from the editor

First Impressions Count

Dr. FlackBy Sean Flack, MBChB, FCA
SPA News Editor

Fall greetings to all SPA members. For those who attended the annual meeting in New Orleans, you’ll recall an outstanding set of lectures for which Jim Fehr and the education committee should be extremely proud. Well done!

Also, to the inimitable Myron Yaster, congratulations on your truly well-deserved SPA Lifetime Achievement Award. For more about the annual meeting, please read the wonderful reviews included in this newsletter. Selected ASA sessions of particular interest to members of the society are also reviewed.

Speaking of meetings, if you haven’t yet registered for SPA/AAP Pediatric Anesthesiology 2015, now would be a great time to do so. The venue (Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix AZ) is a wonderful destination and I’m confident we will leave both educated and rejuvenated.

Recently, I read an interesting article titled “trust in the workplace” and filed it away with the intent of sharing it here.  The assertion was made that we don’t have three seconds to make a good first impression with colleagues or coworkers; we only have one! A study published recently in the Journal of Neuroscience found that the human brain decides whether a person is trustworthy or not almost instantly.

Specifically, the amygdala can be influenced by high-level facial information before that information is consciously perceived. To thwart this rather unfair biological response and be considered trustworthy in the world of work: appear confident, relaxed, and knowledgeable; use a firm handshake; greet others with a smile; and make eye contact. We should listen slightly more than we speak. Lastly, always practice the most important piece of advice to instill trustworthiness: Be genuine - be yourself. (Source: [Search: 10574])

Providing safe, timely care to our patients is so dependent upon having good relationships with our co-workers. Also, establishing trusting relationships with patients and families is a critical part of our practice as anesthesiologists. The message I take from this article is that “first impressions count” and I’ll be working to be mindful of that in my daily practice.

As always, if there is a topic or matter of interest that you’d like addressed in your society’s newsletter, please email me at

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