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Anesthesia Resident Curriculum

A curriculum is the organized teaching efforts of a faculty. We have an extensive didactic program, however, no schedule of didactics can comprehensively cover the increasingly broad field of knowledge in our discipline, and every resident is expected to read comprehensively. This requires self-motivation and discipline. Most resident education is impromptu and based on the problems presented by a particular patient and proposed operation.

While we follow the requirements specified by the accrediting bodies, we have departed from the traditional three year format and now organize the didactic and clinical teaching efforts along the lines of a beginning and then an advanced core curriculum, followed by electives. Each resident's progress and readiness to move to the next phase is evaluated at frequent intervals.

In addition to the usual clinical evaluations, we conduct an oral examination every year for each resident.

Core Curriculum Year 1 & Early Year 2

The core curriculum consists of the basic skills and knowledge that every anesthesiologist must possess, and that are prerequisites to his or her further development in the electives curriculum.


Much of this period is spent in the main operating rooms at the UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest, the Jacobs Medical Center in La Jolla, and the San Diego Veterans Administration Medical Center. This period consists of:

  • A graded introduction to the general field of anesthesiology, and may be thought of as a tutorial in how to separate the "white noise" in the operating suites from the elegance of thoughtfully and skillfully administered anesthesia
  • Residents being paired with a team of two seasoned clinicians, a faculty member, and a senior resident during their first month
  • Regularly scheduled lectures on the basics of anesthetic practice

Rotations during the first part of the core curriculum include:

Advanced Curriculum

Residents are closely supervised in the beginning. As they progress in their training, they gain autonomy and are able to care for increasingly challenging patients. This period of training consists rotations through:

  • Neuro Critical Care Medicine
  • Surgical and Cardiac ICUs
  • Regional Anesthesia
  • Pain Management
  • Neuroanesthesia
  • Cardiothoracic Anesthesia
  • Pediatric Anesthesia
  • Obstetric Anesthesia
  • Advanced Airway Management

Electives & Curriculum Years Late 2nd to 3rd

Considerable latitude in educational methods and direction is appropriate to the last part of the residency, and each resident, in consultation with a faculty member, can design a curriculum unique to his or her individual needs, interests, and talents. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Advanced Cardiothoracic Anesthesia
  • Transesophageal Echocardiography
  • Advanced Regional Anesthesia
  • Advanced Pediatric Anesthesia
  • Advanced Neuroanesthesia
  • Research
  • International Anesthesia