Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists

2013 – First Full-Day Thoracic Anesthesia Symposium at Annual Meeting

First Full-Day Thoracic Anesthesia Symposium at Annual Meeting

Thoracic Anesthesia Symposium (TAS): A Brief History
Although thoracic anesthesia has always been a part of the overall mission of the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists (SCA), for decades thoracic anesthesia was a very small portion of the educational programs of the SCA. Although most cardiac anesthesiologists also do thoracic cases, the converse is not typically true, at least in North America. In the early years of SCA, there was very little high-level continuing medical education available to these non-cardiac anesthesiologists, even though they often manage large and complex thoracic cases. As such, their interest in the SCA was limited.

In 2011, the SCA Board of Directors (BOD) began negotiations with the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (which includes cardiac, thoracic, and vascular surgeons) to explore areas of mutual interest in research and education. This prompted a group of SCA members who were primarily interested in thoracic anesthesia to propose a one-day free-standing Thoracic Anesthesia Symposium (TAS) to the SCA BOD at its meeting in early 2012. A formal TAS meeting proposal was presented to the BOD during the annual SCA meeting in the spring of 2012 and the BOD gave the go-ahead for a one-time trial meeting. The first TAS in 2013 (Boston) sold out early and has been a successful component of the SCA annual meeting ever since.

The group of Thoracic Anesthesiologists involved at the start of the TAS included but was not limited to: Peter Slinger (Toronto), Phil Hartigan and Ju-Mei Ng (Brigham), Javier Campos (Iowa), Edmond Cohen (Mt. Sinai), Andy Ochroch (Penn), and Randy Blank (Virginia).

Today the TAS Program Committee includes national and international thought leaders, research scientists and clinicians in thoracic anesthesiology. The TAS program has been designed since its inception to maximize interaction between attendees at its meetings using PBLDs, Workshops, Posters, and CME games while at the same time, appealing to cardiac and non-cardiac anesthesiologists, residents, and fellows in the SCA. Recently TAS has also contributed to the SCA members’ education via thoracic sessions for the SCA University, and Doc Matter conversations on several topics discussed in the past meetings.

Over the past 11 years, there has been a great attendance at the 1-day meeting, which has evolved from a lecture-oriented day to a very interactive hands-on experience. Not only can the attendees interact with the “experts” during the conference or the town hall sessions, but the newly designed hands-on workshops have been an additional success for the Symposium. In 2023, the name of the meeting was changed to reflect these changes, with TAS becoming the “Thoracic Anesthesia Symposium & Workshops”. Since its birth in 2012, TAS has been a great didactic venue for anyone who practices thoracic anesthesia, with or without a fellowship. The planning of this meeting has given an opportunity to many intermediate-level faculty from all over the world to shine and contribute to a multicultural experience, in addition to being an active part of the SCA. Many of the members in the planning committee have benefited from this experience for their career advancement and are acting as mentors to the new members.

Finally, TAS has been actively involved in the mentoring program offered by the SCA to the trainees and junior attendings. Every year, TAS faculty members meet with their assigned mentees for an hour of discussion and networking.