When I was in Washington, D.C. for the ASA Legislative Conference last spring, I found myself in Sen. Al Franken’s office talking to his legislative aid, who was a physician. We had a long conversation, ranging from anesthesiology to health care reform. I felt it was going well, that he understood the concerns of physician anesthesiologists, and I thought maybe we could gain assistance from Sen. Franken’s office. As the conversation wound down, my physician colleague asked, “J.P., I understand your issues, but what do the doctors think?” He wasn’t suggesting we weren’t physicians; he wanted to know the AMA’s position on our issues. It was crystal clear that our issues have to become medicine’s issues.

As we roll out ASA’s educational endeavor “When Seconds Count … Physician Anesthesiologists Save Lives™” (www.asahq.org/WhenSecondsCount), I’m reminded of this conversation....

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