The Department of Anesthesiology of the University of Utah School of Medicine has maintained national prominence both clinically and academically for over twenty years. Excellent training is available for candidates interested in an academic career or private practice.
Advantages: The Anesthesiology Residency
- Uniform resident success in passing Boards, obtaining fellowship positions and employment.
- Excellent case load mix and numbers (approximately 500 cases/resident per year).
- All clinical rotations occur at University Hospital or affiliated hospitals within 2 miles. The close proximity of affiliated hospitals minimizes commuting times and facilitates lecture attendance.
- All required training occurs in Salt Lake City; there is no need to send residents to other programs to fill deficiencies in training.
- Training in subspecialties of pediatric, neuro, cardiac, and obstetrical anesthesia, as well as pain management are particularly strong.
- Residents typically find housing within ten minutes or less drive from the hospitals.
The University of Utah and its affiliated hospitals offer a total of thirty residency positions in anesthesiology. The Department of Anesthesiology is approved by the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) and the Council on Medical Education of the American Medical Association for three years (CA1-CA3) of residency training. Residents are accepted into the program every July and January. The July positions (CA1) are awarded to senior medical students through the NRMP (National Residents Matching Program) or outside of the match. Internships (PGY1) are available through the Department of Medicine (Preliminary Medicine) at the University and at the LDS Hospital (Transitional Medicine) as explained later. Residency training is approved by the ABA and all of the affiliated hospitals are approved by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals. Administration of all types of general and regional anesthesia is supervised by faculty anesthesiologists. This includes anesthesia for a wide variety of routine and unusual surgeries, anesthesia for cardiovascular and pulmonary procedures, neuroanesthesia, pediatric anesthesia, obstetrical anesthesia, handling of the emergency airway, dental anesthesia, the management of pain, and intensive care.
The CA3 year of training consists of advanced anesthesia training, research, or special training in clinical areas such as pain management, cardiac, obstetrical and pediatric anesthesia, and intensive care. Whenever possible, the CA3 year is tailored to the interest of the resident.
Center for Patient Simulation
In late 1996, the Department of Anesthesiology initiated the purchase and installation of a state-of-the-art anesthesia simulator. These devices link computer control of physiologic functions with extremely realistic mannequin responses to facilitate crisis management teaching sessions. Among the attributes of the simulator is the ability to measure and respond to all drugs administered and display appropriate physiologic responses. The mannequins have realistic and reactive airways, produce CO2, have pulses, respiratory excursions, changing pupils, measurable temperatures, etc. The anatomy is so sophisticated that their tracheas may be intubated and pulmonary artery catheters can be placed during simulations. Pharmacologic responses include all common drug interactions, and display pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic data if desired.
The beauty of the patient simulator is the ability to mimic rare events and practice response algorithms. Many of these events might never be seen in clinical practice during an entire residency; thus supervised experience with their management in humans is unlikely and unplanned. Examples of events that might fall under this description and benefit from simulator-based education include malignant hyperthermia, thyroid storm, pheochromocytomia, total spinal anesthesia, and difficult airway scenarios.
International Humanitarian Commitment
The Department of Anesthesiology has a long tradition of providing extensive third world anesthesiology teaching and clinical service. Eileen Csontos, MD, Co-Director of Anesthesia for Shriner’s Children’s Hospital, is a director of anesthesiology for Interplast, a national organization providing under-developed countries with surgical teams for pediatric congenital defect repair. Dr. Csontos and several other faculty have led many teams into Central American, Vietnam, Russia, and South America. Many residents participate in these trips as part of an elective rotation.
Invasive Procedures Laboratory
This laboratory teaches emergency and invasive procedures to anesthesiology residents. Examples of procedures that are taught in this laboratory include transcutaneous and transvenous pacing, translaryngeal and transtracheal jet-ventilation, retrograde-wire intubation, crycothyrotomy, chest tube insertion, pericardiocentesis, intraosseous needle insertion, and treatment of hyperkalemic cardiac arrest. The aim of this lab is to allow anesthesiology residents to gain expertise and confidence with potentially lifesaving emergency and invasive procedures that are infrequently performed in usual clinical practice. A cadaver crycothyrotomy lab is being organized and will be available to senior anesthesiology residents in 2004.