and Google his name, you might find some hits related to Australia’s man of the year for 2019. Do you remember the story about the soccer team from Thailand who were doing the cave exploration and they got stuck whenever the tide rose and they were essentially starving and running out of time stuck in these caves. Dr. Harris was an anesthesiologist as well as a scuba diver and survival medicine expert cave diver, who was responsible for the idea of masking these boys with scuba gear and administering intramuscular ketamine, and then essentially dragging them out with a team of experienced divers, hundreds of yards underwater through murky and treacherous terrain in order to bring them to safety.

Justin (02:16):
Most people didn’t realize that it was an anesthesiologist in this circumstance who was the hero. Dr. Harris has issued the limelight in the way that I would expect knowing so many people in the world of anesthesiology, having gotten to know so many of them. And he seems to have, from what I’ve read and seen of his interviews, he has a deep satisfaction at having done the job well and no sense of self promotion, even though he showed such incredible ingenuity, competence, bravery, and humility all wrapped up together in one beautiful caucus. Yep. I found these characteristics to be a model. Well, by so many. Yeah. One other personal note that I wanted to share, we had a somewhat recent brush with some local anesthesiologists here at the children’s hospital of Philadelphia, long story, but suffice it to say that our son tried to inhale some food rather than swallowing it.

Justin (03:10):
So we called one of those big white boxy Uber’s with the shiny red lights on top and went down to our local ed. Everything worked out fine and Calvin’s in great shape, but immediately pre-op, we were there with our son and the attending and the fellow on call who was a good friend of my wife’s. And I was terrified for my son. And I, in the midst of that really crazy tumultuous and emotional experience, the empathetic care we received from the members of the anesthesia team in particular, the wisdom that these physicians showed as they sought to care, not only for our son, but for his freaked out parents, this was immensely meaningful. And really it left a mark on me. So special shout out to doctors, Wacey and a tour at chop for how well they took care of our family during a terrifying time.

Justin (04:04):
So if anybody at chop is listening, give them a pat on the back, even though I know for them, it was probably just another Tuesday for, for us. And for me, that was an experience that I won’t forget. And I’m really grateful for how well we were cared for. So these are a couple of practical examples of how, as I’ve gotten more and more integrated into the anesthesia community, it’s been humbling and awesome. And I’ve had dozens, more people who I’ve spoken to on this podcast, probably hundreds off the record who have exuded such amazing character qualities. And I’m, I, like I said, I’m just lucky. I feel lucky to be involved in this community and to be able to do some small, you know, to, to play some small part in helping to support and equip physicians in the specialty. I’m going to continue to work as hard as I can to make APM success, a resource for this incredible group of dedicated physicians.

Justin (05:01):
We have some great stuff coming up, but I always love to hear from our listeners. So if you have any ideas, any feedback, email me@justinatapmsuccess.com. If you have someone you want to hear from in particular, or if you’re friends with Dr. Richard Harris and can convince him to be on the show, I would love to have him share his story. I want to continue to equip you to do the work that you love in a way, right? It is sustainable and on your own terms, however, I can do that better. I would love to hear your feedback. Send me a note. We’d love to hear it from you. That’s all I’ve got. Thank you for listening. A hundred episodes. If this has meant something to you, if you have found this show to be helpful, share it with a colleague. I’m always trying to get the word out. We just are coming up on 70,000 downloads, which is really exciting. That’s more than one lesson per ASA member, which is a fun milestone to hope everyone has a great Memorial day as always. Thanks for listening to APM success.