Transitioning to Anesthesia

The transition from intern year to clinical anesthesiology training is an exciting, but stressful time. The eight week tutorial period at Washington University is designed to ease residents into anesthesiology as smoothly and supportively as possible. During this time, residents work in pairs with one assigned attending on a weekly rotating basis. This weekly rotation allows them to quickly experience a wide breadth of anesthetic management during their tutorial block. A typical experience would include exposure to areas ranging from pediatrics to orthopedics and vascular procedures.

Pairing residents together allows for a division of labor so that residents don’t become overwhelmed by the main responsibilities of an anesthesiologist. For example, one resident can focus on delivering anesthetic care while another learns accurate intraoperative documentation and assists with OR setup. Beyond easing the workload, pairing during tutorial serves as a bonding experience for residents. Residents can collaborate on formulating anesthetic management plans and intraoperative differential diagnoses.

As tutorial weeks progress, attendings provide residents with increasing amounts of autonomy. During the first weeks, attendings are extremely hands-on providing continuous guidance and feedback to their resident pair. By the last weeks of tutorial, attendings leave the OR for progressively longer periods of time to better approximate the level of independence residents can expect throughout the rest of their time here.

Every afternoon on tutorial has some form of integrated didactics that focus on the fundamentals of anesthetic management. Didactics range from traditional Power Point lectures, problem-based-learning (PBL) discussion sessions, case presentations, simulation and hands-on equipment demonstrations.

Below are some photos documenting the tutorial journey!