AASPD Candidate – Ngai

Jennie Ngai, MD

New York University Langone Health

My interest in my current subspecialty of cardiac anesthesiology began during medical school in Syracuse, NY, after staying up all night in a cardiac surgery case. It was so fascinating at the time! It was also during medical school when I learned that I had an interest in education and leadership. I became involved in the medical student section of the Medical State Society of New York, and organized a conference about the financial and business aspect of medicine. I learned a lot from that experience, from developing the idea, to inviting speakers and attendees, and finding venues and providing refreshments. Since that initial experience during medical school, I have continued to learn the importance of educating others and providing a means to achieve that. Time during residency and fellowship at NYU seemed to be more limited, and I focused instead on learning how to be the best anesthesiologist I could be.

After joining the faculty at NYU Medical Center, now NYU Langone Health, I have helped to organize other educational conferences, such as the NYC Fellow Echo Conference. This annual conference is meant to provide a discussion forum for cardiothoracic anesthesiology fellows to present a cardiac case with echocardiography imaging. These conferences are attended by cardiac anesthesiology faculty and fellows in the New York City area. It is an opportunity to meet with other faculty members, to gain an additional perspective in conducting the clinical case presented. As a member of the NYU Langone faculty, I have become involved with various committees and roles regarding education. These include anesthesiology residency clinical competency committee, conducting resident applicant interviews, department of anesthesiology quality assurance committee, department of anesthesiology finance committee, and department of anesthesiology steering committee.

One of my more involved and important roles is director of the cardiothoracic anesthesiology fellowship. Each year, I organize and develop the didactic schedule for the fellowship, deciding which topics should be discussed that will provide an educational benefit to the fellows in this evolving environment of cardiac anesthesiology. I also ensure that the fellows become involved in research projects that further advance our field. I also assign them lectures to give to the anesthesiology residents to prepare them as educators. In addition to fellows doing their own cases, I also have them supervise junior residents during cardiac surgery cases so they may learn the different roles an anesthesiologist has. Based on evaluations from each fellow, we have improved our fellowship over time, and many of the fellows have commented that they were very happy with their decision to complete their fellowship with us at NYU.

My additional roles and responsibilities in the cardiothoracic division are administrative in nature. I am director of cardiac and lung transplant anesthesiology and associate director of the cardiothoracic division. We have recently started the cardiac and lung transplant program at NYU, and to ensure that we provide excellent care to the patients, it is my responsibility to develop protocols with the surgeons. This involves communicating with different hospital teams what medications and equipment we need, and how to improve upon existing work flows. As associate director of the division, I also try to maintain working relationships within our division and our department by having open lines of communication, and this helps with conflict resolution.

In the future, I hope to be able to contribute more to our field of anesthesiology and to be able to provide a means to educate young anesthesiologists.