Newswise — Today, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) applauds President-elect Trump’s nomination of David Shulkin, M.D., to be the next Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and looks forward to working with him to ensure the nation's Veterans continue to receive access to safe, high-quality health care. Dr. Shulkin currently serves as VA's Under Secretary of Health.

“Dr. Shulkin has made the health of Veterans his top priority and we fully support his nomination as Secretary of VA,” said ASA President Jeffrey Plagenhoef, M.D. “Under his leadership, last month VA made the critical decision to preserve the proven model of care where physician anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists work together as a team rather than replace physician anesthesiologists with nurses. As a physician, Dr. Shulkin knows that many Veterans have multiple medical conditions that put them at greater risk for complications during and after surgery and anesthesia.”

On December 16, 2016, VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald and Under Secretary Shulkin released the final rule for VA's "Advanced Practice Registered Nurses" rule. In it, the current safe, team-based model of anesthesia care was preserved. ASA thanks Secretary McDonald and Under Secretary Shulkin for their continued commitment to Veterans.

Dr. Shulkin was nominated in March 2015 by President Barack Obama to be the VA's Under Secretary for Health, succeeding Carolyn Clancy, M.D. President of Morristown Medical Center since 2010, Dr. Shulkin served concurrently as President of Atlantic Accountable Care Organization and as Vice President of Atlantic Health. Prior to Morristown Medical Center, Dr. Shulkin was President and CEO of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York and Chief Medical Officer of Temple University Hospital. From 2002 to 2004, Dr. Shulkin served as both Chief Medical Officer of the Medical College of Pennsylvania Hospital and Chief Quality Officer of Drexel University School of medicine. He has also served as Chairman and CEO of DoctorQuality, Inc., Chief Medical Officer and Chief Quality Officer of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, and Director of Clinical Outcome Assessment and Quality Management at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Shulkin received a B.A. from Hampshire College and an M.D. from the Medical College of Pennsylvania.

ASA also offers its sincere thanks to VA Secretary McDonald, who has led current efforts to improve health care services to Veterans within VA. McDonald was nominated VA Secretary following investigations into allegations of misconduct at VA medical facilities, including “systemic” issues across the VA health care system. During his tenure, he has led efforts to reduce wait times for services, modernize the VA system, and ensure high-quality care.

THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF ANESTHESIOLOGISTSFounded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 52,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care every patient deserves. For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit Like ASA on Facebook, follow ASALifeline on Twitter.