International Medical Society Announces OpenAnesthesia

Article ID: 554022

Released: 7-Jul-2009 12:00 PM EDT

Source Newsroom: International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS)

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Newswise — The International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS) announced today the launch of a new moderated wiki site for anesthesia residents, OpenAnesthesia ( Dr. Edward Nemergut, Associate Professor at the University of Virginia's Department of Anesthesiology, made the announcement in an editorial in the July issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia (, the official journal of the IARS.

The IARS, in conjunction with Anesthesia & Analgesia, is the first major medical society to sponsor an online multimodal toolkit specifically designed to advance graduate medical education (GME) in anesthesia. OpenAnesthesia is an educational toolkit for medical students, residents, and practitioners, with different areas of the website tailored to different audiences. The structure of the site is intended to facilitate the discovery of content, the intelligent exchange of ideas, and to enhance each individual's appreciation of the primary medical literature. OpenAnesthesia was developed by Drs. Edward Nemergut and Robert Thiele, both at the University of Virginia, with the intention of promoting evidence-based medicine in the disciplines of anesthesiology, critical care, and pain management. The content on the site is freely available to all.

"It is our hope that, as the site matures, increasing numbers of users will contribute new content and edit existing content, so that eventually the site will be completely self-sufficient," stated Dr. Nemergut. " will not only enhance the traditional paradigm of scientific journalism, but also revolutionize GME itself."

Dr. Steven L. Shafer of Columbia University, Editor-in-Chief of Anesthesia & Analgesia, added, "OpenAnesthesia is part of an ongoing transformation in how information is published and disseminated in the Internet era. The wiki approach facilitates rapid sharing of information, with continuous refinement as new knowledge becomes available. That perfectly complements Anesthesia & Analgesia's role of vetting primary knowledge through peer (that is, expert) review. OpenAnesthesia is the yin to Anesthesia & Analgesia's yang. Taken together, OpenAnesthesia and Analgesia & Analgesia provide rigorous vetting of new knowledge, and rapid synthesis and dissemination of that knowledge by the OpenAnesthesia community."

In addition to nurturing residents' appreciation of the primary literature and fostering collaboration, provides Program Directors with a tool to document core competency activities for the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) mandated learning portfolios. The goal of is identical to that of Anesthesia & Analgesia and the IARS itself, improving patient care. Although the focus will be on resident education, we expect that physicians at all levels of training will participate and benefit from this new initiative.

About the IARS

The International Anesthesia Research Society is a nonpolitical, not-for-profit medical society founded in 1922 to encourage, stimulate, and fund ongoing anesthesia-related research and projects that will enhance and advance the anesthesiology specialty. The IARS has a worldwide membership of 15,000 physicians, physician residents, and others with doctoral degrees, as well as health professionals in anesthesia-related practice. In addition to publishing the monthly scientific journal Anesthesia & Analgesia, the IARS sponsors an annual clinical and scientific meeting, funds anesthesia-related research, and sponsors SafeKids, a joint initiative with the FDA which studies the effects of anesthesia on children. Additional information about the society may be found at The website for Anesthesia & Analgesia is


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