Letter writer Juliette A. Robbins’ May 18 letter, Study up before a surgical procedure, was timely and informative, especially considering the unfortunate death of a young woman during cosmetic surgery. However, while she advises to choose only a board-certified plastic surgeon, her comments on choosing an anesthesiologist were limited only to his or her licensure status with the state and omitted board certification as a mandatory and important credential for the doctor who is putting them to sleep.
As a practicing anesthesiologist since 1974, certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology, I wish that she had emphasized the importance for prospective patients to assure that their anesthesiologist is similarly certified by our board.
If Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists are part of any patient’s care, prospective patients must ask who is supervising them. Ideally a board-certified anesthesiologist should be the supervisor and not the surgeon or medical doctor from any other specialty.
CRNAs supervised by a board-certified anesthesiologist have become the standard of care in Greater Miami and most of the country, including major university medical centers. While bad outcomes, unfortunately, can occur under the best of circumstances, prospective patients should take certain steps to assure their care occurs in the best settings and circumstances.
Harry B. Schrier, MD,