Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine >> Education >> Residency Training Program

Residency Training Program
at UW Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine

The educational programs at the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine teach trainee physicians the knowledge, skills and professionalism required for clinical excellence; promote compassionate patient care; inspire a sense of enquiry and life-long learning; and develop leaders in anesthesiology, pain medicine, and critical care for the 21st century.

The Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine at the University of Washington serves the educational needs for the five "WWAMI" states: Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. We offer four different residency training opportunities:

Our training sites include:

University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC)
Harborview Medical Center (HMC)
Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System (VA)
Seattle Children’s Hospital (CH)
Virginia Mason Hospital (VM) (Regional anesthesia)
Northwest Hospital (NW) (Cardiac anesthesia)
Swedish Hospital (SW) (Obstetric Anesthesia)
Evergreen Hospital (EG) (Obstetric anesthesia)

Training Eligibility Requirements

For detailed eligibility information, please view the following documents:

Brief History of UW

photo of Dr. Jophn Bonica
Dr. John Bonica

The University of Washington was founded in 1861 and is located in Seattle on the shores of Lake Washington. The UW School of Medicine has an outstanding national reputation for teaching, clinical service and research. Likewise, our department is ranked among the leading academic departments in the country. The Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine was founded in 1960 by Dr. John Bonica, a world leader in regional anesthesia and pain management.

We pride ourselves on the depth and breadth of the training we offer. When a physician completes our program, he or she is equipped to manage any clinical situation in the perioperative period. The University of Washington Medical Center is located on the university campus and our residents and faculty have ready access to scientists in all disciplines so that collaborative efforts are facilitated. The Department has extensive grant-supported basic and clinical research programs and many externally funded grants.


Overview of Residency Training at
UW Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine

Continuing Five Year Accreditation by the ACGME

In April 2011, the UW Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine Residency Training Program was reaccredited by the ACGME for a further period of 5 years following on from our previous 5 years. This achievement places our program in the top echelon of residency training programs nationally.

We are accredited for 28 in each of the clinical anesthesia (CA) years 1 through 3; we offer 26 "categorical" positions for PGY1 residents who rotate through linked medicine and surgery rotations. The categorical positions (Clinical Base Year) are a popular choice as they allow residents to remain in the same program for all 4 years of their training and to take advantage of excellent training opportunities. By offering the majority of our positions as four year training we compete with the top programs nationally. We have developed a well-balanced internship year providing outstanding experience in general internal medicine. As well as this strong grounding in medicine, our interns also experience a variety of other specialties which provide a strong base to their clinical anesthesiology training. This includes months of intensive care, pain, anesthesiology, otolaryngology, general surgery, pediatrics, and emergency room care.

A Top Choice for Medical Students

Anesthesiology is an increasingly popular subspecialty for graduating medical students. The Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine has close links to the University of Washington Medical School, offering 2 and 4 week clerkships for medical students from both the local medical school and from schools across the country. Anesthesiology is a popular choice for graduating medical students; between 7 and 11% of UW graduates enter the field and of these upwards of 50% join our own residency program.

We welcome applications from external medical students to join our program for a clerkship - come and work with our residents and attendings and experience our training program first hand! - many current and former residents joined our training program after being favorably impressed as medical students.

Successful Graduating Residents

Residents enrolled in our training program are enthusiastic, dedicated and hard working physicians who have to deal with some of the toughest cases referred to our hospitals across the 5 "WWAMI" states. Consequently our graduating residents are highly sought after by private practice and academic institutions across the country.

The following graph shows where our graduates go once they leave our program. Increasingly our residents are entering fellowship positions and compete favorably for the top positions across the country.

Graduate outcomes
Graduating Residency Class of 2012
Graduating Residency Class of 2013

Training Hospitals

Residency training at the University of Washington is conducted at the four major affiliated hospitals, University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC), Harborview Medical Center (HMC), Seattle Children's Hospital (SCH) and Veteran’s Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System (VAPSHCS). Residents may also undertake subspecialty rotations at local private hospitals including: Virginia Mason (regional anesthesia and ambulatory surgery), Swedish Medical Center (obstetric anesthesia), Evergreen hospital (obstetric anesthesia) and Northwest hospital (cardiac anesthesia).

Clinical Case Load

Our training program adheres strictly to the program requirements defined by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

Resident training in anesthesiology and pain medicine is in many ways an apprenticeship, with an emphasis on teaching and learning "on the job" in the operating rooms, intensive care units and pain clinics. The UW anesthesiology program provides ample clinical cases and training opportunities in all areas of clinical anesthesia, pain medicine and intensive care.

Faculty Supervision and Teaching

The teaching faculty at UW represent a diverse group of highly trained anesthesiologists. There are currently (Sept. 2013) 170 faculty the majority of whom trained at the best institutions in the US and Canada. In addition the department has recruited widely internationally to add depth to both the clinical and research expertise in the department. This provides residents with a rich educational environment and exposure to many "right ways" of doing things!

Faculty work closely with residents at all times providing supervision and clinical teaching in the operating rooms. In many cases residents are supervised 1:1 by faculty particularly in areas such as cardiac, obstetric and pediatric anesthesia. 2:1 supervision (2 residents with 1 attending) is provided in the first 4 weeks of a resident's training after which residents are gradually exposed to more independence as their clinical experience grows. At all times the minimum supervision residents can expect is their faculty member supervising one other operating room with a CRNA or another resident.

photo physician performing procedure
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Dr. Janet Pavlin demonstrates ultrasound-guided popliteal nerve blockade to Dr. Jasper Chen.

photo physician performing procedure
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Dr. Alex Vitin assists Dr. Diane Goebel placing a swan ganz catheter in a patient for liver transplantation. With upwards of 120 OLT cases per year our residents all get ample experience of these most challenging cases. If you can handle a liver transplant you can handle just about anything!

Didactic Curriculum

The didactic curriculum has been developed over several years to provide graded education that runs in tandem with residents’ clinical experience in the operating rooms. Four hours of protected time are set aside for resident lectures every Wednesday morning, followed by protected time in the simulator on Wednesday afternoons. In the first 2 months of the academic year the CA1 residents undergo an intensive course of lectures covering basic physiology, pharmacology, equipment and the practice of general anesthesia. For the remained of the year the lectures follow a three weekly cycle for the CA1, CA2 and CA3 residents. The CA1 residents continue with fundamental knowledge, for the CA2 residents, lectures focus on the subspecialty areas such as cardiothoracic, neuro and regional anesthesia to reflect the subspecialty rotations. In the CA3 year the didactic curriculum offers a number of interactive seminars with an in depth discussion of pertinent topics. Residents also receive didactic lectures during their subspecialty rotations in obstetric anesthesia, pediatric anesthesia, intensive care and pain medicine. With the impending changes to the timing of the ABA "Basic" board examinations in 2014, the program has already restructured the CA1 didactic lectures towards the curricular material required for the new Basic part 1 ABA examination.

In addition there are weekly resident conferences at each hospital, departmental grand rounds, morbidity and mortality conferences, journal clubs, oral boards review and special evening seminars. Resident attendance is expected at all educational events and CRNAs and faculty provide coverage in the ORs to facilitate resident attendance at educational events.


Duty Hours

At UW we pay strict attention to the ACGME defined work hours and closely monitor our resident duty hours. The average hours worked by residents per week for 2012-13 academic years were: CBY: 55.3, CA1: 55.7, CA2: 57, and CA3: 52.3.

Simulation Training in Anesthesiology

We have a fully operational anesthesia simulator and a well-defined program of simulation sessions for residents covering a wide curriculum of critical incident management, TEE and fiberoptic bronchcoscopy team work and communication skills. Our simulation center has recently received recognition from the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) as a training site for maintenance of certification for practicing anesthesiologists.


photo physician performing procedure
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Residents training in our high fidelity simulator. The simulation curriculum includes critical incident management, leadership and effective team working.

photo of simulated patient disclosure

In our innovative disclosure training program residents practice breaking bad news to simulated patients after a high fidelity simulation exercise.

Research Opportunities

There are many opportunities for residents to become involved in research projects. We are ranked number 2 nationally amongst other Anesthesiology departments for NIH grant funding. Our many nationally and internationally recognized faculty are actively engaged in all manner of research including laboratory based work, clinical research, and analysis of closed claims data from the Closed Claims Data base. Many of our residents present abstracts and posters at local and national meetings such at the Western Anesthesia Resident Conference (WARC), ASA, SNAAC, PGA. Each resident is provided with a generous academic fund to facilitate scholarly activities and there is additional departmental funding for residents who are selected to present work at national meetings. In the CA3 year all residents have an elective month which allows an opportunity to undertake more detailed research projects. In the CA3 year residents with a definite academic interest may participate in the 6 month resident research track (RRT). This track is an alternative to clinical anesthesia devoted to developing the skills necessary for a career in academic anesthesia and research. With appropriate approval and mentoring residents work on clinical or laboratory based research projects.

Anesthesiology & Critical Care Medicine Program

This innovative program offers a 5-year continuum of education beginning with the Clinical Base ("internship") year and culminating in eligibility for certification in both Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine through the American Board of Anesthesiology. The first three years of training parallel those of trainees in the conventional residency track, and include a total of 5 months of intensive care unit rotations. The last two years of training integrate 12 months of Advanced Critical Care Medicine at the fellow level with conventional Anesthesia rotations and electives. This blending of training over the final two years allows trainees to enhance their operative skills while mastering the field of Critical Care Medicine. Critical Care fellowship rotations are jointly administered between the UW Department of Anesthesiology and the Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.

Bonica Scholars Program

This innovative program offers residents the opportunity to complete an extra 2 years of research after completing their clinical training. The medical students who match to this program are paired with a research mentor early in his/her training in order to facilitate research relationships early. This position carries an additional financial incentive!

Global Health

EMO Vaporizer
Rotaplast Bolivia - April 2004 074.jpg
Examples of anesthesia apparatus
used by anesthesiology residents on overseas expeditions.
Rotaplast Bolivia - April 2004
An example of one of many places in South America visited by Dr. Jo Davies
on overseas missions. Dr. Davies is one of several faculty members who provide strong mentorship and support
for many residents wishing to travel overseas during their residency training and beyond.

The Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at UW enthusiastically supports resident involvement in global health. A number of our faculty are active in overseas medicine in the developing world and provide mentorship and opportunities for many residents to gain overseas experience during their training. In the CA3 year the Department funds a month’s ‘elective’ time for residents to explore various training opportunities and many residents use this time to travel overseas. Examples of resident global health experiences in recent years include:

Four senior residents in consecutive years from 2006 to 2009 and in 2012 were recipients of the prestigious SEA/HVO fellowship to travel to Tanzania and participate in training of local anesthesia providers.

Other countries our residents have visited include South Africa, Nepal, Uganda, and Columbia

New Directions and Program Growth in the Future

In recent years the increased interest in anesthesiology training from medical students and the national shortage of well-trained physician anesthesiologists has prompted our program to expand our rotations both within our own institutions and elsewhere. Our goal is always to offer a wide variety of training opportunities for our residents to prepare them for where ever their future practice and passions lie.

Residency Program Director and Staff

Dr. Karen Souter Residency Program Director
Karen J. Souter, MB BS, FRCA
Associate Professor & Vice Chair for Education
Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine



Dr. Andy Pittaway Associate Program Director
& Director for the Internship Year
Andrew J. Pittaway, BM, BS, FRCA
Assistant Professor
Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine


Dr. Vanessa Loland Associate Residency Program Director (CA1 year)
Vanessa Loland MD
Associate Professor
Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine

Dr. Jennifer Meyers Associate Residency Program Director (CA2 year)
Jennifer Meyers MD
Assistant Professor
Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine
 

Residency Program Coordinator
Ms. Louena Goodwin

Assistant Program Coordinators
Ms. Kim Mabee and Ms. Colleen Steinberg.

Questions?

Please call, email or write if you need additional information or assistance. Contact Louena Goodwin: 206-543-2773, fax 206-543-2958, lfg@uw.edu.

Our program is indexed on the AMA's Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database (FREIDA). Go to FREIDA and search for our program using our 10-digit identifier: 0405421161