MAJOR clinical trials and breakthroughs in fundamental knowledge of relevance to anesthesiologists are often published in general medical or scientific journals, like New England Journal of Medicine or Nature. Yet, few of us have time to browse the medical literature within our own specialty, to say nothing of the dozen or more major medical and science journals which only occasionally contain information relevant to us. American Society of Anesthesiologists member surveys indicate a strong interest in receiving brief news reports of articles published in journals outside of the specialty, and many are unaware that there is just such a two-page section following the Table of Contents in Anesthesiology, which we have aptly named Science, Medicine, and the Anesthesiologist. The new feature is easily located from the home page of the journal Web site (fig. 1); clicking on the link to this feature will take you to an easy-to-read Web and mobile-platform-friendly version, and an additional link to a PDF version of this feature is always available for free download (fig. 2). This editorial is part of a series meant to alert our readers to sections of the journal and its Web site, such as this one, of relevance to your practice.
Science, Medicine, and the Anesthesiologist evolved from Literature Reviews, begun by Editor Dr. Timothy Brennan several years ago. The current version provides each month brief (less than 100 words) reviews of eight high-profile articles chosen from a broad array of general medical, surgical, and scientific journals. Articles are chosen and summarized by a small group of Editors and Associate Editors with a focus on articles with direct clinical relevance to anesthesiologists practicing in the intensive care unit, the operating room, the pain clinic, or other perioperative realms. Typically, we summarize four articles in the area of perioperative medicine, two in critical care, one in pain, and one in education. These may include the occasional basic science articles of particular importance to guiding or understanding clinical practice decisions. The goal is to make it easy for the reader to skim these two pages and easily identify the articles in their areas of interest. Each summary provides the gist of the article’s findings and its importance and can be read in a few seconds. The full reference is provided should the reader want more. Images are placed adjacent to the summaries to help visually alert the reader to the topic while they are quickly skimming.
Below are but a few examples of recent articles highlighted in Science, Medicine, and the Anesthesiologist, which address the following key questions in daily practice in critical care, pain, and perioperative medicine:
Should we routinely give sedative premedication to surgical patients?
How should perioperative antiplatelet therapy be managed?
Should we change our practices for mechanical ventilation in the operating room?
Is there a “best blood pressure” to be targeted during the early phase of septic shock?
What novel biomarkers predict outcome after surgery?
What is the role of high-fidelity simulation in education in the specialty?
We hope the new look of Science, Medicine, and the Anesthesiologist will better meet your needs. Review of Web usage, which demonstrates several hundred views per month, suggested that it does so. Finally, we would like to warmly thank all the individuals who have contributed to and developed this section from its inception: Timothy J. Brennan, Ph.D., M.D. (Departments of Anesthesia and Biostatistics, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa), Lance Lichtor, M.D. (Departments of Anesthesiology and Pediatrics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut), Jean-François Pittet, M.D. (Department of Anesthesiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama), Alan Jay Schwartz, M.D., M.S.Ed. (Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), and J. David Clark, M.D., Ph.D. (Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California), and Franklin P. Cladys, M.D., F.A.A.P. (The Children Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), and Cathleen Peterson-Layne, Ph.D., M.D. (Division of Women's Anesthesia, OB Anesthesia, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina).
Drs. Mantz and Rathmell receive honoraria from the American Society of Anesthesiologists for their service on the Editorial Board of Anesthesiology and are chiefly responsible for the Science, Medicine, and the Anesthesiologist section. Dr. Eisenach receives salary support from the American Society of Anesthesiologists as Editor-in-Chief of Anesthesiology.