Through the Echo conference, the SCA has increased the visibility of cardiovascular anesthesiologists by permitting them to be involved outside the surgical suites in the broad field of echocardiography.

Dennis and Todd

Continuing education programming is the lifeblood of the SCA and medical societies. Each day there is more to learn about the ever-changing field of cardiovascular anesthesiology. Staying up-to-date requires a
strong commitment from SCA’s members.

Lectures, workshops, roundtables, refresher courses, books, journals, and case discussions allow members to enhance their skills and knowledge.

Educational programs that the SCA Foundation supports includes Conferences and MeetingsScholarships, andInternational Education Outreach.

Cardiopulmonary Bypass Meeting (CPB)

The Cardiopulmonary Bypass (CPB) meeting has stressed teamwork and developed the interaction of perfusionists, anesthesiologists, and surgeons.

Annual Meeting

As a result of what I learned at the SCA 2003 Annual Meeting, I have been more proactive with early beta blockade in my patients. I presented a Grand Rounds to our Anesthesiology Department on Perioperative Beta Blockades for cardiac protection after non-cardiac surgery.

At the time of the SCA’s inception, its leaders established the Annual Meeting as its most enduring educational program. The meeting has grown and evolved over the years, and this highly successful gathering continues to deliver a changing mixture of cutting edge issues in cardiovascular anesthesia as its mainstay. For example, calcium channel blockers were first presented at the Annual Meeting in 1983, presaging journal articles and practice changes in 1984. Other recent highlights include:

  • “Diastolic Dysfunction,”
  • “Transplantation and Mechanical Heart Implantation,”
  • “and Endovascular Dysfunction,” and
  • “Cardiovascular Gene Therapy.”

Tom Young

TEE Meeting

The Echo meeting is the single most valuable continuing education course I have ever attended.Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE) has had a profound effect on the practice of cardiac anesthesiology since the early 1990s. The SCA’s annual comprehensive review of TEE has become one of the most successful and innovative educational gatherings in the history of anesthesiology. The meeting includes a wet lab where practitioners gain practical experience by carrying out anatomic dissections.

In addition to education in TEE, the SCA has played a pivotal role in the overall development of perioperative TEE. The SCA, in partnership with the American Society of Anesthesiologists, developed “Practical Guidelines for Perioperative TEE” in 1996. The SCA was one of the founding groups for the certifying examination in perioperative TEE, which was first administered by the SCA in 1998. The SCA now actively participates in the revision of these guidelines–a project that will require significant funding.

It is hard to list what I have learned from SCA seminars that I am incorporating in my daily practice because there are so many things, ranging from technical issues (example: obtaining Right Upper Pulmonary Vein views from bicaval to an improved understanding of knobology that leads to better pictures) to a better understanding of the anatomy or pathophysiology I see. The Echo Meeting was a truly great experience. As a result of my attendance, I’ve improved my ability to help the surgeon and the patient.


Ongoing recruitment of the best and brightest medical students and residents into the field is assured by developing early interest in cardiac anesthesiology. Yet, students and trainees who are potential recruits are rarely in a financial position to afford travel and registration for the meetings. Scholarships for medical students, residents and fellows to attend the meetings and workshops will help secure the future of cardiovascular anesthesiology through the recruitment of these bright young professionals.

International Education Outreach

Since the SCA is an international organization, educational opportunities need to reach beyond North America. The society has co-sponsored several successful international meetings, such as the International Congress of Cardiothoracic & Vascular Anesthesia.

While the three meetings are held annually in North America and these international meetings provide excellent educational and “networking” opportunities for members, there are many anesthesiologists around the world who lack the resources to attend. In order to equalize these educational opportunities, scholarships for physicians in developing nations and fellows are a priority for the SCA Foundation.

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