Critical care is a strong fundamental offering in the core anesthesiology residency. The department has a longstanding tradition of excellence in critical care, managing three separate intensive care units (ICUs) in the hospital- Cardiothoracic, Surgical, and Burn. Residents can expect an intense and fulfilling experience managing the sickest patients in the medical center, learning firsthand about principles of resuscitation, invasive monitoring with central lines and pulmonary artery catheters, and complex physiology.
Our cardiac surgery population ensures an enriching experience in the cardiothoracic ICU, including the complex management of devices (left or right vetricular assist devices, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, and total mechanical heart), transplant patients, and various forms of shock. Residents emerge from the rotation confident in their understanding of the principles of cardiovascular physiology and therapy. The surgical ICU experience encompasses a wide variety of cases and care (septic shock, acute respiratory distress syndrome, heparin-induced thrombocytopenia), demonstrating the full trajectory of operative illness and building on a true perioperative care model, most recently emphasized in the concept of the perioperative surgical home. Our burn ICU goes even further. Here residents see intake and triage of thermal injury, resuscitation and subsequent debridements and grafting, and are directly involved in care through and after discharge. Residents become skilled at central line, arterial line, and temporary catheter placement fo dialysis patient by participating in central line training simulation taught by our ICU faculty, and by frequent opportunities for line placement in our busy ICUs.
Our ICU faculty take pride in their teaching, which includes bedside rounds and regular didactics during the week. For anyone who has enjoyed case-based teaching of physiology, these rotations are a great way to build valuable skills in the ICU and operating room. Residents can expect their responsibilities to increase in tandem with their knowledge. As they proceed in their residency, the expectations in the ICU change to a broader oversight strategy. Our ICUs are a unique opportunity to learn how to manage many patients and even an entire ward at the same time. These rotations demand a lot of effort, but offer a truly galvanizing experience.
Research is also highly emphasized in our ICU section. Residents are encouraged to partake in research projects that are already IRB-approved, or to ask clinical questions and create their own IRB proposals to study clinical queries. These projects and IRB submissions are mentored by our ICU faculty. With faculty leadership in the Society of Critical Care Anesthesia and as editors of Anesthesia and Analgesia, writing opportunities for academic advancement are abundant. Residents are frequently invited to co-author review articles and book chapters or and present scientific abstracts at regional and national meetings. When academic efforts strengthen a CV, the resident is competitive in a fellowship match.