Litty John, MBBS, DA, is a third-year anesthesiology resident at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Tjorvi Perry, MD, MMSc, Division Chief of Cardiothoracic anesthesia and Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, acts as her research advisor and assumes the responsibility of mentoring medical students, residents and fellows, and junior faculties.

Dr. John is one of the first residents in the research track in her program. Her focus is on medical device innovation. At present she is working on developing a smart device to secure the airway known as Artificial Intelligence Assisted Intubation (AIAI) that incorporates multiple advanced features based on current and future technology including machine learning. Her team had applied for a provisional patent last year and is currently working along with the College of Science and Engineering (CSE), the Carlson School Medical Industry Leadership Institute (MILI) and the College of Design (CDes) to develop its prototype.

“There aren’t many people in the medical device innovation space with a background in medicine, but fortunately we’ve been able to explore this space and find the right resources to move forward,” said Dr. John.

Along with her co-residents, she is also working towards developing an Airway Management training tool using real life clinical videos and mixed reality in collaboration with the Visible Heart Laboratory, Department of Otolaryngology and School of Dentistry. The Department of Anesthesiology sponsored Dr. John earlier this year to join the Bay Area Medical Valuation Lab 6997 course at MILI and has also nominated her for the 2021 FAER Resident Scholar program.

Dr. John recently co-authored an article in A&A practice, ‘Management of a Fragmented Angiocatheter During Central Venous Cannulation: A Case Report and Important Lessons’. “Our program has a track record of mentorship and residents interested in writing and publishing are handheld through this process. As a result, most of our anesthesiology residents have publications in renowned medical journals,” said Dr. John.

Dr. John is also a strong proponent of resident wellbeing. She was recently selected as one of ten 2021 ASA Resident Ambassadors from across the country, which recognizes future leaders in anesthesia and serves as a platform for meaningful conversations among residents.

“Part of my inspiration came from the work of different societies and committees within the University,” said Dr. John. “It’s helped me think outside of my bubble and pursue more opportunities outside the operating room.”

Along with other female residents in the program and with Susan Staudt, MD, driving them, Dr. John has been working to launch a chapter of Women In Anesthesiology at the U of M Medical School for residents, fellows, and faculties to promote networking, mentorship and opportunities for women physicians. “I believe women can best support and empower other women,” said Dr. John. Unlike other chapters across the country, this chapter will be a resident-led initiative.

Where the leadership in medical societies is usually composed of seasoned anesthesiologists, the transition to include residents like Dr. John marks an important shift in perspective. “It’s bringing younger voices into the conversation and it shows that we’re paying more attention to gender and racial equity,” said Dr. Perry. “The continued support of the Medical School in the projects we’re pursuing has been palpable and necessary.”

“I’ve been surrounded by the right kind of people. Here at U of M, I have access to tremendous resources and immense support system to pursue my passion in academia and research,” said Dr. John. She is pursuing a fellowship in cardiothoracic anesthesia following her residency with the aim of becoming a Physician Innovator.

Dr. John grew up in India and came to the United States in 2015. She is the mother of two kids. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking and urban subsistence farming.