ABPS Diplomates, Huber Matos MD and Caleb Awoniyi, MD, PhD, FAAA Explain the Vital Role Anesthesiologists Play in the Fight Against COVID-19

Dr. Matos

Without a doubt, 2020 was one of the most difficult years to be an anesthesiologist. The pandemic created a need for versatile and imaginative physician leaders which brought anesthesiologists to the forefront. Healthcare systems, and public officials sought the expertise of anesthesiologists to create a new system of triage, testing, perioperative intensive care, and safety.  The anesthesiologist’s role naturally expanded beyond the operating room, to include managing critically ill patients in emergency rooms, wards, and intensive care units.

Dr. Awoniyi
Dr. Awoniyi

Anesthesiologists are involved in vital and dangerous roles, including airway and ventilator management of critically ill patients. Securing the airway and managing a patient who cannot survive without a ventilator is a fundamental skill of the anesthesiologist. Their extensive exposure with patients’ airways in particular tracheal intubation places them at high risk for acquiring the COVID-19 virus. Unfortunately, early in the pandemic some anesthesiologists lost their lives due to lack of understanding with regards to disease spread and lack of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Anesthesiologists are facing erratic work schedules, frequent night shifts, and longer workdays. Working longer hours without relief and seeing so many COVID-19 patients die alone without their loved ones can take a serious emotional toll. This added stress has contributed to the development of chronic fatigue, loss of appetite, sleep deprivation, mood swings, and many other mental and physical health problems.  Still, they continue to provide comfort to patients and their families.

Despite the many challenges and increased risks, anesthesiologists continue to prioritize patient care, fill roles that did not exist and solve unfamiliar problems. They have risen to the leadership challenges posed by the pandemic and demonstrated their abilities as physicians and true critical care specialists.

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Patient Care Is Our Priority

Medical organizations throughout North America understand that our rigorous certification standards prove that ABPS Diplomates are capable of delivering the best patient care possible.

I feel truly blessed and grateful to be an internal medicine board-certified diplomate with the American Board of Physician Specialties. Their ongoing, steadfast commitment to physician board(s) enhancement, forward focused vision, and tenacity is second to none. ABPS has become a recognized choice in Physician Board Certification.

Adam Rench, MD
Internal Medicine
To be the best, you must measure yourself against the best. Achieving Board Certification in Emergency Medicine by the ABPS gave me the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the art of EM in an objective way. The high bar that ABPS sets for candidates to be allowed to take both the written and oral exam is a testament to ABPS's rigorous vetting of one's ability to practice Emergency Medicine at a high level. By maintaining these credentials, I've been able to instill confidence in my abilities at the department/employer level and ultimately with the patients that choose to seek emergency care at the facilities at which I practice.

Royce Mathew Joseph, MD
Emergency Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has supported the entire field of Integrative Medicine in sponsoring our board. It has been so validating of the importance of prevention-oriented and holistic approaches to care while emphasizing the scientific basis of this specialty to have it recognized by ABPS. I am proud to have been one of the first groups to be board certified by ABPS in Integrative Medicine, leading the way for others committed to training in this specialty.

Myles Spar, MD
Integrative Medicine