“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times...”

A classic Charles Dickens epic begins with this description of a seemingly impossible paradox. But as it often happens, real life can be even more fantastic than fiction. Without a doubt, 2020 was one of the most difficult years ever to be a physician anesthesiologist. The surprise pandemic sadly has taken many lives and irreparably affected many more. The resilience of the world's public health system has been pushed to its limits... and beyond. Anesthesia practices have experienced tumultuous financial disruptions. And yet, after a year of unprecedented turmoil and sadness, physician anesthesiologists have contributed in a multitude of remarkable ways, and we can and should be justifiably proud of our collective actions.

For too many times in my career, I've been referred to as “anesthesia” –...

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