Department of Anesthesiology & Intensive Care Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University
Reconsidering the possibilities for anesthesiology and anesthesiologists
It is an honor to be appointed as the president of the 70th annual meeting of the Japanese Society of Anesthesiology. The clinical anesthesia environment is undergoing dramatic change in Japan. Clinical anesthesia comprises anesthesia in the operating room (OR), intensive care, pain medicine, and palliative medicine. Anesthesia in the OR is the most critical one among these areas and one of the safest. However, present anesthesiology is not consistent with current major research fields, such as developing anti-cancer drugs or regenerative medicine, reflecting the decrease in the number of companies concerning anesthesia. Furthermore, owing to the development of anesthesia equipment and monitoring devices such as video laryngoscopes, administering anesthesia has become safer. Thus, the former idea that all anesthesia should be administered only by anesthesiologists is questioned, and other professionals such as nurses are participating in it. Additionally, a strict ceiling has been set on the number of doctors specializing in specific medical areas, including anesthesia, especially in urban areas, based on the total number of operations in the OR. This is disappointing because several anesthesiologists like me specialize in anesthesia outside of the OR, such as in intensive care medicine. Anesthesiology is a broad field and should not be limited within the OR. Therefore, I have decided to set the main theme of the 70th annual meeting to recognize the vastness of the area. I hope anesthesiologists attending the meeting understand the importance of the theme better by adopting issues and problems faced by Japanese anesthesiologists and the society of anesthesiologists. I hope to deliver a memorable meeting and appreciate your cooperation.