I am writing this column on a sunny afternoon in late March. As we expect this time of year, flowers are blooming and trees are budding. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of unexpected things taking place. I am writing from my home rather than the office. My neighbors’ children are out of school for the remainder of the academic year. We are all practicing social distancing and washing our hands to protect ourselves and others. Our lives have been transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Physician anesthesiologists – and the entire anesthesia care team – are at the front of efforts to care for these patients and to prepare their institutions, towns, cities and states for the anticipated surge of patients who will need care. The full training and expertise of the specialty is needed at this time and...

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