Our Education Program
The didactic component of the Anesthesiology Residency Program at UCLA is matched in intensity and breadth to the clinical experience. The three main components to our educational philosophy are education in the science of anesthesiology, applied anesthesiology, and preparation for the board examination administered by the American Board of Anesthesiology. During four years of categorical anesthesiology residency training, residents gain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for a fulfilling career in anesthesiology.
PGY1 Teaching Conferences
The clinical base year provides the residents with broad educational experiences in medical disciplines relevant to the practice of anesthesiology. During the clinical base year, our PGY1 residents participate in daily lunchtime teaching conferences given by the UCLA Department of Internal Medicine. Conferences include lectures by faculty members, resident report, intern intake, morbidity and mortality teaching conferences, journal club, and ethics conference. Lunch is always provided.
PGY1 Intensive Learning Series
During the first four weeks of anesthesiology training, in addition to intensive teaching in the operating room by dedicated attending faculty members, PGY1 residents are relieved from the OR each day for interactive lectures, workshops, and simulator sessions led by faculty with varying interests, backgrounds, and specialized expertise. This intensive learning series highlights the most important basics of anesthesiology practice, including induction of general anesthesia, the anesthesia machine, airway management, fluid management, and many others. Additionally, during this month, PGY1 residents spend at least four sessions interacting with our Human Patient Simulators at the UCLA Simulation Center. During these sessions, the residents experience Induction, Emergence, Hypoxia, and Hemodynamic Changes. The PGY1 Intensive Learning Series, though comprehensive, serves to lay the foundations for the acquisition of the knowledge, skills, clinical judgment, and attitudes essential to the practice of anesthesiology.
Our interactive Resident Didactic Program takes place on Tuesday afternoons from 3:30pm to 5:00pm for all anesthesiology residents at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Jules Stein Eye Institute, and Ambulatory Surgery Center, who are relieved from all OR and clinical duties in order to attend. The didactic program consists of lectures, practice-based learning discussions, case conferences, keyword, board review, and simulator sessions, and our Patricia A. Kapur, M.D. Visiting Professor Program.
Each residency class has its own didactic series with content tailored to each level of training. The didactic program is built around a subject of the month concept for each residency class. All monthly didactics for that class revolve around the same subject, allowing our residents to obtain a more cohesive understanding of each subject.
Our CA1 didactic series provides a foundation of essential knowledge for good clinical practice as well as sets the tone for lifelong medical education. It serves as a preparation tool for the Basic Examination administered by the American Board of Anesthesiology. Highlights of our CA1 didactic series include pharmacology and monitored anesthesia care lectures, our ultrasound guided regional anesthesia and central line skills workshops, as well as our basic exam preparation and review sessions.
Our CA2 didactic series focuses on more advanced topics in anesthesiology and its subspecialties. Workshops utilizing the Human Patient Simulators and interactive presentations are the cornerstone of our CA2 didactic series. Highlights of our CA2 didactic series include sessions on neurosurgical emergencies, obstetric anesthesia, pediatric anesthesia, trauma anesthesia, TTE and TEE skills workshops using virtual reality trainers, to name a few. Our CA 2 residents also learn the important responsibilities that come with being team captain and code leaders in the hospital, which they apply to their clinical rotations.
The CA3 didactic series covers not only topics that may arise on the written and oral board examinations administered by the American Board of Anesthesiology, but also advanced topics in practice management and quality improvement essential for a future of leadership and advocacy. Highlights of our CA3 didactic series include monthly written and oral board review sessions led by faculty experts who serve as board examiners. Supervised by experienced faculty, our CA3 residents also have the opportunity to lead didactic sessions ranging from discussing and critiquing current and classic articles at journal club to presenting keywords to junior residents to teaching CA1 residents how to place central lines. This establishes a foundation for continued professional growth and allows our senior residents to gain progressive responsibility as well as develop and exhibit the clinical skills, knowledge, and attitudes required for unsupervised, independent practice after residency.
Workshops and Simulator Sessions
Workshops and interactive presentations using the Human Patient Simulator become the cornerstone of our Tuesday Resident Didactics. Workshop programs consist of anesthesia for valvular surgery, neurosurgical emergency simulations, ventilator workshops, adult and pediatric airway management, regional anesthesia techniques including use of ultrasound, epidural and spinal placement, and TEE, among others.
Case conferences are oral board style presentations made by faculty and residents with faculty supervision.
Basic Exam Review and Preparation
At least once each month, the CA1 didactic series is devoted to basic exam review. A reading schedule and basic exam review questions are provided to the residents in advance. During the basic exam review session, residents and faculty discuss the questions in an interactive format. In addition, CA1 residents participate in keywords sessions where each resident is responsible for presenting one or two keywords to their colleagues. This way, the resident not only teaches their colleagues about the topic, but also masters the topic.
Written Board Review and Preparation
At least once each month, the CA3 didactic series is devoted to written board review. A reading schedule and written board review questions are provided to the residents in advance. During the written board review session, residents and faculty discuss the questions in an interactive format.
Oral Board Exam Review and Preparation
At least once per month, the CA3 didactic series is devoted to oral board review. These review sessions are led by our expert faculty who currently serve or have served as ABA Oral Board examiners. In addition, the department offers mock oral board examinations to residents, fellows, and alumni twice per year (four sessions total) The practice exams are performed to accurately simulate the experience of taking the oral board exam in anesthesiology. Both residents and fellows, who are relieved from the operating rooms, and alumni are encouraged to participate in these practice examinations.
The Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine Grand Rounds is a ACCME-accredited weekly educational program. It consists of a formal presentation followed by a question and answer session. It is held on Wednesday mornings from 7:00 am to 8:00 am in the Tamkin Auditorium of the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. This didactic series covers a wide variety of topics presented by our own distinguished faculty, visiting professors from other institutions, experts from other departments at UCLA, as well as residents and fellows in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine. One session per month serves as a Morbidity and Mortality Conference.
The Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine holds several journal clubs throughout the year. Journal Club provides residents, fellows, medical students, and faculty with an opportunity to master the skills necessary for critical reading and analysis of scientific literature and to stay up-to-date with the exciting and rapidly changing field of anesthesiology. Our General Anesthesiology Journal Club, Pediatric Anesthesiology Journal Club, and Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology Journal Club are held quarterly, whereas our Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine Journal Club is held weekly.
Patricia A. Kapur, M.D. Visiting Professor Program
Our Visiting Professor Program is named in honor of Patricia A. Kapur, M.D., who currently serves as the Executive Vice President of UCLA Health and the Chief Executive Officer of the UCLA Faculty Practice Group. Dr. Patricia Kapur served as Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA for 17 years. Dr. Kapur also served as President of the American Board of Anesthesiology, President of the Foundation of Anesthesia Education and Research, as a member of the editorial board and section editor of the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia, and as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the International Anesthesia Research Society. She was a member of the governing Councils of the Association of University Anesthesiologists, the Society of Academic Anesthesiology Associations, and the Association of Academic Anesthesiology Chairs. Dr. Kapur served for a number of years on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation, which was lauded by the Institute of Medicine for significantly changing the culture of safety and improving outcomes in anesthesiology care across the United States.
As part of the Patricia A. Kapur, M.D. Visiting Professor Program, our department invites a number of visiting professors to our hospital each year to broaden our perspectives on important current topics in anesthesiology. These visiting professors share their thoughts and views with us by presenting formal lectures during our Resident Didactic Program and Grand Rounds, discussing specific cases and practices with our faculty and trainees, and interacting in informal exchanges with members of our department during dinner and scheduled meetings throughout the day.
Our department administers exams to our residents to provide them with a standardized benchmark of their progress throughout training. All residents (PGY1 through PGY4) sit for the annual ABA-ASA In-Training Exam (ITE). CA1 residents sit for the Anesthesia Knowledge Test (AKT-6) after 6 months of anesthesia training. Moreover, our department offers the AKT-24 to residents who may benefit with additional exam practice.
Textbooks, Society Memberships, and Educational Funds
Residents are provided with basic textbooks during their clinical anesthesia training as well as membership into professional societies. Residents receive an educational stipend of $500 per academic year. In addition, residents who meet or exceed our department's expectations on their CA1 and CA2 ITE receive an additional $1000 in education funds.
All incoming residents are required to attend a certification course in Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support, accredited by the American Heart Association, given by the UCLA Center for Prehospital Care. Our department offers an ACLS recertification course for experienced providers to our anesthesiology residents from faculty who are ACLS instructors.
Our Residents Library is conveniently located adjacent to the Anesthesiology Education Office in the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. It is supplied with computers, printers, a copier, and scanner. Appropriate texts and periodicals relating to anesthesiology and demonstration mannequins and models are also available. This room has been prepared for study in a quiet and pleasant atmosphere with comfortable furnishings and appropriate equipment, including white boards and a projection screen for small-sized discussions. Educational and general-purpose (e.g. word processing) software is installed on the computers. Online medical literature search and internet access is also available. A DVD player and monitor are provided along with an extensive selection of educational videos. Residents are able to access their email accounts and CareConnect, our Electronic Medical Records System, via the library computers.
The UCLA Center for the Health Sciences (across the street from the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center) maintains a large biomedical library, the Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library, which contains more than 678,235 print volumes and provides access to thousands of electronic resources including journals, databases, and other materials.