One of the runners ups in this year’s BagMask.com Anesthesia Scholarship contest is Jordan Galbraith SRNA! Jordan is enrolled at Oregon Health & Science University and is scheduled to graduate in June 2022. His winning essay in the 2020 BagMask.com Scholarship Competition has won him a ADC 619 ADSCOPE-lite Stethoscope from Stethoscope.com.
Boarding a plane you sit back in your seat, you listen to the safety brief, the flight attendants check the cabin, you taxi around the runway and with an incredible feat of engineering 200-300 people defy Newton’s law of universal gravitation and travel 35,000 feet above ground. Airline passengers entrust the management of this no ordinary feat to 1-2 highly trained pilots with regularity. Pilots have an underappreciated command of the electronic, avionic, combustion, atmospheric, navigational sciences that are required to fly a plane safely and effectively. While the feat of take-off and landing of a plane may seem mundane or routine when a passenger boards a plane it is a feat that takes years of practice.
However, unlike aircraft humans are not made on a production line by Boeing or Airbus, where each individual Boeing 737 plane has the same response to the same buttons and switches as another Boeing 737. Therefore, after being trained to fly a Boeing 737 a pilot should be comfortable flying every Boeing 737 in the airline, this is the crucial point where the analogy between pilots and anesthesia providers diverges. The finite inner workings of every human being vary from one person to another; every individual has their own biophysical norms that are shaped by genetics, environmental exposure, age, social and psychological influences. It is this multifaceted truth about humans that makes anesthesia practice more than the flicking a light switch or pushing a syringe of medicine, but rather a dynamic process that requires active critical thinking, rapid adaptation and considerable mettle to conduct safely and effectively.
Historically, the advancement of anesthesia allowed for the development of modern surgical procedures that if attempted without anesthesia would be akin to the Wright brothers attempting to fly their canvas 1903 Flyer across the Pacific Ocean. Today, it is the expansive understanding of the sciences that are critical to human life that has called anesthesia providers from out from the depths of the operating room to join the fight against COVID-19. Critically ill patients experience significant turbulence along their course to recovery, to list some simplified examples: dehydration, low blood pressure, respiratory arrest, damage to vital organs, and even cardiac arrest. Anesthesia providers specialize in the management of these turbulent events in the critically ill as they have the have meticulous comprehension and ability to effect changes even down to the microscopic level.
In closing, flying an aircraft 35,000 feet above the earth defies Newton’s Law of gravitational the same way that anesthesia providers manipulate and defy the physiologic and pathophysiologic processes of an ill human being. Anesthesia is so much more than just putting someone to sleep and waking them back up the same way that flying is more than just taking off in and landing a plane.
BagMask.com’s Upcoming 2020 Fall Anesthesia Scholarship Information
We’re already working on our next scholarship and are excited to try a new format! Look for more information about the next one sometime this fall, and be sure to follow us on social media and join our mailing list so you can keep up to date on future Scholarship information and other great Anesthesia Career Resources!
Eligibility for Upcoming Scholarship Entries
- Anesthesia Resident
- Anesthesia Fellow
- Fourth year Medical Student that has matched to anesthesia