Thursday, September 4, 2008

Featured Doctor: Lucy Everett

Lucy Everett, MD
Lucy Everett, MD

As chief of the Division of Pediatric Anesthesia, Lucy Everett, MD, shares her passion for children within both the Department of Anesthesia and Critical and across the broader MassGeneral Hospital for Children.

Dr. Everett spends much of her time in the clinical, administrative and educational arenas. Her efforts in the educational arena involve mentoring at a variety of student levels. She is a premedical advisor and has student observers through the shadowing program at MIT. This year, Dr. Everett is advising seven third-year medical students as a longitudinal mentor for Harvard Medical School.

"I'm hoping to convince our students that anesthesia is a cool field," she said.

Dr. Everett serves as a senior oral examiner for the American Board of Anesthesiology, and is also coordinating the Ambulatory Anesthesia track at the American Society of Anesthesiologists annual meeting in 2009.

One of Dr. Everett's current projects includes leading a task force which is developing an outcomes database for outpatient anesthesia cases through the Society for Ambulatory Anesthesia. The project will attempt to allow individual centers to compare their data against national benchmarks.

"We're looking at the right set of data to be collecting, while considering confidentiality," she said.

Part of the challenge, according to Dr. Everett, is determining which data to include, or "how to get information that you think is useful without being burdensome to the people who collect that data," she said.

Dr. Everett received her medical education from the University of Connecticut in 1982. After completing a residency in internal medicine at the Medical College of Virginia, followed by two years of practice in Chicago to pay back public health service obligations, Dr. Everett then completed residency training in anesthesia and pediatric anesthesia.

She returned to anesthesia for several reasons, she said.

"I liked the technical aspect, the fact that things change rapidly, and [that] you have to think on your feet," she said. "You have a short period of time to forge a critical bond with somebody.

"There's a stereotype that anesthesiologists aren't good with people. But you really do have to deal with people, and I like that part of it also," she said.

According to Dr. Everett, a skilled anesthesiologist also needs to pay attention to the process as well as the outcome.

"We have a very good safety record in anesthesia, paying close attention to what could happen and what you need to do to prevent it from happening," she said.

Over the course of her career, through her involvement and advocacy on behalf of children across Mass General and beyond, Dr. Everett appreciates the skills and diversity of Mass General's Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine and MassGeneral Hospital for Children.

"We have a great team of pediatric anesthesiologists, and quite a few members of the broader department also provide care to older children," she said.

The pediatric anesthesia team has active basic science and clinical researchers and has had good success in recent years in inspiring Mass General residents to obtain further training in pediatric anesthesia.

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