UNMC Department of Anesthesiology hosts Midwest Anesthesia Residents Conference

Department of Anesthesiology residents and faculty leadership at the MARC awards ceremony.

Department of Anesthesiology residents and faculty leadership at the MARC awards ceremony.

The annual Midwest Anesthesia Residents Conference, held at the CHI Health Center in Omaha from April 5-7, was a great success. Residents, fellows, faculty and students from 37 different institutions throughout the Midwest and Canada gathered to present their unique and medically challenging cases and describe novel research and quality improvement projects.

The conference, cohosted by Departments of Anesthesiology from UNMC, the University of Missouri, Kansas City, the University of Kansas, Kansas City and the University of Kansas, Wichita, kicked off on April 5 with the chief residents’ meeting and welcome reception in the exhibit hall. Other business meetings included the MARC residency program director’s meeting, hosted by UNMC’s Anesthesia Residency Education team of Andrea Dutoit, MD, Cale Kassel MD, and Joseph Pawlowski, MD, and the Association of Midwest Academic Anesthesia Chairs meeting, hosted by Mohanad Shukry, MD, PhD, interim chair of the UNMC Department of Anesthesiology.

Dr. Shukry said hosting MARC in Omaha is a testament to the national status of UNMC and its department of anesthesiology at UNMC. “Planning and organizing the meeting took months, and our team did a fantastic job ensuring it was a success,” Dr. Shukry said. “Many attendees personally shared their appreciation to UNMC as a host and how delighted they were with the city of Omaha and everything it had to offer as a host city. I am grateful to our team for organizing, hosting and participating in the event.”

Following more than 375 oral and poster presentations, attendees relaxed at a reception held at the Durham Museum on Saturday evening, where they were able to network and enjoy the current exhibit, museum collections and architecture of the historic building.

Dr. Dutoit said it was an honor for the department to be able to host MARC. “We had a record number of UNMC and Children’s Nebraska faculty who judged at the conference, as well as mentored our residents and medical students for presentation this year,” she said. “Special thanks go out to Dr. Joe Pawlowski, who represented the UNMC Department of Anesthesiology on the MARC planning committee, as well as Dr. Trevor Wilke, who coordinated and mentored our largest group of UNMC residents and students at MARC ever.”

The weekend wrapped up with an awards presentation and breakfast on Sunday morning. A record number of UNMC medical students and UNMC Department of Anesthesiology residents were presented with two first-place awards, five second-place awards and four third-place awards.

Taylor Ziegler, MD, UNMC PGY3 in anesthesiology, won first place for her oral presentation titled “An unexpected twist: ketamine-induced anaphylaxis unveiled in setting of hemorrhage during major abdominal surgery.”

“My case report presented the rare occurrence of anaphylactic shock due to ketamine,” Dr. Ziegler said. “It also highlighted the difficulty of recognizing anaphylaxis while under general anesthesia when the presentation is a little unusual or the surgery is complex.”

Dr. Ziegler expressed her gratitude for the support of her mentor, Rachel Quandahl, MD, and said MARC is an exciting opportunity for residents to network with each other and learn how anesthesia is practiced at other institutions. 

Sara Linza-Moscati, DO, UNMC PGY2 in anesthesiology, won a first-place award for her oral presentation titled “Urgent non-cardiac surgery in a poorly optimized patient,” highlighting a case in which a patient with significant cardiac comorbidities required the repair of an enterocutaneous fistula.

Dr. Linza-Moscati described a team’s decision-making process regarding temporizing measures for the patient’s cardiac conditions — should it be done before fistula repair, or should the fistula repair come first so that the cardiac conditions are definitively addressed?

“Of course, as anesthesiologists, we’d prefer to repair the heart pathology first, so that future anesthetics might be safer. Unfortunately, this was not an option for this patient due to infectious concerns surrounding the fistula,” Dr. Linza-Moscati said. “We ultimately chose the latter option, and I discussed some of the measures we took to ensure the patient’s safety perioperatively.”

Dr. Linza-Moscati said her experience presenting at MARC was invaluable and she loved listening to and learning from the other residents from across the Midwest. “Public speaking can be intimidating as a PGY2 just learning the reins of perioperative management, but having the support of my coresidents and faculty mentors meant everything,” she said.

Dr. Linza-Moscati expressed her gratitude to faculty mentor, Trevor Wilke, MD, and to senior resident, Teddy Black, MD.

“Dr. Wilke is always such a fun presence in the OR and a great teacher,” she said. “I’d also like to thank my senior resident on this case, Dr. Black. He has done an awesome job as chief and has been a great mentor throughout my CA1 year. I am so lucky to be a resident here at UNMC!”