Americans’ perceptions of physicians remain very favorable. A 2013 Pew Research poll placed medical doctors just below the military and teachers in perceived contributions to society. Recent Harris polls show physicians just below firefighters as the “most respected” professionals.

Conversely, through ASA’s own market research during the last two years, we’ve learned that the physician anesthesiologist’s role in medicine is not well understood by the public or policymakers. We are, however, in an enviable position. Anesthesiologists are highly respected by other specialists and health care policy makers as leaders in patient safety. Perhaps more than any other medical specialty, our members have the most thorough understanding of the full spectrum of perioperative care – making the anesthesiologist natural leaders of the innovative Perioperative Surgical Home model of coordinated care.

But if our specialty is to take the lead...

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