Why MCW?

MCW training in Anesthesiology is entirely about you as the future anesthesiology perioperative physician. Your training is focused on successfully achieving the status of a diplomate of the American Board of Anesthesiology. This means we prepare you for independent practice as a perioperative physician. Our program has a diversity of cases and a large number of fellowship opportunities to guide you to your consultant status.

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There are many positive attributes of training at MCW including a dedicated Academic Faculty base. One of our strongest assets of our anesthesiology training program 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 training experiences. 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 well-established Regional Block rotation with ultrasound and nerve stimulation. 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.

Resident going through medication with another resident overseeing

A growing strength of our program is in simulation in part due to the VA commitment to an entire wing of the hospital, on the top floor no less, for high fidelity simulation including TEE and TTE. These experiences are highly rated as they are geared entirely to learning rather than assessment of current knowledge. This means that major errors can be made in managing the case scenario without any consequences. The learning takes place in a supportive environment after the sim session is completed. Residents can schedule additional time in simulation as well. Finally, in the 2016/17 academic year we are implementing OSCEs to prepare residents for the upcoming OSCE assessment as part of the ABA Oral examination process. Our commitment to resident success in the ABA written and oral exam is par none.

Training at MCW is all about you. We want to integrate you into the culture of our Department and provide you networking opportunities and scholarship experiences designed to complement your clinical skills. We have a robust mentoring program that matches a small number of residents with a Faculty mentor who extends his/her friendship, advice and expertise to areas within and beyond the academic program. This often comes in the form of a gathering for appetizers and a drink to a full dinner at the mentor’s house 3-4 times in an academic year. This small grouping across a number of warm and welcoming Faculty serves as a safe haven to share thoughts, life events, stresses and needs. Overall it has become what we consider a “wellness program”.

We routinely seek resident input from residents and class ombudsmen on our Education, Clinical Competence, and Curriculum Committees.

We make extensive attempts to provide timely and constructive feedback to our residents. This comes from a custom written software program to assess resident performance along the continuum of milestone achievement. On a quarterly basis, each resident receives a confidential summary of their performance as it compares to their peers (class average).

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. We also make extensive use of Dropbox for educational content.

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.

Comparison with other programs

Category National Average MCW Anesthesiology
Total number of active residents/fellows 5,686  
Number of residents/fellows per program 42.7 66 residents, 17 fellows
Percent female 33.9% 29.5%
Percent international medical graduates 15.1% 22.3%
Number of full-time physician faculty 53.1 77
Number of part-time physician faculty 4.6 20
Percent female full-time physician faculty 30.1% 41.5%
Ratio of full-time physician faculty to resident/fellow 1.3 1.3
Hours on duty per week 61.2 52
Maximum consecutive hours on duty 19.3 24
Days off duty per week 1.5 2
Resident/fellow compensation $52,032 $58,380
Number of weeks of vacation 3.4 3, plus academic and interview days

AMA FREIDA Online, 2016.

House Staff Salaries for 2017-2018 Academic Year

PG-I $59,260
PG-II $60,310
PG-III $61,370
PG-IV $62,420
PG-V $65,580
PG-VI $67,690
PG-VII $69,790
PG-VIII $71,050

Educational Support

Residents receive $2000 ($500 from department and $1,500 from MCWAH) per year to be used for educational purposes. The department funds are for license fees, dues, PDA, etc. The department provides extra funds to cover registration, travel, lodging, and meals to residents who have presentations based on their research efforts. The MCWAH funds are designated as a Working Conditions/Fitness Benefit, and the money will appear on the last paycheck of each academic year.

Medical information is readily accessible through internet-accessible department and hospital computers linked to the Medical College of Wisconsin Libraries. The department also uses the New Innovations and D2L websites accessed via username and password that provide monthly call schedules, notices and memos, contact information for residents and faculty, lectures, keyword reviews, and practice management guidelines.

Research Opportunities

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.

Doctor looking into microscope

The CSRT is a 6-9-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 up to a 9-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.

The Anesthesiology Physician Scientist Development Program 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. Briefly, it is a 5-year track of clinical anesthesia and research time. This path takes advantage of our NIH funded T-32 grant to support Physician Scientists pursuing up to 23 months of research in a 60 month residency training program. We are proud to have 3 residents in this pathway.

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.

View more information about the research being done by our residents, fellows, and faculty.