To the Editor:
I read Dr. Kharasch’s timely review of recent activities of the journal Anesthesiology with great interest.1 The prestige of the journal and the rapid, emergent dissemination of useful pandemic-related clinical information is laudable.
Unfortunately, the congratulatory tone to anesthesiologists and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) neglected to include the vital third arm of our anesthesiology care team, certified anesthesiologist assistants. Although anesthesiologists have been dedicated to frontline clinical care and expansion of expertise outside of the traditional perioperative environment, our certified anesthesiologist assistants and CRNA colleagues have been at our sides. At our institution, certified anesthesiologist assistants are and were integral members of the airway management team, willingly staff coronavirus disease (COVID)–positive patients in the dedicated COVID operating rooms, and care for the increasing proportion of trauma victims at a level 1 trauma center whose COVID-positive determination becomes evident after the emergency case has started.
Those states who currently have certified anesthesiologist assistants working in the anesthesia care team appreciate their service and commitment, especially in this challenging time, and recognition will assist their desire for competitive practice opportunities across all states.
The author declares no competing interests.