Several decades ago – we won’t say exactly how many – I started my professional career in hospital administration working, over the course of a decade, for two major Philadelphia health systems.

My responsibilities included the O.R.s, surgery center, emergency department, trauma center and other clinical departments. I had a lot of day-to-day interaction with anesthesiologists and remember these physicians as a constant in my daily work, central to the effective operation of our medical center. Frankly, I held your specialty in awe. It seemed that you were always there and relied upon in the most critical moments of health care, managing core functions of the health delivery system and, more importantly, the most essential aspects of medical care.

Fast forward to December, and I have been offered the opportunity to serve as your chief executive. For me, this...

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