The concept behind Anaesthesia Tutorial of the Week (ATOTW) is simple - we value the importance of lifelong self-education and believe in making the process of learning easily and freely accessible for all anaesthesia providers around the world. This is the foundation on which the WFSA’s flagship publication was started over a decade ago in 2005.
I came to know about ATOTW as an anaesthetic trainee in the UK. At the time, I had a narrow perception of what it had to offer and saw it as a quick, reliable resource for exam preparation. After attaining the fellowship of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, I took time off training to become a long-term medical volunteer in Uganda. I worked at a teaching hospital called Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital and was heavily involved in teaching and developing a curriculum for the local anaesthetic residents.
It was certainly a challenge trying to deliver good standard of training and patient care in a resource-limiting environment. This was when I began to see the value of ATOTW and the need to provide accessible educational resources to support our colleagues in poorer parts of the world. I subsequently became involved in running anaesthesia refresher courses, SAFE, and Lifebox pulse oximeter training courses throughout Uganda. Teaching the local clinical officers and learning about their difficult working circumstances was a further motivation to push forward a great project like ATOTW.
ATOTW is aimed at training anaesthesiologists throughout the world, particularly those in low- and middle-income countries who have limited access to high quality learning materials. The production of our tutorials is often a joint effort between an anaesthetic trainee (primary author), a supervising consultant (second author) and our editors who oversee the writing process prior to publication. Each tutorial comprises of a short update on an anaesthetic topic with focused learning points and an introductory MCQ self-test. All tutorials are available for download for free on the WFSA website and each new tutorial is sent to subscribers on our email list on a bimonthly basis. At present, we have over 7,000 subscribers in more than 100 countries, as well as many people who access the resource on an occasional basis.
2015 has seen many new exciting changes and restructuring of ATOTW. In striving to make ATOTW a joint global effort, we welcome our new editors from Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and India. We are also proud to announce an addition of a new subsection, Patient Safety, to the ATOTW catalogue. Excitingly, we are seeing new tutorials being contributed by anaesthesiologists from various places around the world, including USA, Nigeria and Iraq.
Anaesthesiologists who are interested in contributing to ATOTW should visit our new ‘Author’s Page’ which contains information about the writing, submission and publication process.
One of the greatest milestones for ATOTW this year is having our tutorials now all made available in Chinese (in addition to Portuguese, Spanish and French). We are wholly grateful to the Chinese Society of Anaesthesia, a partner of WFSA, for enabling us to reach out to so many other anaesthesia providers around the world through their dedicated translational work.
We would like to welcome all anaesthesiologists to become involved in ATOTW as the project continues to grow and evolve. As we endeavor to unite anaesthesiologists from varied backgrounds, let us all continue to work towards making education and patient safety a priority.
Co-editor in Chief, ATOTW
Anesthesiologist, Stanford Hospital