Frequently Asked Questions

What USMLE score makes me a competitive candidate?

We consider applicants for an interview if they have achieved a minimal score of 220 on their USMLE step one.

 

What are the primary clinical sites where residents rotate?

The majority of our clinical rotations take place at Hartford Hospital and Saint Francis Hospital. In addition we rotate through UConn Health and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Between these four clinical sites there is a capacity for over 1,800 hospital beds and 100 anesthetizing locations.

 

Does the program offer preparation courses for the new CA-1 residents?

Yes. Our residency program has implemented the Learnly program (formerly known as STARTprep) since 2016. Residents receive daily emails highlighting a specific case scenario. Next, they are instructed to work through a module comprised of educational material along with reflective questions, a short three to five question quiz, and flashcards. This program prepares residents for the basics of anesthesia by allowing them to reinforce concepts learned through textbooks and in the clinical setting through a daily 15 to 20 minute learning module.

How long are clinical rotations at each clinical site?

Our schedule is composed of thirteen four-week blocks. Residents remain at the same clinical site for each four-week block.

Who makes the call schedule?

The two chief residents make the call schedule several months in advance. Residents are given the opportunity to request certain weekends off or specific call days to accommodate non-work related obligations.

How frequently are residents on call?

In each four-week block residents are responsible for approximately four to six 24-hour call shifts. The following post call day is off and free of clinical responsibility. Most of the time resident call responsibilities take place at the clinical site in which they are assigned for that block.

When do new residents begin taking call?

CA-1 residents have no call obligation for the first 90 days of training. They are eased into call by use of a buddy system with a CA-2 or CA-3 resident.

How are didactics structured?

Our program holds weekly didactics sessions on Mondays for all residents to attend. This is considered protected time and residents are relieved from their operating room duties in order to attend. The location of the didactics rotates between UConn Health, Saint Francis Hospital, and Hartford Hospital. Generally speaking, there is one four-hour didactic session (4 to 8 p.m.) at UConn Health followed the next Monday by a two-hour session (4 to 6 p.m.) either at Saint Francis Hospital or Hartford Hospital.

What other educational seminars do residents attend?

Each hospital has weekly anesthesiology seminars in addition to scheduled didactics. Conferences occur from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Thursdays at Hartford Hospital and Wednesdays from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. at all other sites.

Do residents attend national conferences?

Our residents frequently attend national Anesthesiology conferences. We have a strong presence every year at the annual meeting of American Society of Anesthesiologists and International Anesthesia Research Society. Most residents present a challenging medical case or scientific research abstract at one of these conferences. Subspecialty conferences such as the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology meeting, Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologist meeting, Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists, American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine are also frequently attended by residents.

How many days are residents allowed to use for conference time?

Residents have a maximum of 15 conference days, which can be used throughout their residency. These days are in addition to their annual vacation time.

Is financial support provided to attend national conferences?

Each resident is provided one stipend of $2,000 to attend an educational conference in which they present a case or scientific research. A second stipend of $2,000 is available for residents to attend a conference in which they are not a presenter.

What professional leadership opportunities are available to residents?

Outside of our program many residents have chosen to become leaders as resident representatives to the American Society of Anesthesiologists and Connecticut State Society of Anesthesiologists. Several other residents have become leaders as members of the UConn Resident Forum and Resident Council, which oversee resident and fellow related issues.

Are there any Anesthesiology oral board examiners in the residency program?

We currently have three active oral board examiners in our program and two emeritus examiners.

How are residents prepared for their oral board exams?

Monthly oral board preparation occurs for residents rotating at Hartford Hospital in a group round-table session. Constructive criticism is provided at the end of each session to improve future performances. In addition, we conduct one on one oral board practice sessions annually for all graduating CA-3 residents. Other trainees are present during this session and take notes. A debriefing session is present after each oral board scenario.

Do residents participate in simulation sessions during their residency?

Yes, residents participate in simulation scenarios with mock patient scenarios throughout their residency. As part of the UConn residency program we have access to the state-of-art Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation (CESI), which is on the Hartford Hospital campus. A virtual tour of this state of the art simulation center is available through the Hartford Hospital website.

Are residents allowed to moonlight?

Internal moonlighting opportunities are available to residents in good academic standing with approval of the program director. Moonlighting is available only after the first six months of residency. All moonlighting must comply with the ACGME mandated maximum of 80-hour workweek averaged over four weeks.

Are there Anesthesiology fellowship programs available through the University of Connecticut or affiliated hospitals?

UConn currently offers ACGME-accredited Pediatric anesthesia fellowship and its affiliated hospitals (Hartford Hospital and Saint Francis Hospital) offer non-ACGME accredited fellowship in Regional Anesthesia.

Where do residents end up after graduating?

Many residents enter competitive fellowships after completion of the UConn Anesthesiology Residency Program. Other graduates choose to pursue a private practice career immediately after residency. Many residents choose to return and work for one of the two private practice groups involved in our residency training program; a testament to the collegial and positive work environment residents experience during their training.

Is there a transplant program?

We currently have active solid organ transplants involving heart, liver, and kidney. Residents are intimately involved in providing the anesthesia care for organ transplant. Heart and liver transplants are performed at Hartford Hospital, one of the only two leading transplant programs in the state of Connecticut.

How is the cardiothoracic anesthesiology experience?

Our program has a very active cardiothoracic anesthesiology experience. Between our hospitals we perform over 1,800 open-heart procedures annually. We do not have a cardiothoracic anesthesiology fellowship program so residents are exposed to a vast array of complex cases and pathology. Rooms are staffed one to one with a resident and attending to maximize the educational experience. As tertiary referral hospitals we perform advanced procedures on some of the most ill patients. Ventricular assist device placement, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, and TAVRs are routine. We also perform about 25 heart transplants annually at Hartford Hospital.

Are trainees exposed to transesophageal echocardiography?

Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) is used in almost all cardiac operating rooms and liver transplant cases. TEE is taught one on one by cardiothoracic anesthesiologists in the operating room to residents. Additionally, most residents choose a month long TEE elective as a CA-3 to gain additional competency in performing and interpreting TEE studies.

Do residents take the basic transesophageal exam?

Trainees can easily surpass the requisite number of personally performed and supervised TEE exams necessary to sit for the Basic TEE examination. Many residents have chosen to take this exam and have successfully passed.

What exposure do residents have to regional anesthesiology?

We have very active regional anesthesiology program at all three adult hospital sites. Residents have two dedicated blocks for regional anesthesiology built into the curriculum. Most trainees opt for additional elective time in regional anesthesiology as a CA-3. It is feasible to finish residency easily completing several hundred personally performed regional blocks. Most graduating residents are confident in their ability to perform several upper and lower extremity regional anesthetics without pursuing fellowship training.

How many peripheral nerve blocks are performed at your residency program?

At Hartford Hospital site alone there are over 5,000 regional techniques performed every year. Of these approximately 1,000 of the blocks are catheter based.

Is there an opportunity to learn retrobulbar blocks?

Yes, we have one of the few residency programs in the country where trainees can learn to perform retrobulbar blocks. Most residents choose to do this as a two week CA-3 elective as party of a regional rotation at an outpatient eye center.

How is the obstetric anesthesia experience?

At both Saint Francis and Hartford Hospital we have a very busy obstetric anesthesia service. In 2015, there were over 5,000 catheter based labor epidurals combined from both institutions. Annual deliveries exceed 6,000 per year. The cesarean section rate is roughly 30%.

Is there a faculty mentorship program for residents?

Each resident is offered a faculty mentor of his or her choice at the end of first six months of entering the residency program. Mentee and Mentor are encouraged to meet every six months to review mentee’s clinical and academic performance. Mentees are expected to think through their career goals, seek timely feedback and evaluate the mentoring relationship semiannually. Mentor will review mentee’s plan of achieving his/her goals and advise what needs to be done. Mentor will also assist in establishing connections for the mentee to others in his or her field of interest either for fellowship or job opportunity.