International Clinical Observerships

Paul S. García, MD, PhD
Chair of Diversity and Inclusion Committee
Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Columbia University
Chief, Neuroanesthesia Division, Columbia University Medical Center
New York Presbyterian Hospital – Irving

Paul S. García, MD, PhD

Paul S. García, MD, PhD

The Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Committee recognizes the importance of including all types of diversity for the betterment of the entire SNACC community. Recently, the Neuroanesthesia Division at Columbia University Medical Center hosted a visitor for a one-month clinical observership. The following report is a first-hand account of the clinical guest, Dr. Sérgio Vide from Porto, Portugal. While visiting the United States, Dr. Vide also attended the SNACC Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona. The D&I Committee is working on collecting information about these clinical exchanges (national/international, trainees/faculty) and looks forward to connecting with you to hear your story or answer your questions about these experiences. 

Observership Report

Sérgio Vide, MD, PhD
Universidade do Porto
Porto, Portugal

Sergio Vide, MD, PhD
Sérgio Vide, MD, PhD

As a fifth-year anesthesiology resident from Portugal, I had the fantastic opportunity of spending the month of September in the New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center for an observership in neurocritical care and clinical neurosciences organized by Dr. Paul García. What could seem a relatively short period for all the objectives I envisioned, ended up being an incredible comprehensive experience. I was able not only to participate in the clinical activities of the Neurocritical Care Unit, but also to observe many neurosurgeries and procedures outside of the operating room, such as interventional neuroradiology and electroconvulsive therapy. The amount of clinical knowledge acquired during this period was only surpassed by the scientific and research expertise I could grasp from following Dr. García’s academic work both in the laboratory and in the operating room. In particular, what I learned from the translational research on delirium, sleep and electroencephalography has changed my approach to general anesthesia, and now I have started to actively target specific EEG patterns during the maintenance phase and also to take much more interest in the emergence phase of anesthesia.

I consider international exchanges to constitute a fundamental experience, not only from a clinical perspective, but also from a personal one. During this period, besides learning new approaches to old problems and acquiring different perspectives about routine situations, I was also able to get to know a different work and social culture. I was incredibly welcomed by everyone and had the fortune of meeting outstanding people with whom I established bonds I hope will endure. Furthermore, being able to observe the daily life of different clinicians and researchers in a top hospital and university contributed a lot of motivation to pursuing and exceling in my different goals, both in neuroscience and anesthesiology. 

This experience definitely influenced me in numerous ways and was a starting point for several projects and partnerships. I wish more people could benefit from this type of opportunity that contributes ultimately to improved patient care, but also brings the anesthesiology and neuroscience communities together through more partnerships and collaborations.

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