Winning at paperwork in anesthesiology

Lifehacks from a newly minted anesthesiologist

Marissa Wagner Mery, MD, MBA starts this Fall 2017 as an attending physician in Anesthesiology at Baylor College of Medicine. At the hospital, she splits her time between the ICU and the ORs. At the TMC Innovation Institute, she’s an advisor to early-stage healthcare companies. In her free time, she chases kids, runs with her dog, and works on her Spanish.

Daunted but excited. My imminent first day as an attending anesthesiologist and critical care physician generates a whirlwind of emotion. I will care for my patients and their families during some of their lives’ most stressful moments. And this realization weighs heavily on my shoulders. Thankfully, I’ve undergone nearly a decade of clinical preparation for this career. With the support of mentors and colleagues, I feel confident that I’ll successfully navigate the clinical and personal challenges ahead. And I’m deeply grateful for the privilege to be a physician.

While I feel confident in my clinical training, I’m experiencing a growing apprehension about medicine’s administrative burden unrelated to patient care. Filing certificates. Maintaining board certification. Credentialing paperwork and online modules. Tracking license expiration dates. And I’m not alone. We’re all graduating from fellowship into a medical system thick with administrative requirements. The start of my career as a board-certified anesthesiologist could be where that paperwork starts to accumulate, envelop my small office table, and spill into the dark crevice between the table and the wall.

During my recent vacation over the past couple weeks, I took the liberty of wading into the swamp of anesthesiology practice regulations on behalf of all of us new anesthesia attendings. Along the way, I’ve managed to extract a few gems, which I’m going to post in a short three-part blog series:

  1. What groups regulate my practice of anesthesia?
  2. Conquering the ABA MOCA 2.0
  3. CME for anesthesia — what’s the bottom line?

If you’re an anesthesiologist and have other topic suggestions for wellness at work or beyond, feel free to add to the comments section. Meanwhile, I’ll warm up the keyboard so I can get these blog posts out to you.

Orbit is the easiest way for anesthesiologists to earn, track, and submit all of their required CME.