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Residency Program Frequently Asked Questions

What is a typical call schedule for residents?

Our call schedule is varied based on year in residency. First year residents will take more in-house call, especially the Main OR call. As you advance, you become eligible for additional call pools (e.g. OB, cardiac, liver transplants, VA OR call) as well as night float.

  • Main OR call resident typically comes in at 5pm and relieves daytime resident or late resident.
  • Cardiac and liver transplant call residents come in at 5pm and relieve the daytime cardiac and main OR residents. Once they are released from duties, they remain on "pager call" should there be a cardiac case or liver transplant overnight.
  • OB call resident typically comes in at 5pm and relieves the daytime OB resident.
  • Jacobs Medical Center night float resident typically comes in at 5pm to relieve daytime resident. Once cases are done for the evening, this resident is dismissed to go home but remains on pager call until 7am.
  • Hillcrest Night float is currently scheduled in 1-2 week blocks, Monday to Friday nights, 7 PM to 7 AM. When on night float you are the back up for the Main OR call resident as well as the OB anesthesia service at our Hillcrest Hospital. Thus, this is a more senior resident position.

Typically, a CA1 will have 5-6 in-house calls per month, while a CA3 will average 4 in-house calls per month, with additional pager calls to also average 5-6 call nights per month. Additionally, when on specialty rotations, a resident is typically not available to the main call pool, but will instead take call on that rotation. Apart from in-house call covering the ICU during the mandatory ICU months, specialty rotation calls are pager calls.

What options do residents have for electives?

Electives are available to CA3 residents and selected during the latter part of the CA2 year. Currently, UCSD offers two 4-week blocks for elective. Available electives include:

  • Research - this is actually available as up to a 6 month block depending on the project
  • Echocardiography - both TEE/TTE training and residents are able to qualify for the TEE Basic exam if desired
  • Regional Anesthesia - this is an optional 3rd month
  • Pediatrics - an optional 3rd month, available at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, or at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles
  • Pain Medicine - optional 2nd month
  • Global Health - away/international electives (e.g. one resident lectured on regional anesthesia in Vietnam with one of our faculty members).
  • OR Management - residents work alongside the board runner to coordinate OR flow
  • OR Supervision - residents work alongside an attending to supervise and manage multiple anesthetic locations

Since you’re an Advanced Program (PGY 2-4), is it still possible for me to have all 4 years of training in San Diego?

Yes - 6 of the 16 anesthesiology applicants matched yearly will complete all 4 years of training in San Diego. Those 6 advanced anesthesiology residency positions link to a guaranteed San Diego Intern year with the Scripps Mercy San Diego Transitional Year Internship, which you rank with the NRMP in your order of preference. Note that in addition to your UC San Diego Anesthesiology application, you must also submit separate ERAS applications to these internships.

See our Application home page for more information

What are acceptable programs for the internship year?

We welcome residents from a variety of internships. We have had residents whose backgrounds include surgical internships, medical internships (and residencies), as well as the popular transitional internships.

Link to Scripps Mercy Transitional Program

Do you have a minimum for Board Scores?

We consider the breadth of the application, not just your test scores, and although we don’t have a strict cut-off for the USMLE/COMPLEX scores, our residents tend to be above the average in this measure. That being said, life experience counts, and many of our residents have experiences beyond the straightforward high school > college > medical school > residency pathway.

What hospitals will I rotate through?

The majority of your experience will be on our La Jolla campus. The Jacob's Medical Center and Sulpezio Cardiovascular Center are interconnected and there you will train in cardiothoracic anesthesia, neuroanesthesia, obstetric anesthesia, regional anesthesia, and general anestheisa. The Koman Outpatient Pavillion is adjacent to this hospital and provides excellent training in outpatient anesthesia. Our Hillcrest Hospital (near downtown San Diego) is a level one trauma center and is where you will take in-house trauma call. Rady Children's Hospital (the largest children's hospital in California) is where you will train in pediatric anestheisa and is roughly 15 minutes from the La Jolla and Hillcrest campuses. All of these hospitals are UCSD hospitals with UCSD faculty that rotate between them. Lastly, three minutes from Jacob's Medical Center is the San Diego VA Hospital where you will train in both general and cardiothoracic anesthesia under the supervision of UCSD faculty.

What is the role of CRNAs at UCSD?

At UCSD we have hired several highly trained and exceptional nurse anesthetists that work along side our residents under the supervision of our faculty. As a result, we are able to ensure that our residents get assigned to more complex surgical cases in order to optimize resident education and support the educational mission of the department. You will find that they are very amicable and you will enjoy working together as colleagues.

What fellowships does UCSD offer?

UCSD has a number of ACGME accredited and non-accredited fellowships. Many of our residents decide to stay at UCSD for a fellowship year as well as go on to other highly respected fellowship programs.