Residency Information

The AIG will discuss residency applications during each academic year, probably in a January-February timeframe. The documents below have helpful information about careers in Anesthesiology and what to consider in applying for residencies. We encourage you to speak to John B. Eck, MD, Residency Program Director at Duke (919-681-2924), if you have questions before or after the program at AIG is scheduled.

How to Interview for Anesthesia Click to view PDF.
By: John Eck, MD | AIG Meeting 10/29/13

Anesthesiology Residency Training Click to view PDF.
By: Catherine Kuhn, MD

Careers in Anesthesiology Click to view PDF.
By: Mark Newman, MD | AIG Meeting 5/13/04

Applying to Anesthesiology Residencies Click to view PDF.
By: Catherine Kuhn, MD

Residency Interviewing Click to view PDF.
By: Catherine Kuhn, MD

Preparing to Apply in Anesthesia Click to view PDF.
By: John Eck, MD | AIG Meeting 4/21/14


4th Year Planning Advice for Anesthesiology
by Dr. Catherine Kuhn

  • Ideally applications should be in by early September. (letters of rec can be later but definitely by the application deadlines which are usually late Oct-early Nov). In general the sooner the better as far as all application materials are concerned.
  • Program directors will be somewhat suspicious of applicants who have no real anesthesiology experience, so you must do a “serious” (longer than 2 weeks) rotation before November. If a student did the 2nd year, month long elective, they don’t need to repeat it, but should probably do an early elective where they have contact with our faculty (ICU or pain for example) so they can get a meaningful LOR. In all likelihood the faculty are not as likely to remember performance from a second year elective.
  • Other rotations that are good in the 4th year: I personally think that you should focus most of your 4th year on rotations that are relevant to anesthesiology–medicine, pulm, surgery, sub Is, etc. A general radiology elective is also a good idea. I DISCOURAGE lots of rotations in anesthesiology, better to focus on other things–you’ll learn anesthesiology in your residency.
  • As for which Sub-Is: Personally I think critical care, medicine or surgery will demonstrate that you have the ability to handle an increased patient load on patients who are more critically ill–very important for anesthesiology. One is absolutely necessary, two is not a problem and demonstrates a strong work ethic, etc. The only caution would be if doing a second sub I kept you from doing another important rotation.
  • Away rotations: this is a corollary to my comment about multiple anesthesia rotations. IF it is critical that you end up in a particular city, for family reasons, or whatever reason, then it might be a good idea to try to do an elective there. However, realize that away rotations can be good or bad–the student gets a very detailed impression of the department, moreso than places where they will only spend part of a day on an interview–meaning you will see the place warts and all. Similarly, the program gets to see you for longer than part of a day, and sees you, warts and all. I’ve had visiting students (in the days when we had opportunities for that) really kill their chances for matching because of poor attitude, behavior, etc that showed up in the month and might not have shown up during a one-day interview. Obviously not all candidates can do away rotations at all programs, and I am not aware of ANY program that requires this.
  • Letters of recommendation: You should get one from Dr. Newman even if you’ve never worked with him. Definitely a letter from your research mentor. Another anesthesia letter from a faculty person who has worked with you clinically, and ideally someone who has some national presence or is known to other departments. And then a letter from someone who is not an anesthesiologist–someone from your subI, another clinical dept, etc. Definitely NOT all anesthesia letters–you want to demonstrate that you work well in a variety of disciplines and with a lot of different types of people.