The Association of Anesthesia Clinical Directors (AACD) is an affiliated society of ASA. In March 2024, the organization brought together perioperative clinical directors and thought leaders from around the country to Scottsdale, Arizona. “Operational Efficiency: Life in the Fast Lane” addressed topics of disruptive innovation, economics of equitable health care, decision science, and artificial intelligence. The full agenda is shown in the Table. The gathering, while continuing to increase in numbers, kept an informal group feel, with both veteran and newly minted leaders in attendance.

With the short-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic largely behind us, anesthesiology is faced with a host of workforce challenges. This year's Jason S. Lane, MD, Leadership Keynote Lecture was delivered by Mark Hudson, MD, Executive Vice Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In his riveting address, he reflected upon his 30-plus-year career and the increasing importance of efficient resource utilization. In order to remain financially solvent, he said institutions will need to adopt an approach to efficiency based on access to care rather than simple productivity. This increased access is best managed by anesthesiologists, who are skilled in resource management, and who have an overarching view of institutional operations and an inherent awareness of national trends. In addition, anesthesiology departments need to demonstrate operational flexibility in changing local and national conditions, including demographics, payer mix, and the above-stated staffing needs. Focused perioperative leaders will lend support to institutional stability by preventing complacency or reversion to older, maladaptive practices.

Zachary Deutch, MD, FASA lectured about the underlying importance of face-to-face communication being the gold standard for perioperative success. All health care providers commonly fall into the trap of sending a text, an email, or relying on secondhand word of mouth as a source of reliable information. In-person communication has taken on a stigma of being more labor intensive due to the time required to find the proper person to talk to, the wait for an in-person response, or maybe even the prospect of an uncomfortable conversation. However, the benefits of in-person communication far outweigh these concerns due to reduced errors, avoidance of miscommunication, and overall increased safety and efficiency in the perioperative setting. We spend years building our own internal Rolodex, and it is useful to continue this process throughout our careers.

Hailing from the University of Nebraska, Thomas Schulte, MD, Secretary of AACD, introduced some new features to our gathering. “Eat With the Experts” consisted of multiple small-group roundtable discussions focused on relevant topics. A member of the AACD Board of Directors with expertise in each area led the discussions. The topics included recruiting and retention, topics in nonoperating room anesthesia (NORA), physician wellness, and staffing issues. A different lunch session involved a panel discussion on budgets, measuring anesthesia productivity, and tactical decisions for newly minted OR directors and interested residents. Unexpectedly, both new and old members engaged in a lively discussion. Richard Urman, MD, gave updates on the Journal of Clinical Anesthesia (JCA) and introduced the new JCA Advances journal, which are the two official journals of AACD. He also discussed a few recent noteworthy papers published in JCA.

History has shown that the challenges we face as a profession are unpredictable. The COVID-19 pandemic, the “Great Resignation,” and the demands of a dynamic workforce could not have been predicted two to three years ago. Perioperative leaders must remain vigilant to unexpected challenges and threats on multiple fronts. The AACD Summit has often occupied a unique niche within anesthesiology and the perioperative services setting. Leaders from various backgrounds representing major health care systems across the country can share commonalities and exchange actionable information that benefits all. We know this to be true across the world as well. Now, more than ever, clinical directors must extend their purview beyond the perioperative services.

To this end, under the guidance of Chinyere Archie, MBBS, the AACD has revived its quarterly newsletter, and we encourage all readers to contribute by reaching out to the organization. More recently, in collaboration with the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the AACD created the Fresh Flow podcast. Cohosted by Drs. Matthew Sherrer and Mitchell Tsai, the show hopes to explore pertinent topics for members of the perioperative services as we continue to navigate a complex, dynamic environment. This year, the AACD awarded an honorary fellow designation to the keynote speaker, Dr. Mark Hudson, and will do so for all previous keynote speakers in recognition of each leader's contribution to improving health care delivery.

The next AACD Perioperative Leadership Summit, “Social Circuitry: Wiring the ORganization,” will occur on March 6-9, 2025, in Tampa, Florida. The AACD invites all perioperative leaders to attend the meeting, share their experiences, and grow as we all work together. Attending the leadership summit fulfills one of the requirements to earn the prestigious designation of Fellow of the AACD (FAACD), by which the organization recognizes particularly exceptional leaders in the field. More details regarding our upcoming meeting and the FAACD designation can be found on the AACD website at aacdhq.org.

Thomas E. Schulte, MD, FAACD, Secretary, Association of Anesthesia Clinical Directors, Professor of Anesthesiology, and Anesthesiology Director of Perioperative Services, University of Nebraska, Omaha, Nebraska.

Thomas E. Schulte, MD, FAACD, Secretary, Association of Anesthesia Clinical Directors, Professor of Anesthesiology, and Anesthesiology Director of Perioperative Services, University of Nebraska, Omaha, Nebraska.

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Andrew A Serdiuk, DO, FAACD, Director-at Large, Association of Anesthesia Clinical Directors, and Anesthesiologist, Department of Anesthesiology, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida.

Andrew A Serdiuk, DO, FAACD, Director-at Large, Association of Anesthesia Clinical Directors, and Anesthesiologist, Department of Anesthesiology, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida.

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Andrew D. Franklin, MD, MBA, FASA, FAACD, President-Elect, Association of Anesthesia Clinical Directors, and Medical Director, Perioperative Medicine, Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee.

Andrew D. Franklin, MD, MBA, FASA, FAACD, President-Elect, Association of Anesthesia Clinical Directors, and Medical Director, Perioperative Medicine, Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee.

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Richard D. Urman, MD, MBA, Treasurer, Association of Anesthesia Clinical Directors, and Jay J. Jacoby Professor and Chair, Department of Anesthesiology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

Richard D. Urman, MD, MBA, Treasurer, Association of Anesthesia Clinical Directors, and Jay J. Jacoby Professor and Chair, Department of Anesthesiology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

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Mitchell H. Tsai, MD, MMM, FASA, FAACD, President, Association of Anesthesia Clinical Directors, and Adjunct Professor, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Heersink School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama.

Mitchell H. Tsai, MD, MMM, FASA, FAACD, President, Association of Anesthesia Clinical Directors, and Adjunct Professor, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Heersink School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama.

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