The International School for Instructors in Anesthesiology (ISIA)

Under the auspices of the World Federation of the Societies of Anesthesiologists (WFSA) and the European Society of Anesthesiology (ESA)

Faculty Chairman : Prof. Gabriel M. Gurman (Israel)


A special course for Europe instructors in Anesthesiology and related fields

As the history of the WFSA-Beer Sheva educational project proved since the year of 1992, the dynamic situation in Eastern Europe regarding our profession demanded a flexible approach to the educational needs of each country . Some of the National Societies which initially accepted with joy the project in the early 90s decided later on to step down and stopped participating to it. Some other countries asked for changes in the original arrangements, so some trainees got more than one month stay in the project. Finally, some new countries heard about the good results of the WFSA educational project and asked to be co-opted in the program, with some amendments which took into consideration the local particularities. Eventually the well known Beer Sheva-WFSA educational project moved to Wolfson Medical Center in the center of Israel and it currently offers fellowship positions for six months in various fields of Anesthesiology.

During the years of 2006 and 2007 a new initiative got a place in the educational activities of the WFSA: the International School for Instructors in Anesthesiology (ISIA). It was proposed in Paris, by GM Gurman, during the 2004 World Congress and accepted by the WFSA committee for education, chaired by Angela Enright. Five countries (Moldova, Bulgaria, Serbia, Slovakia and Poland) took part to the fist course of ISIA. Each National Society sent a group of four young specialists, who participated to the three meetings : Bratislava in October 2006 and April 2007 and Belgrade in October 2007. The faculty included well known anesthesia specialists from all over the continent, as well as two dedicated teachers in the art of teaching. So, 20 young colleagues graduated the school and they started this year organization of national courses for local anesthesiologists, residents and specialists as well.

A second group of countries (Greece, Romania, Hungary, Macedonia and Slovenia) started in 2009 the ISIA 2, another three-week course for 20 students, young specialists in Anesthesiology, 4 from each country.

This document explains the project and gives necessary details for those interested to know more about the international school.


The main problem related to the teaching system in most of the European countries is the way the theoretical knowledge is brought and presented to an audience of young physicians who just recently started their way to the new profession of Anesthesiology.

The aim of the ISIA course (THREE WEEKS, ONE EVERY SIX MONTHS) is to create, in each country, an initial group of 4 instructors, who would participate to a course during which they will be exposed to the modern ways of teaching theoretical subjects, namely problem-oriented presentations and discussions.

Once the selected (by each National Society) instructors have graduated the course , they are supposed to organize similar courses in their own countries and to teach, on their turn, large audiences of young specialists and senior residents (in their second part of their training track) the modern approach to a clinical case and solve it by using their theoretical knowledge and experience.

This kind of course has nothing in common with the CEEA course, organized in most European countries. The CEEA course is supposed to deal with the main theoretical aspects of the profession, and to bring new knowledge to a large number of participants, mainly residents, in the form of frontal lectures. The CEEA course has a crucial role in preparing the theoretical background of the future instructors and students who would take part to the proposed new project.

Each National Society selects 4 of the most gifted young specialists in Anesthesiology (we will call them students):

  • with a very good commend in English
  • who are ready to participate to all three classes
  • who would commit themselves to take the task of organizing similar courses, on an annual basis in their own countries.

The National Societies are responsible for fulfilling the above obligations (see below).


It will be decided each time after selecting the five participating countries.


Each meeting (three in total) should take 5 working days, Monday to Friday, but the first get together will take place on a Sunday night.

Case presentations, lectures on organizational aspects of the profession, as well as lectures on “how to teach” are included in every day program of the course. For each class we prepared a list of specific topics to deal with:

First meeting

  1. Preop assessment and preparation
  2. Critical care
  3. Regional anesthesia
  4. Acute pain
  5. Anesthesia for trauma

Second meeting

  1. Pediatric and neonatal anesthesia
  2. Obstetrical anesthesia and analgesia
  3. Cardiac anesthesia
  4. Neuroanesthesia
  5. Anesthesia for the elderly

Third meeting

  1. Management of crisis in anesthesia
  2. Chronic pain
  3. Management of difficult airways
  4. Outpatient anesthesia
  5. Immediate postoperative care


These are the real core of the project. Their aim is to bring to discussion usual cases, needing a routine approach, in a form which would facilitate the understanding of the problem and its management.

For each of the topics presented above, 1-2 cases will be prepared and discussed. For each case 30 to 50 minutes will be allocated. Construction of cases, and discussion on each of them, will be based on the OXFORD manual, which will be distributed to each teacher and also offered to each student in the first day of the first class.


The subjects of organization of the profession will be divided between the three meetings and will include some of the following topics :

  • Organization of a department of anesthesia
  • The functionality of the Recovery Room
  • How to equip an operating room with restricted budget
  • Planning a residency track in Anesthesiology
  • Critical care units and high-dependency units, how do they work together
  • Clinical research-rules and pitfalls
  • Sterility in the Operating Room and prevention of ICU cross infection
  • Informed consent for anesthesia
  • Introducing new methods into routine practice
  • Organization of an acute pain clinic


The faculty will select European lecturers for each meeting. They will also cover the presentations of the organizational aspects of the profession. Educational items will be taught be specialists in the field. Professional subjects and cases will be presented by very well known European anesthesiologists, selected by the faculty chairman.

Educational Teaching

It includes special sessions dealing with how to prepare a case presentation, how to pass a practical workshop or to teach a practical maneuver, how to keep the audience vividly interested in what you are presenting and how to assess your own teaching activity and to get the necessary feedback, too.

Beside, some special sessions will be dedicated to various topics related to "how to teach" project, such as:

  • how to plan and develop a curriculum
  • how to plan a course
  • how to use internet
  • how to write multiple choice questions
  • how to improve presentation slides


The international bodies financial coverage includes:

  • Fare trips for the lecturers
  • Hotel and meals for all the lecturers and students for all the duration of the course. The budget is supposed to be provided by the WFSA Committee for Education (Chairperson: Dr Jannicke Mellin-Olsen) and ESA.

Each student will cover his/her own travel expenses.

Organization of National Courses

The idea is, as it was already explained, to create a body of well trained instructors who would be able to organize similar, if not identical, courses in their own countries (except the part of “how to teach” lectures).

It has to be done on an annual basis, preferably in conjunction with a scientific meeting organized by most of the countries and sponsored by the National Societies.

National Societies Responsibilities

  • to select the best candidates for this job and to assure that in case one of them proved to be unfit for the task (which might happen during the first meeting), he/she will be replaced by another student.
  • to guarantee that each selected student/future instructor has a very good commend in English and he/she is committed to go on with all the meetings of the course.
  • to assure that the student will find the financial sources for his/her own travel expenses.
  • to organize on annual basis, starting not later than 9 months after the last meeting, a course given by the instructors/graduates with a program similar to that of the original, central course organized by ISIA.
  • Final comments

    This project is unique, not only in the field of Anesthesiology, but as far as we know, in any domain of medicine. Its importance was clear from the very first moment, but a fringe benefit is the creation of a group of young physicians, dedicated to their profession and having the pattern of TRUE LEADERS in the field. This is why the two main international organizations, WFSA and ESA, decided to cooperate and sponsor in common the project. The results of the first meetings is felt in each of the participating countries.

    The ISIA faculty intention is to go on with the project and enlarge it to other countries and regions of the old continent. The success could be achieved only by a very close cooperation between the ISIA management, the National Societies and the trainee students. Only those societies and individuals extremely interested in the project could assure its success.

    We hope to see this project developed and adopted by many other European countries in the future.

    Prof. Dr. Gabriel M. Gurman
    Faculty Chairman

    Israel, December 2009

    ISIA Faculty

    Gabriel Gurman

    Gabriel Gurman

    Lesley Bromley

    Lesley Bromley

    Michael Dobson

    Michael Dobson

    Shirley Dobson

    Shirley Dobson