My name is Brijette Gray, and I am a second-year student in the Master of Science in Anesthesia Program at Case Western Reserve University in Houston, Texas.
Having just finished the program’s rigorous first year of didactic studies, I am really enjoying having the opportunity to apply my knowledge during second year clinical rotations. Due to the diverse patient population and cutting-edge procedures performed at the various facilities at which we rotate, I am able to learn something new and conquer challenges every single day. I really enjoy taking my understanding of an abstract didactic anesthetic principle and turning it into real knowledge of that topic after seeing it clinically. It is so helpful to be able to place real patients with various disease states and anesthetic considerations.
I just finished my two-month cardiac rotation at Texas Heart Institute. This rotation really opened my eyes to the wonders of cardiac anesthesia, and I’d have to say it is my new favorite subspecialty! I love how involved cardiopulmonary bypass procedures are–they really put your clinical decision-making skills to the test. Additionally, I gained a lot of technical experience from placing arterial lines, central lines, and pulmonary artery catheters. No two surgeries are the same and I love the intricate problem-solving involved in the setting of the anesthesia care team to improve patient outcomes. Cardiac anesthesia really requires a thorough understanding of not just the heart, but of all physiological systems and how one system can play a role on another. Also, is there anything cooler than being able to visualize the heart with a transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE)?
Outside of clinical work, I am one of the professional advocacy representatives for my class. This role has given me the opportunity to work to promote the anesthesiologist assistant profession at both the state-level with the Texas Society of Anesthesiologist Assistants and the Texas Academy of Anesthesiologist Assistants and the national-level with the American Academy of Anesthesiologist Assistants and the American Society of Anesthesiologists. I am deeply passionate about expanding our profession and am looking forward to the various state and national conferences coming up later this year and early next year.
When I’m not at school, I love to hang out with my dogs and fiancé. There are lots of dog-friendly places in Houston so we love to go out to dog parks and catch some sun. One of my favorite things I have done in Houston was attend a Journey cover band concert at Miller Outdoor Theater with a couple of my classmates.
About this post: The Student Spotlight series highlights MSA students in Cleveland, Houston, and Washington. The series is a student-led initiative, and is designed to share current student experiences with prospective students.