Sean Adams, MD, FASA

Sean Adams, MD, FASA

ISA President 2019-2020

Sean Adams, MD, FASA
ISA President, 2019-2020

The Illinois Society of Anesthesiologists was founded in 1948, and here we are 71 years later stronger than ever and confident that the future will be even better. I thank Dr. Ori Gottlieb, who has provided many years of great service as he steps down as President.

I assure you that if the ISA did not exist, anesthesiologists would immediately come together to build a new organization. A democratic modern society protects an individual’s right to assemble and petition, as enshrined in the US Constitution. With every meeting we see these grand principles build an ISA that benefits every one of us.

The ISA Board strives to provide value for your membership dues, with publication of ISA Today, critical advocacy, educational events, and social networking opportunities. Most important are the intangible benefits that money can’t buy. ISA will continue to provide what you can’t get anywhere else. Proven time and again, physician who are members of their specialty society are happier, have an edge on education, and patients notice the difference. Conversely, physicians that avoid all professional societies seem over-represented in disciplinary hearings by State Boards.

I grew up in downstate Illinois. Back in the day, local physicians downstate usually worked independently, most felt it essential to participate in a medical society. How will we move forward in coming years of challenges? When Allen Conroy and William McQuiston founded the ISA in the 1940s there was no such thing as the internet or cellphones, let alone pulse oximeters. Yet what we value most remains the same: the science of anesthesiology and drive to provide the best patient care.

We will continue to reach out to our members and encourage new members’ participation and growth. Several practices have little presence in the ISA, to their loss in my opinion. Noteworthy founding President Allen Conroy was from Rush, which continues to provide great strength to the ISA. Founding member William McQuiston was a groundbreaking pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist in Chicago. Dr. McQuiston settled in Peoria, a practice location that continues to power the ISA and even raised an ASA President, Bernard Wetchler, MD.

I have been active with the Society since 2005. Since then a new world has opened to me. I am surrounded by some of the most talented anesthesiologists recognized today. ISA has provided opportunities for me to meet colleagues know to me only through publications. My professional experiences have come to life by getting involved with ISA. I always received more than I have given to the Society. Working together there is no limit to the possibilities for our patients.

Members can connect with ISA through the website, Facebook, or Twitter. While electronic media is important so are those old fashion in-person meetings. Staying connected becomes more meaningful when you can shake hands, enjoy a meal together, and share your enthusiasm for anesthesiology.

Our educational programs have tilted towards practice management, as requested by membership. Practice management was an interest of our first President Dr. Conroy, one of his cautions:“Neither the hospital nor the anesthesiologist should exploit the patient or each other.”ISA will continue its educational mission by providing these events through the state.

The Board of Directors has increased its advocacy initiatives and plans for the next few years. Specifically, I encourage you to become key contacts with your state legislators and an active advocate for physician-led anesthesia care. Associations that neglect the challenges of self-advocacy fall by the wayside to the detriment of patients. You’ve heard about legislation this year that proposed to eliminate physician presence and availability in anesthesia care. The ISA remains committed to preserving the anesthesia care team. Physician-led anesthesia will continue in Illinois thanks to a great team effort that includes ISA members, the Illinois State Medical Society, ASA, our gifted staff, and dedicated legislative advisors.

We have discussed anesthesiologist assistants for several years. We continue to advocate for legislation to permit their licensure in Illinois. However, it is a multi-year effort. Certified Anesthesiologist Assistants have a membership category in the ASA and also several state components. As we’ve seen in the surrounding states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and Missouri, AAs are proven anesthesia providers who work interchangeably, congenially with nurse anesthetists, build a strong care team, and certainly work well with us.

As in the past and will be in the future – we remain dedicated to help our patients through a risky part of the health care journey. ISA has a great history. Thanks to our talented and growing membership we know the best years are ahead of us.