Program Director’s Welcome

jwWelcome to Emory University School of Medicine’s Department of Anesthesiology!

Our residency program begins with an intensive ten-week clinical introduction to Anesthesiology. First year residents (CA-1s) are assigned to clinical cases working one-on-one with faculty, a senior resident or an experienced anesthetist. Clinical work is supplemented by didactic lectures in the basic principles of Anesthesiology. As the residents become more experienced, they practice with graduated autonomy until, at the end of the introductory period, residents are in the operating room administering anesthesia without continuous supervision by an attending for increasing lengths of time. At all times a faculty member is immediately available for consultation, assistance and instruction.

The CA-1 year is divided between Emory University Hospital and Grady Memorial Hospital. At each of these locations, residents are assigned to general surgical, gynecological, urological, and orthopedic cases. As the year progresses and their experience increases, residents are assigned to more complex surgical subspecialty cases such as neurological surgery, vascular surgery, and transplants.

Didactic sessions occur each morning at our teaching sites. Morning sessions consist of keywords, PBLDs, case reviews and clinical reviews. Our Grand Rounds series, held Tuesday evenings at 5 pm, has four tracks: Distinguished Speakers, Basics of Research, Professional Development, and Literature Review. Residents also have protected time one Thursday morning a month for a special hour-long session with a guest speaker. Didactic time is protected, and when possible even residents on call are relieved to attend Grand Rounds in person or by teleconference. CA-1s also have several simulation sessions with integrated lectures, known as the Anesthesia College. We are excited that our new Emory Hospital educational space will feature a dedicated simulation laboratory, scheduled to open in 2017.

The second year of training (CA-2) is dedicated to subspecialty anesthesia training with the residents rotating through Cardiac Anesthesiology, Neurosurgical Anesthesiology, Vascular Anesthesiology, Pediatric Anesthesiology, Obstetric Anesthesiology, Ambulatory Anesthesiology, Pain Medicine, and Critical Care Medicine. We are proud to have our residents rotate at Egleston Hospital (one of the highest acuity children’s hospitals in the country) and the VA and at Emory University Midtown Hospital.

The third year of training (CA-3) consists of elective rotations, research blocks, and advanced clinical assignments. The advanced clinical assignments are made by the Program Director after review of each individual’s case log reports and clinical evaluations. Also during the CA-3 year, an intense regional anesthesia rotation is provided as well as an advanced preoperative clinical consultation rotation. One of our most enjoyed rotations consists of a concentrated two-week block in advanced airway management at Emory University Midtown Hospital. Residents work with head and neck surgeons to provide complex airway management and scrub into tracheostomies to gain surgical airway skills.

Residents take annual written in-training exams (ITEs) as well as Anesthesia Knowledge Test (AKT) exams at various times throughout training. The Department also administers Mock Oral Exams twice a year. The BASIC exam is administered at the end of the CA-1 year, and the ADVANCED exam after graduation. Our board pass rates are excellent.

Residents are matched into “pods”, small groups of CA-1s, CA-2s and CA-3s with a dedicated faculty preceptor. This promotes the residents getting to know other members of their program better, as well as facilitating a long-term relationship with a faculty member.

Resident evaluations are performed at least monthly, and the pod preceptor, the Clinical Competency Committee and Program Director review all evaluations. Each resident meets with the program director at least every six months to review a summative evaluation of performance and a clinical competency report that is submitted to the American Board of Anesthesiology.

In addition to general residency training in Anesthesiology, residents are encouraged to participate in regional, state, and national anesthesiology organizations. Departmental financial support is offered to residents for their participation in these organizations.

Finally, we foster social rapport amongst our residents and faculty by sponsoring monthly Fourth Friday parties at a nearby restaurant, quarterly more formal social functions, and a welcome reception with the program director each year for the incoming CA-1s.

I am proud of our program, which incorporates excellent and rigorous clinical training at multiple sites with the opportunity to do clinical, translational and basic science research and quality improvement. QI is augmented by our department of Data Governance utilizing the rich clinical data generated at Emory University Hospital. Our mission is to guide our residents into becoming our colleagues: excellent anesthesiologists and leaders in the field.

Historically, our graduates have gone on to their choice of academic positions, private practice positions or fellowships. For the graduating class of 2017, I am proud to announce that 13 of our 16 residents have chosen to train in academic fellowships in regional anesthesiology, pain management, cardiac anesthesiology, obstetric anesthesiology and pediatric anesthesiology.

If an applicant or potential applicant to our training program has any questions regarding training in Anesthesiology with Emory University School of Medicine, please contact our departmental resident coordinator at 404-778-3903.

Thank you,

Julie Williamson, DO
Program Director