Anesthesiology Interest Group at OUWB nets national award
An image of the 2023 AIG Skills Night event
A photo from the AIG skills night event held last November. It's one of many that the group hosts annually.

For the fourth time since 2018, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine’s Anesthesiology Interest Group has been named interest group of the year by a national organization.

The American Society of Anesthesiologists recently recognized the OUWB student organization as Best Overall Anesthesiologist Interest Group (AIG) for 2023.

The interest group received the honor in 2022, 2020, and 2018. In 2019, the group was named Most Innovative AIG.

Criteria for the award includes number of members, outstanding participation by AIG members and faculty, number of meetings and events, variety of activities, such as career guidance and community outreach, and participation in local, regional, and national anesthesiology programs. 

Kathy Schlecht, D.O., associate professor, Department of Anesthesiology, said she was “overjoyed, honored, and proud.” Schlecht also serves as faculty advisor for the OUWB group and created it with members of the school’s charter class.

“There are many prestigious, established, and great academic programs out there and the OUWB AIG consistently ranks alongside the greats,” she said.

Madison McClune, M2, president, OUWB AIG, said receiving the recognition was “really nice and rewarding.”

“Especially since we put so much work into planning (our) events…it gives recognition for the hard work we do,” she said.

Schlecht said most AIGs focus on the clinical aspects of anesthesiology and how to get into residency programs.

Not at OUWB.

“The OUWB AIG offers a more circumspect exposure to the profession of anesthesiology including clinical, research, ethical, legal, educational, business, lifestyle, and even the political aspects, which engages medical students with diverse interests,” she said.    

Consider some of the events the OUWB AIG has hosted recently:

  • A session on introducing medical students to the specialty of anesthesiology.
  • A panel discussion featuring six anesthesiology residents for Corewell Health William Beaumont University in Royal Oak.
  • An event featuring a malpractice attorney, intended to dispel misconceptions about lawsuits in the field.
  • Volunteering at World Medical Relief in Southfield
  • Additional panel discussions on pain management in anesthesiology, the business side of anesthesia, a Narcan training event (with two other student organizations), “meet the match,” and more.

The group also regularly hosts a clinical skills night that includes a 30-minute didactic session before working in a simulator lab, where students learned about standard airway management, glidescope and fiberoptic, ultrasound-guided nerve block, and placement of monitor leads.

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“I’m involved with a few other student organizations, but this is definitely the one that requires the most attention because of how many events we hold and how diverse the events are,” said McClune.

Even so, the OUWB AIG executive board always seems to be pushing to the next level, said Schlecht — who served as past president for the Society of Education in Anesthesia (SEA) and received the 2019 SEA Duke Award for Excellence and Innovation in Anesthesia Education.

“The AIG Executive Boards through the years have constantly focused on process improvement and consistently offer new ideas,” she said. “Rather than rest on the accomplishments and laurels of the past, they are eager to raise the bar, make unique contributions, and leave their legacy behind before they move on in their careers.”

McClune said that being named Best Overall Anesthesiologist Interest Group means that the OUWB organization will receive a grant.

It’s money that will allow the group to continue forging ahead, she said.

“We’ll be able to hold more events and increase the number of people who can attend,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity…and will help maintain the group’s longevity.”

For more information, contact Andrew Dietderich, marketing writer, OUWB, at [email protected].

To request an interview, visit the OUWB Communications & Marketing webpage.

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