After graduating medical school, aspiring physicians have the opportunity to enter a residency program, which will provide the training and clinical knowledge necessary to specialize in a subfield of medicine. Each specialty has its own needs in terms of clinical training and experience. Future anesthesiologists might undergo their training at different institutions, but the basic structure of an anesthesiology residency is typically similar across programs. The four-year residency can typically be split into the following “blocks”:
The structure of CA-1 also typically incorporates some continued classwork into residency to help residents prepare for the nationwide In-Training Examination (ITE), which will be taken in the spring to evaluate and standardize the progress of each anesthesiology candidate.4 The exam covers four categories: basic sciences, clinical services, organ-based basic and clinical sciences, and special problems or issues in anesthesiology. Each of the 200 questions is ranked and distributed by difficulty level; residents are given four hours to complete the exam.
There are many opportunities for interns/residents to personalize their residency training according to their unique interests. For example, some residency programs offer the option to participate in additional focus programs, attend anesthesia conferences, or even condense clinical residency and spend several months doing research.1,2 Post-residency fellowships, which are available for those who want to deepen their understanding of a subject or continue to specialize, are another common option. Such opportunities might vary depending on the resources and aims of each unique institution.
1 The CA-1 Year. The CA-1 Year | UCSF Dept of Anesthesia. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://anesthesia.ucsf.edu/ca-1-year
2 Residency. Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/departments/anesthesiology/medical-professionals/residency#details-rotations-tab
3 Anesthesiology residency: Anesthesiology: Michigan medicine. Anesthesiology. (2023, January 31). Retrieved from https://medicine.umich.edu/dept/anesthesiology/education-training-programs/anesthesiology-residency
4 The American Board of Anesthesiology. (n.d.). In-training examination (ITE) blueprint – the aba. Retrieved from https://www.theaba.org/wp-content/uploads/pdfs/ITE_Blueprint.pdf