Chairman's Welcome

As Chairman of the Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care at the University of Chicago, I welcome you to our Web site. Here you will unearth most of the answers to the questions you have about our residency program, and you will discover just why the University of Chicago is the best place for you to start your career in anesthesiology.

The University of Chicago is a world- class, private university in Chicago, Illinois, consistently considered by a multitude of independent university rankings to be among the most prestigious institutions, boasting more Nobel laureates than any other institution, and ranked in the top ten schools in undergraduate education, medicine, business, and law. One of the world’s great intellectual destinations, the University of Chicago empowers learners of all ages to ask tough questions, cross disciplinary boundaries, and challenge conventional thinking to enhance and enrich human life.

Located in one of the world’s greatest cities, UChicago Medicine is enriched by and invested in the community we call home. Though patients come from all over the globe for our advanced and highly specialized medical care, our commitment to a vastly underserved local community is evident in that nearly half our patients are from Chicago’s south side. Our talented faculty, housestaff, nursing and support staff are a dedicated team committed to advancing the forefront of medicine by combining compassionate patient care with groundbreaking medical and biological research

Our new, ten-story, 1.2 million square foot “hospital for the future” is a facility capable of transforming itself as rapidly as medicine is changing. The design of the Center for Care and Discovery is committed not simply to today’s ideal, but to a vision of perpetual adaptation to unpredictable change in patient care and clinical research. This future-oriented vision is built on the University of Chicago’s fundamental commitment to discovery, innovation and collaboration

Residents who join our department benefit substantially from our intensive didactic training program combined with rigorous bedside teaching. A quantitative result of our Department's commitment to resident education is the exceptionally strong performance of our residents on written and oral boards examinations.   

Resident teaching conferences take place daily. They include practice oral board examinations conducted by American Board of Anesthesiology examiners on our faculty; resident presented and faculty moderated key word seminars; frequent subspecialty lectures from other disciplines such as cardiology, nephrology, and infectious diseases, case-based discussions; and additional sessions during subspecialty rotations on ICU, OB, pediatrics, cardiac, and pain medicine. Simulation is growing in our curriculum. Residents can expect to participate in two obstetric anesthesia simulations each year, new transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography curricula with simulators, hands-on practice in central line placement in preparation for rotations in cardiac and intensive care units,and ultrasound workshops to assist in learning regional anesthesia techniques.

Residents also have the opportunity to attend Grand Rounds sessions by internationally renowned anesthesiologists, Quality Improvement Conferences by our faculty and residents, and Journal Clubs for review of the primary literature.
Our residents enjoy training in a busy clinical program. We stress the importance of both the art and science of anesthesia and critical care, and promise that you will learn to confidently and skillfully care for patients with severe pathophysiologic derangements and complex co-morbidities undergoing highly specialized procedures. Don’t worry: you’ll also learn to care for the healthy patients as well!

Clinical activities in the department during the year ending June 2015 are summarized in these statistics: anesthetic care to over 30,000 patients, 6000 critical care encounters, 5,000 anesthesia perioperative medicine visits, and treatment of or for 10,000 patients with acute and chronic pain. Besides administering anesthesia for surgical procedures, our residents experience rotations in acute and chronic pain, and manage primary delivery of comprehensive medical care (not just consultative) to patients in diverse intensive care settings. For those inclined toward private practice, our clinical curriculum can be complemented by 2-5 months of elective time on the Evanston campus of NorthShore University Health System, a community-based, private practice-like educational affiliate. 

We pride ourselves on offering our residents the opportunity to pursue their professional dreams and the mentorship to be successful in them. Our residents have a long history of garnering recognition locally, regionally, and nationally for their efforts in both traditional and non-traditional academic areas. Our residents have obtained international fellowships from the Society for Education in Anesthesia, multidisciplinary teaching awards from the University of Chicago, leadership positions in the resident component of national organizations, and, of course, coveted clinical fellowships. 

With over fifty faculty members, the Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care provides an extensive range of clinical, educational, and research mentorship opportunities for residents who are interested in developing academic careers. Many of our faculty members currently hold or have held leadership positions in transformative national and international medical professional organizations: the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), the Society of Academic Anesthesiology Chairs (SAAC), the Society of Academic Anesthesiology Organizations (SAAO), the Society of Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (SOAP), the Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists (SOCCA), the Society for Ambulatory Anesthesia (SAMBA), the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia (SPA), and the Society for Airway Management (SAM). Residents who are interested in research are encouraged to participate in ongoing departmental or institutional studies. A brief sample of the ongoing research interests of the department includes the study of electronic database information systems, the efficacy of transesophageal echocardiography, the biophysics of anesthetics, patient safety, and clinical investigations into recovery from anesthesia, which resulted in the publication of 100 abstracts, peer- reviewed manuscripts, and book chapters in the last academic year. Even for the residents who do not formally participate in research, training in an environment in which critical thinking is a part of daily life adds a unique dimension to residency that can facilitate an ideal pattern of life-long learning.

Lastly, you should appreciate the intangible yet incredible value of training in what is in every way a “peer department.” The Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care rivals the strengths of all other University of Chicago departments clinically, academically, and administratively. Faculty in our department serve as representatives on hospital and in medical school executive committees, in medical school administration, and in clinical leadership and research. Being a part of this strong and well-respected team as a resident positively influences your day- to-day interactions in the hospital and positions you to learn by example the comprehensive role of a modern day anesthesiologist.

Please feel free to explore this Web site, and discover for yourself just how vital it is to train with the best faculty at one of the best teaching institutions in the world. Again, I welcome you to the Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care at the University of Chicago Medicine, and hope you find all the answers you need to become part of our anesthesiology community.