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The SEA is proud to be a member-driven organization, dedicated to the teaching and development of future anesthesiologists, and to the advancement of those who educate them.

Board of Directors Position Statements


The following candidates will be running for open positions on the Society for Education in Anesthesia Board of Directors:

Director (Three Positions – Two Year Term)

Ballots will be emailed to SEA Members in September.

Melissa L. Davidson, MD

Davidson Melissa 17 webThank you for allowing me to express my sincere interest in becoming a board member of the Society for Education in Anesthesia. I will try to summarize my passion for education and convey how important SEA has been in my life.

My entire career has been focused in medical education at all levels. Just months after graduating from residency, I was asked to assume responsibility for a nearly non-existent medical student Anesthesiology elective. The reason for choosing me was simple: I shared an office with the outgoing director. Somehow that qualified me for the responsibility of mentoring young physicians! This was to be the best decision I ever made. With no formal training in education I created a new medical student curriculum, which included a take-home exam consisting of open-ended questions that was provided to students on the first day of the elective, with instructions to find the answers “any way you can”. While the original intent was to encourage dialogue between students and faculty in the OR, the outcomes were far bigger. I was fascinated by students’ resourcefulness in those pre-internet days, and my philosophy of a leaner-centered approach in all things educational was borne. I had found my professional purpose.

I was fortunate that Phil Liu became my chair in 1996 and encouraged me to attend the SEA Teaching Workshop. There I met the “best of the best” anesthesia educators who became (and remain) my mentors, colleagues and friends. If anesthesia education had become my purpose, then the work of SEA became my passion. I was honored to be asked to co-direct the SEA Workshop on Teaching with Steve Kimatian in 2006. We have worked hard to continually update the curriculum to meet the needs of our learners. My greatest joy has been meeting the nearly 400 faculty from across the country who have attended this workshop over the past 11 years. I have also been privileged to participate in SEA meetings with many workshop presentations, panel discussions, and abstract submissions, as well as serving on committees including Competencies, Milestones, and Research. I have witnessed SEA’s significant growth through the years as our mission has broadened, not just with increased emphasis on education with ACGME initiatives, but also through faculty development, educational research, and curriculum innovation.

Various leadership positions throughout my career, including Medical Student Director, Program Director, Interim Chair of the department, Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education, and Associate Editor of MedEdPORTAL, has given me a 360-degree perspective of anesthesia education. I believe these experiences would allow me as a board member to appreciate many viewpoints as decisions are made for the benefit of our members and for advancement of SEA’s mission. In addition, serving departments with small residencies allows me to understand challenges being faced by smaller programs, such as limited research funding, mentoring opportunities, etc. My specific goal as a board member would be to respond to and advocate for the needs of small to medium sized programs. My philosophy has always been to do whatever needs to be done to help students, residents, colleagues and programs succeed. Or in the words of Bob Willenkin, to do “whatever it takes to get learners to learn.” It would be an honor to serve the society in this capacity.

Carol Ann Diachun, MD, MSEd

Diachun Carol 17 webI am truly honored to work for this Society as a Member of the Board of Directors. The mission of the Society for Education in Anesthesia is to support, enrich and advance anesthesia education and those who teach. The Society serves as a valuable resource for anesthesia educators. I cannot imagine my own career as an educator without SEA. This Society has provided me with the tools for teaching and evaluating my residents as well as numerous opportunities for my own professional development. Through SEA I have developed a network of colleagues, mentors and good friends. The excitement and enthusiasm for education is literally infectious at our meetings. Since joining SEA more than a decade ago, I have been heavily involved in this community.

Since 2004 I have contributed numerous workshops and posters at SEA. I have also been actively involved in committee work. With the Committee on Faculty Development, I helped organize the initial Educator’s Portal for the SEA website and was one of the original Peer Teaching Coaches for our Society. I have continued to actively provide feedback to workshop presenters in this role. This work has supported SEA’s valuable work supporting our community of educators.

Since 2012 I have also served as Chair and Chair-designee of the Educational Meetings Committee. During this time, we have had many highly successful and innovative meetings. We created a peer-review process for the meeting workshop submissions process improving quality; we incorporated the AAMC MERC workshops in 2012 and 2014; we designed a huge collaborative effort with the Milestones workshops in 2013 when the Society had no management company to assist and we shared ideas with our surgical colleagues in the first-ever combined meeting with the Association of Surgical Educators in 2015 in Seattle. This past spring we did the first collaborative meeting organized by two institutions – UF Health and Mayo Clinic in beautiful Jacksonville, Florida. These all reflect my inherent belief in innovation and collaboration. With hard work and the willingness to try, together we can accomplish so many things.

As a member of the SEA Board of Directors, I have focused on improving quality and value for our members. We have incorporated more time for networking and collaborating during our meetings. We have continued to support educational research with inclusion of both posters and oral presentations of curricula and research projects. Institution of the Philip Liu awards this past spring has raised the prominence of our members’ work. The SEA’d grant is providing support for the budding education researcher. I aim to further develop SEA as a resource for anesthesia educators by enhancing our meeting offerings to include a track for the Early Educator – topics like Teaching in the OR, Giving Feedback, and more. Opportunities for collaboration in curricula and in research opportunities need to be further nurtured. Most importantly, I desire to give back to other members in the same way I have been mentored and supported by our community. I would be honored to continue as a member of the Board and to serve the members of SEA for another term.

Herodotos Ellinas, MD, FAAP, FACP

Ellinas Herodotos 17 webGreat teachers shape our lives, and we remember and value their contribution. Whenever I go back to my home country, I visit three of my high school teachers-Chemistry, English and Math-all of whom played a pivotal role in shaping my career in education. They instilled in me the curiosity to seek new ideas and the determination to implement them. Since arriving in the US in 1984, teaching roles in medical school and in the clinical setting as faculty have provided me with opportunities to observe, create and assess curricula.

In 2007 I attended my first SEA educational meeting, and was intrigued by SEA’s mission to foster collaboration and promote education and teaching innovation; I envisioned those things as part of my career as well. I was given the opportunity to lead a session in the chief residents’ workshop after my anesthesiology training, and have directed it for the last 3 years. With the support of the SEA leaders and mentors who were instrumental in creating this workshop, my goal has been to build it to a critical training program for chief residents and future colleagues.

In my current role as residency program director at the Medical College of Wisconsin, it has been challenging to develop innovative approaches that deliver superb anesthesiology training to our large program. I developed a wellness program that includes diversity training, conflict resolution and learning discussions within social gatherings, and am currently implementing a new CA-1 curriculum. These curricular changes have been discussed among members of the master’s program (MHPE). To further develop my own skills, I have enrolled in a master’s program (MHPE) which I feel confident will foster success both personally and for our residency.

Why pursue this role? I intend to pursue my Board membership with the same positive attitude and zest for learning with which I have approached all the educational aspects of my life. I view this as a new opportunity in my continual quest for knowledge and personal growth, as well as leadership and management development, and I believe that I have the skill set, background, and personality to successfully meet this fresh pursuit.

What is my vision as a BOD member? I aspire to work as a member of a team to shape the future of educators in our specialty by promoting sustainable collaborative programs and disseminate them nationwide. We need to promote integration of allied health professionals in the operating room, create virtual learning communities, and have wellness be the driver of all educational designs.

K. Annette Mizuguchi, MD, PhD, MMSc

Mizuguchi Annette webMy first involvement with SEA was when I attended the Workshop on Teaching in 2008. I found the workshop phenomenal; it made me realize how little I knew about adult education and adult learners, and also allowed me to meet some wonderful and friendly like-minded people. As a result, I decided to pursue my relationship with SEA at the 2008 Spring meeting, and joined the newly formed Website Committee that was tasked with updating the website. Shortly thereafter, under the leadership of John Mitchell, MD, I was privileged to be named Designee-Chair of that same committee; in 2009 the “new” website ( was launched.

In 2013, I took over as Chair of the committee, and with my Designee-Chair, Swapna Chaudhuri, MD, PhD, and committee members, we focused our endeavors in providing SEA members with various technological/digital tools that they would find useful in their academic and clinical lives, as well as ensuring that the SEA website was functional, up-to-date and met the needs of members and the committees. The following year, the Website Committee was renamed as the Committee on Advancement of Technology in Education. In 2015, we posted our first SEA-Q (SEA Educational Question of the Month), which remains a popular feature of our website.

That same year, I was elected to serve on the Board of Directors. One of the highlights this past year was to co-facilitate a team at the strategic planning meeting, where we identified several short- and long-term goals supporting innovation in educational methods. As a Program Co-Chair (with Cindy Ku, MD) for the 2017 SEA Fall Meeting in Boston, we are excited to be planning a meeting that will emphasize Educators as Leaders.

I strongly believe the future of our profession lies in the leadership of all of us involved in education. Now is the time for each of us to take a role in improving education as well as for advocating for our profession. I would be honored to serve another term as a member of the Board of Directors, to help attain our goals of restructuring educational offerings, developing new products of value to our members, increasing knowledge and use of innovative technologies, participating in the design of research plans, as well as celebrating and highlighting the success of our members.

Christine S. Park, MD

ParkThe Society for Anesthesia in Education’s mission is to “support, enrich and advance anesthesia education and those who teach.” One of the key strategies to carry out this mission, and to achieve our vision of excellence in patient care through education, is to strive for innovation. I believe that innovative, out-of-box thinking is something I have consistently contributed as a member of SEA since 2010.

As the former chair of the Simulation Committee, SEA colleagues and I created a dynamic pre-conference course for instructors in simulation. I served as a co-chair for the first collaborative SEA meeting with our surgical counterpart society. During my first term as a SEA member, I learned a deep appreciation of the passion and diverse needs our members have as well as the challenges.

My vision for my role as a 2nd term SEA board member is to support our vibrant society through our committees, to continue to develop comprehensive professional development opportunities for members, and to pursue outreach activities, including the patients of our vision.

It has been my privilege to be part of SEA since 2010, and I hope to have the opportunity to serve SEA as a member of the board of directors.

Deborah A. Schwengel, MD, MEd

Schwengel Debroah web17It is with great enthusiasm that I submit my candidacy for a Board of Directors position for SEA. I have been a member of SEA for over 10 years; my enthusiasm for the society continues to grow. My leadership experience in medical education in my home institution, Johns Hopkins, has included clerkship director, associate program director, pediatric fellowship director and residency program director. I have completed a Master of Education in the Health Professions, have been actively involved in health professions innovations and program building and educational research. I now serve as Director of Educational Research in our Department. I was SEA Spring meeting Chair in 2016 in Baltimore and am an active member of the Meetings and Research Committees. Over my years of involvement I have realized that SEA provides a community of educators that is supportive, informative and welcoming. This nurturing community should be advertised. I believe there are many anesthesiology educators who would thrive with us and need to know about SEA. We need to be sharing our enthusiasm for the society with our colleagues across the country.

My experiences have given me significant understanding of the needs of both faculty and trainees interested in medical education and the challenges of building programs and overcoming barriers to change. I enjoy working in a collaborative environment and wish to bring my talents to an already talented Board. I believe we should be creative and open-minded about the possibilities for SEA. I am interested in exploring new endeavors and new ways of conducting our meetings to attract more members and to make our meetings and sessions more valuable to members and guests. Options could include destination meetings, changing the structure of the sessions, providing more options within the meeting schedule and continuing the momentum that has built around the presentation of curricular and research projects. I believe we need to actively engage in new technologies, more mentorship and ongoing community building. As a society we should aggressively help each other flourish as educators and prepare for promotions especially given the challenges that many educators face in pursuing academic advancement at some institutions. I see the following as priorities:


  1. Build the SEA community: aggressively infect others.
  2. More professional development related to program development, curriculum development, educational research, educational leadership and sustainability in the modern medical workplace.
  3. Adjust our meetings to reflect best practices in teaching and use of innovative techniques.
  4. Maintain networking and community building at SEA meetings that continue between meetings.
  5. Create bulletin board of presentations for people working on promotion – help each other get promoted as educators, invite each other to give talks at home institutions.

Samuel D. Yanofsky, MD, MSEd

Yanofsky Samuel web16I currently serve as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) and as an Attending at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) in the Department of Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine. I am a graduate of McGill University, Montréal, Québec (Baccalaureate of Science in Physiology) and St. Louis University Medical School. I completed my residency in Anesthesiology at University of Connecticut Health Center (U Conn) followed by a two-year fellowship in Pediatric Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In 2004, I received a Master of Science in Medical Education from the USC Rossier School of Education. Recently, I have been accepted into the PhD program in Health Science Education at Maastricht University studying the influence of rater characteristics on rater performance in workplace-based assessment in graduate medical education.

I am currently the Pediatric Anesthesiology Fellowship Director as well as the Director of Education and Faculty Development for the Department of Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine. I support educational training for Healthcare Professionals at CHLA for a wide variety of allied healthcare providers. I was awarded the 2005 Excellence in Education Award by the Department of Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine at CHLA. In 2006, I received a FAER grant and institutional grants for examining a model curriculum for teaching the ACGME general competencies of Professionalism, Interpersonal and Communication Skills, and Systems-Based Practice to fellows and residents.

At the institution/university level, I am involved on several committees tasked with improving graduate medical education within CHLA and competency-based education for medical students within USC Keck School of Medicine. I am co-instructor for mid-level career health care professionals in the Master of Academic Medicine at USC Keck School of Medicine specifically in the following two courses in the areas of leadership and organizational change.

Nationally, I have served as chair for the education meetings and research committee for SEA and served on the board of directors for one term. I have continued to provide numerous educational workshops and presentations for my anesthesia colleagues including sessions for SEA and the Society of Pediatric Anesthesiology and the ASA. I serve as the Past-President of the Pediatric Anesthesiology Program Directors Committee and am involved in the education committee for the Society for Pediatric Anesthesiology. I have made my personal mission to teach leadership/organizational change in medicine and anesthesiology while contributing consistently to national organizations, as I believe this is how medical educators have the largest influence on our future physicians and the entire profession.

If elected as a member of the board, I will support the SEA with the following three priorities: 1. Continue to provide educational training in my area of interests and medical education research, 2. Share our expertise with other national anesthesia societies, ACGME and the RRC, 3. Advance the mission and vision of SEA.

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