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Day in the Life of an Anesthesiology Resident

An Average Day in the Life of a Chief Resident

5:45 am The alarm is going off.  Didn't I just fall asleep?!?  Shower, dressed, & then breakfast.
6:15 Off to work - really glad the hospital is next to the highway on those snowy days.  Plus the free on-site parking for residents is much better than taking the shuttle from the staff parking lots.
6:30

In the hospital and changing into scrubs.  Time to set up for the day's cases.  Some examples:

Cardiac --> Drips, TEE, Central Line & Swan

Ortho --> Ultrasound for any sort of regional - sciatic, popliteal, interscalene, fem caths.....

Whipple --> Drips, Setup for A-line/Central Line, Epidural, & iStat

Neuro --> Drips for TIVA, FFB, A-line

That's why I love anesthesia - something different everyday.

7:00 Room's all set.  Out to pre-op to meet & interview the first patient.
7:25 Bringing in the patient.  ASA monitors - check.  Pre-oxygenation - check.  How to intubate today?  Direct laryngoscopy?  Bullard?  FFB?  McGrath?  So many choices...
9:00 The attending's back from starting their second room.  Breatime!  Time for the morning email and news check.
9:45 Been back from break for 30 minutes and have set up the meds and equipment for the next case.  The attending have a break in their other room.  They've returned and spent 20-30 minutes talking about the physiology/medicine behind this particular case vs. a related topic of my choosing.
10:30 First case done and being dropped off in PACU.  Room turnover is fast...usually 15 minutes or less.  The attending already has seen and done the pre-op on the next patient.  I get familiar with their record and introduce myself.
10:45 Have brought the next patient to the room.  Another induction and we're ready to go.
11:30 Attending has returned to relieve me for lunch.  Every other Thursday is free lunch from the Anesthesia department.  The other days you can use the hospital-supplied ID Card funds in the cafeteria.  I've been supremely grateful for the extra evening time not having to pack a lunch.
12:00 pm Back in the OR.  Setup for the next case.  Have some extra time to read prior to waking the patient and going to PACU.
1:30 Next patient is in the room.  Induction, intubation, and case started.
2:15 Afternoon Break
3:45 The attending comes in to relieve me for lecture.  I give signout and head to the Anesthesia Office.
4:00 Lecture time Monday through Thursday.  One of the attendings give an hour long presentation on a multitude of topics covering the scope of Miller over the course of the year.  Examples include Anesthesia for AAA Repair,  Transesophageal Echo for Cardiac Surgery, Opioids, Neuromuscular Blockers, Mock Group Orals, Written Board Review, etc.  Fridays we're relieved any time between 15:00 and 17:00 for the day depending on how busy the ORs that day.
5:00 Lecture is out.  Head back to the Anesthesia library for assignment of the next day's inpatient pre-ops.  They are assigned to you if they're in your room the next day.  If an attending or CRNA is assigned to the room, then the preops are assigned alphabetically by class; CA-1s first, then CA-2s, and CA-3s.  CA-1s usually get pre-ops.  CA-3s rarely get pre-ops.
5:15 No pre-op --> Changed and on the way home.
6:00 Arrived home if a pre-op was assigned.  Exercise time.
6:45 Looking up my patients for the next day.  Then I give the attending a call to discuss the complicated patients and my anesthetic plan.  We usually decide a discussion topic for the next days as well.
7:00 Cooking dinner then eating while watching some save show off the TIVO.  I like cooking but hate cleaning dishes.
7:45 Reading time...going through a book at a time usually one chapter sequentially.  Miller's Anesthesia, Chestnuts OB Anesthesia, Stoelting's Anesthesia & Co-Existing Diseases, etc.
8:30-8:45 Enough reading for one day.
9:00 Time to relax and watch some TV.
10:00 Another productive day to be repeated tomorrow.  Off to bed.

What Our Graduates Say

"Baystate Medical Center is a large hospital with a “small town” feel.  I have been made to feel like part of a family here and have formed lasting friendships with my resident colleagues and great working relationships with attendings and OR staff.

Baystate has created an amazing atmosphere of inquiry and learning and provided me a fantastic opportunity to grow and develop as a physician.  I am very pleased to have trained here, and look forward to staring my career that this residency has so well prepared me for!"

– Sarah Smith, DO
2014 Chief Resident