We are highlighting Dr Katherine Seligman, MD, anesthesiologist and researcher, whose work was recently highlighted on the front cover of Anesthesiology. Well done, Dr Seligman and team!
Katherine Seligman, MD
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
How did you get interested in research?
My interest in Obstetric Anesthesia and research started in medical school, at Mayo Clinic, in Rochester Minnesota working with an amazing mentor, Dr. Katherine Arendt, who has expertise in parturients with heart disease. My REI OB/GYN colleague, Dr. Phoebe Leonard, introduced me to clinical research in Obstetrics. I was fascinated with maternal physiology and pain relief options in labor. I volunteered extensively in medical school in a clinic focusing on the care of Spanish speaking patients. This experience shaped much of my future research.
Tell us about your study.
It was a pleasure and an honor to work with Dr. Togioka, Dr. Noles, Dr. Werntz, Dr. Yanez, an Dr. Treggiari on this project We know the use of epidural analgesia for labor pain is significantly lower in hispanic parturients compared to caucasian parturients. This research investigated if education materials in the hispanic parturients language of preference altered epidural utilization as well as understandings of misconceptions surrounding epidural placement. A pamphlet, video, and question/answer session in the patient’s language of preference significantly increased epidural utilization and decreased misconceptions about epidural analgesia. This significantly decreased the disparity of epidural utilization between hispanic and caucasian parturients.
What words of wisdom do you have for women training to become anesthesiologists?
There are so many avenues for research in anesthesia that are currently untouched. I was fortunate to receive a FAER grant from the ASA in medical school to learn how to conduct research. If you have a clinical question in anesthesia, I urge you to reach out to a mentor or colleague to start a research project. If unsure how to proceed, reach out to your specialty society and they can connect you with mentors in your field. I am happy to help with any obstetric anesthesia research.
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