Anesthesiology

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Medical College of Wisconsin Anesthesiology Residency Program
Frequently Asked Questions

 Why should I choose your Program?

One of our best assets is the quality and diversity of cases you will experience. We have four base hospitals, all located in the Milwaukee area and within 2-5 miles of our main campus. There is no need to send residents outside of our Medical College of Wisconsin Program for additional experience. Strengths of our residency program, as identified by our graduating residents, include a high volume, high risk obstetric service, a comprehensive pediatric experience at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin (physically connected to our main campus at Froedtert Hospital), a Pain Program that incorporates state-of-the-art techniques and procedures with a very strong didactic component, and a newly established Regional Block rotation with ultrasound and nerve stimulation, to establish expertise in regional techniques for perioperative analgesia. Advanced training is offered in ACGME-accredited fellowship programs in Pain, Pediatrics, Critical Care, OB, and Cardiac, and non-accredited fellowships in Neuro and Regional Anesthesia. Our case volume is very good (~600 cases per year), but not excessive. This provides time to read and avoids any issues with violation of the ACGME-mandated, 80-hour workweek.

We want to integrate you into the culture of our organization and provide you networking opportunities and scholarship experiences designed to complement your clinical skills. We have a mentoring program that matches each resident with a Faculty mentor who extends his/her friendship, advice and expertise to areas within and beyond the academic program. We also seek resident input on our Education, Clinical Competence, and Curriculum Committees.

We make extensive attempts to provide timely and constructive feedback to our residents. Residents receive monthly electronic evaluations from Faculty that they have worked with in the prior 30 days. And conversely, the resident is asked to electronically evaluate these same faculty. On a quarterly basis, each resident receives a confidential summary of their performance as it compares to their peers.

We aim for transparency in our processes and easy access to information. We maintain rotation schedules and the didactic calendar on the New Innovations website, where residents also are able to check their attendance records and view their evaluations. The Angel website houses all videotaped lectures and PowerPoint.

And finally, Milwaukee is a great place to live! The City of Milwaukee and surrounding suburbs are known for lack of traffic congestion, a low cost of living, and a beautiful (and active) lakefront. The community is small enough to get around in easily, yet loaded with quality shopping, entertainment venues, and restaurants. The people are warm, friendly, and welcoming. For those residents with children, there are many top-rated school systems, and we are happy to assist you with information and recommendations.

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 How does the MCW Anesthesiology Residency Program compare with other Anesthesiology programs in the U.S.?

View the Fun Facts from FREIDA Online (PDF) that compares Anesthesiology programs.

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 Is the Program in ACGME compliance?

Our residency program was reviewed by the ACGME's Residency Review Committee in December, 2009, and we are fully accredited.

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 What do you do to prepare your residents for the Boards?

We have a focused three-year didactic program designed to deliver materials on a progressive basis.  Residents also are expected to complete the Anesthesia Knowledge Test (AKT) at 0, 1, 6, and 24 months into training to help them measure their progress and prepare for the Boards. Missed topics from each exam are reviewed and incorporated into our didactic program.  New this academic year is an entirely restructured CA-1 education curriculum geared specifically to cover topics on the new ABA Part 1 basic exam given at the end of the CA-1 year.  During the three months just prior to the annual In-Service Exam, CA-3s have weekly sessions devoted to a comprehensive board review.  We have several faculty members who write questions for the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) In-Service Exam and two faculty members who are examiners for the National Oral Board Exam.  Our Friday morning Morbidity and Mortality Conferences, monthly Journal Club meetings, and teaching in the OR setting add to the preparation for these exams.

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 What research opportunities are available to residents?

For those who are interested in extensive clinical and research training, we offer the Clinician-Scientist Research Track (CSRT) and a newer Anesthesiology Physician Scientist Development Program. The CSRT is a six-month research block offered to qualified residents. Qualification includes above average performance during the first two years of residency. The ABA has defined a research pathway as a six-month period of time that does not extend the residency. We typically have one or two residents each year that receive a research block and work with one of the many funded investigators in our Department, which currently ranks 6th in the country in NIH funding. The Physician Scientist Research Track is an extensive program for those with a strong research background who interview for the position during their 4th year of medical school, or while a graduate student who has completed medical school. This is described in detail elsewhere. Briefly, it is a 5-year track of clinical anesthesia and research time. For those who are interested in getting just a taste of research, our Faculty are always excited to have residents participate in research. There are small projects and/or case reports that can be undertaken during their three years of residency training.

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 What changes are coming in the Program?

We are well into the early phases of creating podcasts to supplement our curriculum. The first podcasts are focused on "just-in-time" learning topics for our new CA-1s. These are impact topics to help the CA-1 understand how patient pathology influences anesthesia perioperative care. Podcasts of topics such as aortic stenosis, acute and chronic renal failure, reactive airway disease, diabetes, and hypertension are completed We are refining a recently implemented night float system for our residents. We have a new rotation in place at our ambulatory surgery center. We have developed a new curriculum for each resident to be involved in a quality improvement process during their CA-2 year. They work in teams with a faculty mentor. We are adding curriculum that will focus on Practice Management topics important to our specialty in these changing times and the upcoming implementation of the affordable care act. Finally, upon the requests of the CT surgeons, we have created an entirely new CT ICU at Froedtert Hospital, run by the anesthesiology team. The request is an outgrowth of the successes with our anesthesiology-directed VA SICU.  It seems that each year a few new changes are added or substituted for existing endeavors.  These changes are generally driven by resident input.  We will continue to make changes and seek ways to better meet the needs of all residents with an interesting and diverse education program

 

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 How do you assist your residents as they transition from their training to independent practice?

We offer a "Transition to Practice" workshop to all CA-2 residents, which we believe is timed appropriately to be most useful.  We also supply the "Transition to Practice Guidelines" as a document residents may refer to throughout their training to help them to prepare for their future in a timely manner.

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 What might I expect for weekly hours of duty while training at MCW?

We take all components of the ACGME (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education) duty hour regulations quite seriously at MCW Anesthesiology. Shown below are the average weekly duty hours of our interns and residents during the two mandatory months of monitoring at MCW. We are well below the mandated limit of 80 hours per week. The hours in October for the PGY-4 (CA-3) class is quite small as many attended the annual ASA meeting and were gone a week during that month. We also monitor call frequency, time off between duty shifts and days completely free from clinical duties and never approach or exceed the restrictions from the ACGME. The graphs display the average work hours/week for each class in October and March, and the average days off for those same months (the ACGME requires 1 in 7 days free of clinical duties or approximately, at minimum, 4 per month).

 

MCW Anesthesiology Residency Average Duty Hours 2012-2013MCW Anesthesiology Residency Average Days Off 2012-2013

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Page Updated 08/21/2014