Interview With SNACC’s New President, Dr. Deepak Sharma

Fenghua Li, MD
Newsletter Editor

Reza Gorji, MD
Executive Editor

Jeffrey J. Pasternak, MD

Deepak Sharma, MD, DM

Question: Can you tell us a little about yourself aside from work?

Dr. Sharma: I was born and brought up in India. My father is also an anesthesiologist and my mother is a teacher. I trained and worked in India for a while before moving to the United States. My wife is a chemistry teacher and we have two beautiful daughters. My elder daughter who is now a freshman at University of Washington, is interested in pursuing medicine as a career and is now a SNACC member! In fact, three generations of my family – my dad, my daughter and I attended the SNACC meeting in Phoenix together – and it was wonderful! Outside of work, I am very much into music – but mostly Hindi music and I enjoy singing. Back in college days, I was part of a band and now although life is busier, I occasionally write and compose my own songs. Not surprisingly, being from India, I am a big cricket fan. I enjoy catching up with friends and spending time with family. As a family, we support WECARE (Women Empowerment through Collaborations Awareness and Resources for Education) – an organization that my daughter founded.

Question: What do you think will be the biggest tasks for the SNACC in the coming year? What would you like to achieve at the end of your tenure?

Dr. Sharma: There are several opportunities for SNACC and I feel a year is actually a very short time to accomplish much. It is critical for SNACC is to have plans for terms longer than the term of each president. My focus for the year will be to prioritize tasks that will lay the foundation for long term success of SNACC and ensure continuity of focused efforts for the long term. I have detailed them to some extent in my President’s Message briefly, I will prioritize development of a formal strategic plan for SNACC. As an organization, it is essential to have at least a five-year strategic plan. It will provide a template for the future leadership as well and allow us better continuity. I aim to promote clinical, educational as well as research efforts in an environment of diversity and inclusivity. This will require reorganizing committees and subcommittees to ensure appropriate focus on all domains of SNACC mission for long term success. I will work on leadership development and help create mentorship programs for long term impact. With the help of the excellent leadership team, I hope to be able to further elevate the profile of SNACC by supporting developing and updating clinical guidelines, supporting research and collaborating with other organizations. I am working with our fantastic education committee to develop education material for patients and with the outstanding communications committee to build a strong social media profile for SNACC. Enhancing collaboration with JNA and supporting our journal will be high on my priority and I will personally work on helping create educational programs for ICPNT. SNACC is an amazing organization and I look forward to continuing to serve it in one way or the other well beyond the completion of my leadership term.

Question: What are your plans for making SNACC more international?

Dr. Sharma: SNACC already is an international society. We are proud to have been led by some of the leading figures in our subspecialty from across the world and we have many very talented members from across the world as well. However, the fact that you ask this question is evident of the fact that we need to have a greater presence and impact outside North America. Diversity and inclusivity are critical for all fields and geographical diversity in membership is essential for SNACC. We plan to proactively work on strategies to better connect with organizations with missions aligning with ours while recruiting more members globally. We have a new Global Outreach Subcommittee that will specifically focus on these issues. To give you a few examples, we plan to explore the possibility of revising membership fee based on world bank classification of countries based on economic criteria. The current membership fee is not affordable for many colleagues in developing countries and we will explore if we can come up with a solution that will allow more colleagues globally to join SNACC. Secondly, we will work on identifying various neuroanesthesia/perioperative neuroscience organizations and we will explore options for creating formal affiliations with them which will allow us to partner with them and support them in their scientific and educational programs. We will need to identify champions in various countries who can help us with these connections. We want to share the wonderful educational resources with everyone. I expect ICPNT to be very helpful in enhancing the international presence of SNACC by providing a platform for educational collaboration and accreditation to fellowship programs in various countries. There are other initiatives that the global outreach subcommittee is working on. However, if any members of SNACC have suggestions for us, I would love to hear them as well.

Question: How does SNACC benefit a resident rotating in neuroanesthesia? How does the SNACC attract more young and talented anesthesia residents to the field of neuroanesthesiology? 

Dr. Sharma: It is very important to support, encourage and attract young talent. SNACC is a wonderful resource for not just residents but trainees at all level. Our education committee does a fabulous job of regularly creating a wide variety of educational content to meet the educational needs of trainees as well as practitioners. As you know, the committee regularly publishes quizzes, interactive case discussions, PBLDs, podcasts, etc. which are open access and are available at no cost to anyone. SNACC also has a free mobile app that the residents can download and use to easily access the educational material. There is a SNACC Bibliography that identifies the most impactful “must read” articles in various neuroanesthesia topics. Beyond educational content, SNACC also provides a unique forum to support and encourage trainees. Given the importance of engaging and supporting trainees, we now have a dedicated Trainee Engagement Committee that is working on numerous initiatives to support trainee and also attract them to neuroanesthesia. Some of these include involving them in SNACC committees, providing mentorship, providing opportunities to create educational content under faculty guidance, hosting special quizes and a welcome reception for trainees at the annual meeting. I hope to see more trainees becoming regular members of SNACC as they advance in their careers.

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