The Anesthesiology Residency Program consists of a diverse family of residents who contribute significantly to the quality of care provided for a broad patient population base at the University of Minnesota Medical Center.
Our residency training program draws its strength from the scope of hands-on experience offered, the faculty’s depth of knowledge our drive to improve the field of medicine and the lives of our patients. Exceptional education is acquired in a collegial, family-friendly culture that offers many professional and personal advantages.
Students may intern at our medical school through a partnership with Hennepin County Medical Center, or they may apply for an advanced position at the University of Minnesota Medical Center and set up an internship at another accredited program. This allows students to work with different colleagues, faculty and systems and explore another community, if they desire.
- The quality and diversity of cases, including early exposure to subspecialty training.
- Academic reputation and leadership support and investment in research during and after residency, other academic pathways and post-residency fellowship placement.
- Positive and supportive culture, engagement in resident wellbeing, and balanced work-life schedules.
Welcome to the University of Minnesota Anesthesiology Residency! We are excited to show you who we are and what we are about.
A little about me, I am an assistant professor of anesthesiology and fellowship-trained pediatric anesthesiologist. I am originally from the midwest but lived in NYC for several years prior to moving back to the midwest after my husband and I finished our training. We love Minneapolis with it having all the amenities of a big city combined with amazing outdoor activities as well as a wonderful place to call home and raise a family. I love working at the University of Minnesota because we are more than colleagues, we are a family.
To provide the best possible learning environment, our 10-resident program is large enough to be comprehensive, yet small enough for one-on-one interaction with all faculty. Our department size and philosophy encourages close working relationships. Each resident has two faculty advisors for both professional and personal support. Residents are encouraged to help each other learn, rather than compete, and eventually become teachers themselves within the program.
Our didactic program includes lectures, simulation sessions, problem-based learning sessions, reading seminars, web-based educational programs, TTE/TEE curriculum, journal clubs, board reviews and mock orals, work-shops, quality improvement projects, practice management curriculums and other activities where our residents attain an extensive knowledge base of anesthesiology practice as a whole.
Each resident is expected to demonstrate scholarship by participating in scholarly activities, including research projects, quality improvement projects, educational projects etc. For a resident specifically interested in pursuing scholarship of discovery as an essential component of their future career, we have developed a resident researcher pathway, which allows the resident to participate in more extensive original research that advances knowledge.
Every year, two talented residents are supported by the department chair and the residency program director to participate in the Resident Leadership Academy. The program, developed by the Graduate Education Office, develops future physician leaders.
Combined Pathway Program
The Combined Pathway Program allows trainees the opportunity to pursue other degrees during their anesthesiology training, such as an MBA or MHA.
Dr. Dip Shukla, a current resident, answered several questions on his experience and take-aways from the program.
- Why did you choose the combined pathway program?
The Combined Pathway Program gave me the opportunity to explore my interests outside of medicine in a way that allows me to build cross-disciplinary expertise. I had a long-standing interest in learning about the business of healthcare and how we can impact care beyond clinical practice. I chose to participate in the MBA program as a resident because I believe it will enrich my understanding of how our healthcare system cares for patients and how I can interact with the system.
- When did you decide to go ahead with the program?
After learning about this program during residency interviews, it was an important part of my consideration process for match rankings. I finally decided to go ahead with the program a few months into my PGY1 year. This allowed enough time to understand the residency workload, learn more about the program, and meet application deadlines for the master’s program.
- How was the application process to the Masters program?
The application process for the Masters Program was similar to past applications for college and residency. It required a personal statement, letters of recommendation, a program specific application, and interview. Some programs also require additional standardized exam scores (GRE or GMAT) beyond the MCAT and USMLEs as a part of the process that can add of the time commitment and lead time for applications.
- How was the Department of Anesthesia process to get tuition support?
The process of getting tuition support once accepted into the program was relatively effortless. It required notifying the program finance department that I was enrolled in classes for the semester, and they coordinate to make the payment by the due date. For course materials not a part of tuition, like books and other course materials, there is a reimbursement process that can be used.
- How is the mentorship on both the program side and the Department side?
There are advisors available from both the Masters program and residency department. Dr. Thomas serves as our main point of contact from the residency program, with additional support from chief residents to aid in scheduling for classes and residency rotations. There is flexibility around how much you need to utilize these resources, but they are available as needed.
- How did you balance your time between the residency and the Master's program?
Balancing residency commitments with the Masters program takes planning and forethought. Time management is key to being able to do both, and doing a little bit everyday makes it possible. I create dedicated time slots for classes around my residency schedule for homework and reading. An important aspect is to also work with the chief residents to schedule for Masters courses so that they don’t conflict with clinical duties. It also helps to take some time every week to plan out deadlines and forecast commitments.
- What advice would you give your peers now that you are well into the residency and the Masters program?
Advice I received that I found helpful when I started the program is the importance of going slow and steady in approaching both commitments and asking for help when needed. Both endeavors are challenging individually, and definitely when attempted together. Breaking down requirements from each into more manageable portions makes it more achievable and less stressful.
- What do you think about this opportunity that the Department of Anesthesiology provides?
Clinical anesthesia training is the main priority, but what I learn through this program enriches how I think about the care we deliver. I also get to develop a skillset in something I have an interest in beyond residency. I would encourage others to take part in the program if it will help them achieve their downstream personal or professional goals. This is a great opportunity, but also represents a significant commitment of time and effort.
- What would you do differently if you had the opportunity to replan your residency and the Masters program from the beginning?
If I had the opportunity to replan the Masters program and residency, I would start the process earlier. Applying earlier in PGY1 year, or near the start of residency, would have afforded me the flexibility to spread out my course load over a greater amount of time. I would also have placed greater upfront effort, with joint contributions from both programs, in designing my academic schedule to make them as compatible as possible.
- What do you think about the tax implications that you were made aware of when you do the program?
The tax implications are an important factor when considering the program. The impact is difficult to generalize but can be substantial based on personal finances and commitments. While providing support to make the program possible, it may have impacts like increasing your tax bracket / assessment and lowering your post-tax take home pay. Prior to deciding on participating in the program, meeting with a tax expert may be helpful. Based on my life situation, the cost of living in Minneapolis, and financial commitments, the opportunity was worth the tax impact.
From neonates to geriatrics, from populations with genetic disorders to transplant patients, we care for a diverse patient population, drawn from a large geographic area. Their medical needs may be simple or complex, involving surgery, regional anesthesia, acute and chronic pain management and intensive care unit patient care, giving our residents a broad-based learning experience. We expose residents to perioperative surgical home, outpatient surgery environment, enhanced recovery after surgery protocols and much more.
Our emphasis on a well-balanced education includes training with the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) staff. This provides valuable experience with a care team model prevalent in many parts of the U.S.
Residents complete their clinical base year at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. The year is designed to provide broad education in medical disciplines relevant to anesthesiology. The transitional program director and core residency program director collaborate continuously to create an excellent experience for our interns, including a month spent in our main operating rooms.
We respect our residents' personal time, and recognize the importance of a balanced life. Reasonable hours and regular schedules make our program a good fit for residents with families and other commitments.
Ultrasound Workshops: All the ultrasound workshops except the heart dissection lab use the ultrasound machines on a live person and look at the system that they are focusing on.
Lung: The lung ultrasound workshop involves pre workshop e learning and on the day of the workshop the participants will use low and high frequency ultrasound probes to image the lungs on healthy volunteers. At the end of the workshop the participants will learn about the blue points, lung sliding, identifying and ruling out pneumothorax, A and B lines and looking for pleural effusions.
Gastric: The gastric ultrasound workshop involves pre workshop e learning and on the day of the workshop the participants will learn how to image the stomach in the supine and lateral positions and to assess gastric volume on live volunteers.
Airway: The airway workshop includes pre workshop e learning. On the day of the workshop participants will use high frequency ultrasound probes to image and identify thyroid cartilage, cricoid cartilage, tracheal rings, cricothyroid membrane and the cervical esophagus.
FAST Exam: Make use of the ultrasound and a live person to practice the FAST exam, (Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma). Teaching the learner to quickly identify potential problems with the heart and abdominal organs.
Heart Dissection Lab: Learners are guided through a dissection of a pig heart to identify anatomy while looking at sample images of ultrasounds to see the relationship between what is on the screen versus the physical heart. The participants will also learn how to correlate echocardiographic views and anatomy on the pig heart. We will also have a cardiac surgeon who will walk us through the usual sites for cannulation and different approaches to cardiac surgical procedures on the pig heart.