The Department of Anesthesiology had a dominant showing at the 45th annual Gulf Atlantic Anesthesia Residents’ Research Conference (GAARRC) hosted by UF in early May, taking home first and second place overall as well as winning top honors in all research categories.
Fourth-year resident Dalya Elhady, MD, won first place overall with original research on intraneural injection at the conference held May 3–5 at Opal Sands Resort in Clearwater Beach, FL. Second place went to UF second-year resident Adam Chadwick, MD, who presented two literature reviews, one about laryngospasm in pediatric and adult patients and another about perioperative spinal cord stimulator management.
UF sent 30 residents to the conference, which offered more than 60 residents from across the Gulf Atlantic region the opportunity to present their research to their peers in a low-key atmosphere. While UF sent a large contingent of residents as well as faculty members, the judging was conducted equitably among schools.
Assistant professor Sean Kiley, MD, who has led UF residents at GAARRC since 2014, said the conference is one of only a handful that offers such a supportive and interactive atmosphere. Many residents develop their first research paper out of work they presented there, he said.
“We believe in allowing the residents to be able to present their scientific and clinical research in an environment that is non-threatening and that is also in an audience of their peers,” Dr. Kiley said. He credited Timothy Morey, MD, chair of the department, who received an award for research as a resident at GAARRC in 1996, and the education office for supporting the conference.
Dr. Elhady said the conference supports “a culture of research” that furthers UF’s tradition of academic excellence. “GAARRC provides an excellent avenue for residents to become actively involved in research with varying levels of experience,” she said.
And it allows residents to forge relationships with mentors and appreciate advancing the profession, she said, crediting her mentor, assistant professor Kiki Nin, MD, for introducing her to the joint study with researchers in Spain that she presented.
Elhady and Nin’s research involves the use of a new injectate marker that was deliberately injected into median and popliteal nerves in cadavers to study its spread under light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy.
Purposeful injection into nerves is generally thought to be harmful, but the findings from this study show that purposeful injection of the marker into nerves may not necessarily disrupt nerve structure and that the location of the injected marker was consistently found in areas that would not cause neurological complications, Dr. Elhady said. The research will require further study for potential clinical application.
Catherine Dietrich, MD, a third-year resident who took first place in the case reports category, participated in the care of the patient described in her report, titled “When Two Arms Cannot Agree: A Case Report of Incidentally Found Subclavian Steal Syndrome.” She described having a difficult time determining why she was getting different blood pressure readings on the patient’s left versus right arm. While imaging the brain, neurosurgeons noticed an anomaly in one of the patient’s arteries that explained the difference.
“I found the case interesting because I was able to explain the variation in vital signs based on what the surgeons discovered,” Dr. Dietrich said.
Dr. Kiley said it was important to select a desirable venue that awarded the event respect. And with ocean views in every room, the choice could hardly have been better: “The sunsets were awesome,” he said.
It was also important to make it fun. Andrew Pitkin, MBBS, MRCP, FRCA, gave the keynote lecture, titled “Under Pressure,” about cave diving. He adhered to Dr. Kiley’s instructions: “I told him I want his keynote speech to be 99% fun and 1% anesthesia-related,” Dr. Kiley said. “And he nailed it.”
Next year, assistant professor Basma Mohamed, MBChB, will take over from Dr. Kiley as the faculty lead.
“I am really excited to be part of the residents’ academic development in that capacity,” she said, adding that the focus going forward will be encouraging more programs to attend and potentially adding educational activities and workshops to the agenda.
Next year’s GAARRC will be hosted by Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL.