Residency Rotation Summary

Anesthesiology residency training at the University of Minnesota is a comprehensive clinical experience encompassing six educational opportunities located throughout the Twin Cities area. The Department of Anesthesiology and its core program are based at the M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Medical Center, which is the location of most clinical rotations and didactic sessions. Other integrated sites include the M Health Fairview Masonic Children's Hospital, Region's Hospital, Hennepin County Medical Center, and Minneapolis VA Medical Center. Graduates of our program are well-prepared to care for a wide array of patients encompassing neonates, the critically ill adults, and the very elderly.

Residents typically enter the program in the first postgraduate year (PGY-1) after medical school, however entrance into the first clinical anesthesiology year (CA-1) is considered when space is available. Advanced entry into the CA-2 or CA-3 year may be considered under special circumstances on a case-by-case basis as space permits.

PGY-1 Year

For the first year of our program, the department offers  placements at a one-year program of postdoctoral training at Hennepin County Medical Center. This clinical-base year is designed to prepare the candidate for a residency in anesthesiology.

Rotations are spent in internal medicine, pediatrics, emergency medicine and OB/gynecology. Rotations in surgery, neurology and neonatology are strongly recommended. A one-month rotation in our UMN anesthesiology department is part of this initial year.

During the clinical-base year, the trainee follows a common educational program with trainees of other specialties and participates fully in all patient care, conferences and other clinical duties of the various clinical specialties.

CA-1 & CA-2 Years

The two core years of clinical training are organized into blocks of one week to a month or more in the following areas:

  • Anesthesia for general surgery, otorhinolaryngology, thoracic, gynecology and transplant cardiac anesthesia
  • Neuro-anesthesia
  • Obstetric anesthesia
  • Pediatric anesthesia
  • Acute and chronic pain management
  • Critical care
  • Post anesthesia care
  • Regional anesthesia

Residents take call an average of one week in every six while assigned at the University of Minnesota Medical Center. More frequent call is taken during the obstetric anesthesia and critical care rotations. When residents are at affiliate sites, call at the Medical Center is assigned to fit within the parameters of the rotation and our guidelines.

CA-3 Year

The third year of clinical anesthesiology training is designed to meet the needs of the senior residents and to meet the requirements of the American Board of Anesthesiology. Residents are encouraged to discuss career plans with their advisors and to pursue subspecialty rotations in areas of their interest. During this phase of their training, senior residents are expected to begin to supervise more junior residents under faculty guidance. Up to six months of research time may be available to qualifying CA-3 residents. All senior residents are expected to present a scholarly lecture to the entire Department on a clinical anesthesiology topic of their choice.

The Clinical Anesthesiology Residency

Each clinical anesthesia year (CA-1, CA-2, CA-3) has ten trainees per class. The thirty-six month continuum provides each trainee with comprehensive exposure to all aspects of clinical anesthesiology and meets the eligibility requirements for certification by the American Board of Anesthesiology. All graduates are expected to pass USMLE Step 3, be eligible for Minnesota medical state licensure, and become certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA).

Significant clinical experience is provided in all specialties including cardiovascular surgery, neurosurgery, pediatric and neonatal surgery, urology, transplantation, orthopedics, otorhinolaryngology, obstetrics and gynecology, trauma and burns, ophthalmology, critical care and pain management. While some of our training sites are busy regional centers servicing the metropolitan region of the Twin Cities, the flagship hospital, University of Minnesota Medical Center, is a quaternary care center which attracts patients from throughout the nation and the world who require subspecialty care. Consequently, the patient population is clinically diverse including patients who need routine care to those having experimental therapy for rare illnesses.

Anesthesiology residents progress through the program at a pace consistent with their level of training and capabilities, from basic duties to increasingly demanding responsibilities. Trainees are guided and supervised in the operating suites by both full-time and adjunct anesthesiology faculty from the University of Minnesota. Attending anesthesiologists also supervise certified registered nurse anesthetists who provide a significant portion of the service requirements of the Department and help to provide the flexibility to meet the educational needs of our resident trainees. The Department also has an active medical student teaching program and anesthesiology residents will have the opportunity to teach and work closely with medical students.

Didactic Program

Throughout the anesthesiology residency training period, residents participate in a wide array of teaching sessions which occur in a variety of formats. Faculty from the Department of Anesthesiology, as well as from other departments at the University of Minnesota Medical School, give lectures and lead teaching sessions. In addition, national guest lecturers are invited to speak on a regular basis. Regularly scheduled teaching sessions occur four days per week and include:

  • Core lecture series
  • Resident reading seminar
  • Case management conference
  • Problem based learning discussion
  • Journal club
  • Visiting professor lectures
  • In-training exam preparation

In addition, mock oral board preparation and workshops on difficult airway, regional anesthesia and career planning are offered yearly. The department is very involved in utilizing the new patient simulation center, which will enhance resident and medical student education with basic and advanced patient management protocols, crisis training such as malignant hyperthermia, and crew resource management (CRM) techniques.


Formative evaluations of every resident are performed by supervising faculty, perioperative staff, and co-residents on a daily basis, following each rotation and quarterly by the Clinical Competency Committee. Summative evaluations occur bi-annually and are based on a detailed review of each individual resident’s progress. The main goal of evaluations is to provide residents with useful guidance that will allow them to succeed as anesthesiology consultants.