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Replacing the Outmoded Term “Nonanesthesiologist”

Green, Steven M. MD; Krauss, Baruch MD, EdM

doi: 10.1213/01.ANE.0000156691.86423.07
Letters to the Editor: Letters & Announcements

Departments of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics, Loma Linda University Medical Center and Children’s Hospital, Loma Linda, CA, stevegreen@tarascon.com (Green)

Division of Emergency Medicine, Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (Krauss)

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To the Editor:

As emergency physicians whose primary research focus is procedural sedation and analgesia, we commend Drs. Cravero and Blike for their balanced and thoughtful review (1) and welcome their call for multidisciplinary collaborative research.

We respectfully question, however, the perpetuation of the imprecise term “nonanesthesiologist.” Burton Epstein, in his 2002 Rovenstine Lecture to the American Society of Anesthesiologists, echoed an earlier call to refer to other specialists as “colleagues” and to “stop calling them non-anesthesiologists” (2). The procedural sedation skills developed in specialties outside of anesthesiology are far from homogenous. Emergency physicians and intensivists in particular are well-trained in airway management, resuscitation, vascular access, and pharmacology. It no longer is useful to categorically lump these practitioners together with others lacking these skills.

We believe that the interspecialty collaborative spirit advocated by Dr. Cravero and Blike would be best served by eliminating this outmoded and nonconstructive label in favor of discussing specialty practices in the context of specific physician skill sets.

Steven M. Green, MD

Departments of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics

Loma Linda University Medical Center and Children’s Hospital

Loma Linda, CA

stevegreen@tarascon.com

Baruch Krauss, MD, EdM

Division of Emergency Medicine

Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School

Boston, MA

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References

1. Cravero JP, Blike GT. Review of pediatric sedation. Anesth Analg 2004;99:1355–64.
2. Epstein BS. The American Society of Anesthesiologist’s efforts in developing guidelines for sedation and analgesia for nonanesthesiologists. Anesthesiology 2003;98:1261–8.
© 2005 International Anesthesia Research Society