Residency Program

Duke Anesthesiology boasts some of the finest faculty in the country, including worldwide-recognized leaders in anesthesiology practice and research. Our faculty are not only dedicated to recruiting the best and the brightest minds in medicine, they are extremely engaged with resident education and career development. They are a vital component of our nationally-acclaimed Duke Anesthesiology Residency Program which equips our residents with the skills to work with a variety of patient cases and change the world around them, as described by some of our department’s leaders and trainees in the program highlight video (above).

Interns rotate on a variety of services, including Acute Pain Service and Perioperative Medicine, and are able take advantage of the expertise of other Duke departments while developing fundamental clinical skills. CA-1 residents begin building their basic anesthesiology knowledge and start subspecialty training that develops through their CA-2 year. CA-3 residents are able to tailor their final year of training toward their career ambitions and have the opportunity to engage in research projects. In addition to intraoperative and bedside teaching, Duke Anesthesiology offers a strong didactic program for trainees. Each lecture series is organized by faculty leaders to ensure that content is up to date and provides residents the knowledge they need to become world-class anesthesiologists. Trainees have the opportunity to evaluate the lectures and provide feedback to presenters to help ensure the sessions are relevant to the needs of learners. Consequently, our residents are very confident in their ability to work independently in any setting once they graduate from the program.

The Duke Anesthesiology Residency Program’s notable rankings extend beyond our hospital walls and medical campus. The city of Durham is named “North Carolina’s Hippest City” and is ranked the #1 Greatest Basketball Town to Visit, the #1 Tastiest Town in the South, the #2 Best College Town, the #7 Best Place to Live in the United States and the #11 Most Educated Large City in America, among other accolades. Visit our “Why Durham?” webpage to learn more about why “The City of Medicine” is a great place to live and train!

How many positions do you offer?

In the 2017 Match, we will be offering 15 positions: 13 categorical (four-year) positions and 2 research (five-year) positions (the five-year program is the ACES program; more info can be found by following the ACES link). We do have an R spot available; please email Jessica Burkhart directly if you are interested in this physician only position. We expect to fill all 15 positions through the Match. Applicants may specify any or all tracks when they apply through ERAS. Interview offers are not based upon applications to a specific track. After we have interviewed applicants, we stay in communication to determine track preferences. Applicants may declare or change their preferences up until the time that we submit our lists.

I am completing a residency currently and I am interested in starting as a PGY-2 in July of 2017. Is this possible?

Please contact Jessica Burkhart,, with your information.

How do I apply?

We accept applications only through ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service). Our application requirements are the same as the standard ERAS application: the complete application, CV, personal statement, medical student performance evaluation (Dean’s letter), transcript, and three letters of recommendation. We require Step 1 USMLE scores of all applicants. Step 2 may be completed after the application deadline. Successful completion of USMLE Step 1 and of Step 2 CS and CK is required by Duke Hospital prior to matriculation.

Please note: we abide by the Duke GME policy on licensing examinations, with the added stipulation that we require passage of the USMLE Step 3 before starting the PGY-2 year. For more information, see Duke’s GME website.

We participate in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP, “the Match”) and abide by all Match policies. Please note that applicants must register with both NRMP and ERAS to participate in the services of each.

What is your application deadline?

Your ERAS application, including all supporting documentation (i.e., personal statement, three letters of recommendation, USMLE Step 1 results, etc.), should be complete by October 15, 2016. Applications completed after this time may be considered on a rolling basis, presuming interview slots are still available. The earlier you can finalize your application, the better.

When do you interview applicants?

Interview dates scheduled for 2016-2017 are:

2016-2017 Interview Dates with hotel, lunch and resident dinner info

Friday, October 28, 2016
Monday, October 31, 2016
Friday, November 04, 2016
Monday, November 14, 2016
Friday, November 18, 2016
Monday, November 21, 2016
Monday, November 28, 2016
Friday, December 02, 2016
Monday, December 05, 2016
Friday, December 09, 2016
Monday, December 12, 2016
Friday, December 16, 2016
Monday, December 19, 2016
Friday, January 06, 2017
Monday, January 09, 2017

An interview day begins the evening before, as the applicants and spouses/significant others are invited to join a number of residents and their significant others for dinner at a local restaurant. We consider this dinner an important part of the interview experience. If you’re considering one of the above dates, make sure you can arrive the evening before.

What tracks do you offer and how many positions?

We offer a categorical track with 13 positions, an ACES track with 2 positions, and a Physician Only track all matching for the 2017 year. Our categorical internship has been very successful and has done a great job of preparing interns for the residency program here at Duke.

To complete your ERAS application, you can choose one track or any combination of tracks. For our purposes, these choices are not a binding commitment. If you are invited to interview, you will find out more about each track, and we will ask your track preference before our Match list is submitted.

What are the requirements for international medical graduates?

We have a minimum USMLE cutoff score of 220 on all parts of the exam. IMGs must be ECFMG certified to be considered for an interview. We require some U.S. clinical experience. Observerships do not meet this requirement. We do not have a timeframe for graduation from medical school; we are more interested in what you have done in the time since graduating. Applications are accepted only through ERAS. The type of visa offered will be considered on an individual basis.

I submitted four letters of recommendation. Is that too many?

No problem. ERAS allows you to upload up to four letters of recommendation. We consider a complete application to include three letters of recommendation. If you have four, that is fine.

Where can I send questions for the residency program director and assistant directors?

We encourage you to visit the Duke Anesthesia Residency Education (DARE) blog! You can submit your question/s to the DARE blog authors and learn more about Duke’s residency program through regularly posted Q and As between medical students, residents and educators.

Annemarie Thompson, MDAnnemarie Thompson, MD
Director, Residency Program
Professor of Anesthesiology

Brian Colin, MDBrian J. Colin, MD
Assistant Residency Program Director
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology

Ankeet D. Udani, MD, MSEdAnkeet D. Udani, MD, MSEd
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology
Assistant Residency Program Director
Assistant Human Simulation and Patient Safety Center Director

At all levels, leadership, faculty, staff and the residents themselves raise the bar to bring the highest level of dedication and commitment to the Duke Anesthesiology Residency Program.

The Department of Anesthesiology was thrilled when Dr. Annemarie Thompson re-joined the Duke family in May of 2014 as residency program director and professor of anesthesiology. Dr. Thompson moved to Duke from Vanderbilt University where she was an associate professor of anesthesiology and medicine and served as director of the Adult Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology Fellowship.

Dr. Thompson completed residency training in internal medicine and anesthesiology at the University of California San Francisco. She completed a fellowship in adult and pediatric cardiothoracic anesthesiology at Vanderbilt University in 2002. In addition to Dr. Thompson’s active clinical practice, she writes about evidence-based decision support in clinical practice and is an oral examiner for the American Board of Anesthesiology.

Residents at Duke have a unique opportunity to maintain a close relationship with the chairman of Duke Anesthesiology, Joseph P. Mathew, MD, MHSc, MBA, Jerry Reves, MD, professor of cardiac anesthesiology. Dr. Mathew takes a personal interest in every trainee and plays an instrumental role in their career planning. He is dedicated to actively taking part in recruitment season and personally interviews almost all applicants to the residency program.

Dr. Mathew’s contributions to clinical perioperative medicine have long been recognized in the fields of cardiology, surgery and anesthesiology. He is internationally respected in the area of transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) and is highly regarded for his groundbreaking research which focuses on improving perioperative patient outcomes.

Mark Stafford-Smith, MD, CM, FRCPC, FASE, Duke Anesthesiology’s vice chair of education, is committed to enhancing the experience of anesthesia residents throughout the spectrum of their career trajectories from private practitioner to bench researcher. As the department’s fellowship education director, he has personally mentored more than 170 fellows and served in numerous national leadership positions, including his seat on the board of directors of the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists which promotes excellence in clinical care, education and research in the subspecialty.

Two assistant program directors play a vital role in the success of a 54-trainee residency program. Dr. Brian Colin is an assistant professor of anesthesiology in the General, Vascular, High Risk Transplant and Critical Care Division. And, Dr. Ankeet Udani, assistant professor of anesthesiology in the General, Vascular, High Risk Transplant and Critical Care Division, is a champion for patient safety. His passion is in the simulation lab (Duke’s Human Simulation and Patient Safety Center) where he creates and executes didactics for faculty, fellows, residents, interns and medical students.

The Duke Anesthesiology Residency Program has a long history of strong resident leadership. The chief resident role fosters a positive learning environment, boosts resident morale, and serves as a liaison between residents and faculty. In 2008, the academic chief resident position was created in conjunction with the Academic Career Enrichment Scholars (ACES) Program to help Dr. Thompson and Dr. David S. Warner, director of the ACES Program, schedule conferences and events. And, senior residents who are recognized as excellent teachers and mentors are named teaching scholars who aim to enhance the educational experience of medical students.

Christopher Wahal, MD

Christopher Wahal, MD

Welcome to the Duke Department of Anesthesiology Residency Program! We are excited to tell you a bit about our residency program.

Between the diverse caseload and complexity of the patients we care for at Duke, the clinical experience provides tremendous opportunity to develop excellent procedural skills and sharpen clinical judgment. Our program provides an environment that is both collegial and supportive. Residents train at Duke University Hospital, Duke Regional Hospital, Duke Ambulatory Surgery Center, and the Durham VA Hospital.  These venues provide a diversity of care environments and patient populations within close geographic proximity.

The Duke Anesthesiology Residency Program has remained quite small in the setting of increasing case load to maximize the educational richness of the training program. Each day, one of the chief residents reviews the following day’s OR schedule and selects cases with the greatest educational value and clinical complexity for resident staffing. Any cases not assigned to residents are covered by our enlarging, talented group of CRNAs. This arrangement allows us to consistently provide a highly educational and clinically complex caseload from a large academic medical center that routinely provides anesthesia in more than 60 operating rooms and offsite locations.

Jenna Falcinelli, MD

Jenna Falcinelli, MD

For didactic learning, our dedicated faculty supports a diversity of different learning styles. In addition to interactive lectures and simulation sessions, for which residents have protected time, the department has invested in innovative educational technologies that allow residents to tailor their educational experience. All residents are provided an iPad at the beginning of their CA-1 year, in addition to several of the hallmark anesthesia textbooks (Miller, etc.).  Residents are also provided an education fund for use towards educational texts, ebooks, iPad apps, and more.

Although we take tremendous pride in our clinical training, we also value a balanced life — our 55 to 60 hour work weeks afford free time for research, self-study, and personal pursuits.

Beyond the hospital, the city of Durham is a wonderful place to live and work. Not only is Durham incredibly convenient (fantastic weather, low cost of living, non-existent commute times, close proximity to Raleigh and Chapel Hill), but also it has a vibrant and unique personality. What was once an old tobacco town has grown into a destination featured in the New York Times and lauded by numerous national media outlets for its food, beer and livability. Durham is simultaneously friendly, humble, intellectual, and worldly.  It is a city with something for everybody.

We realize that finding the perfect residency is a daunting task, and in the end, the spreadsheets and lists usually give way to a gut feeling. We wish you the best on this journey and hope to see you along the way. A stop at Duke is definitely worth the trip!

Chris Wahal, MD and Jenna Falcinelli, MD

The Duke Anesthesiology Residency Program offers a wide variety of learning experiences and resources for trainees including didactics, simulation, and more. This page provides an overview of the resources and educational opportunities available to residents during their four years at Duke.

Block Schedule for 2016 yr

Residency Didactics

In addition to intraoperative and bedside teaching, Duke Anesthesiology offers a strong didactic program for trainees. Each lecture series is organized by faculty leaders to ensure that content is up to date and provides residents the knowledge they need to become world-class anesthesiologists. Trainees have the opportunity to evaluate the lectures and provide feedback to presenters to help ensure the sessions are relevant to the needs of learners.

Residency Didactics

ACGME Anesthesiology Core Requirements: IV A 3: The curriculum must contain didactic instruction through a variety of learning opportunities occurring in a conference setting, in the clinical setting, or online that encompasses clinical anesthesiology and related areas of basic science. Other topics from Internal Medicine that are important for the preoperative preparation of the patient, from surgery as to the nature of the surgical procedure affecting anesthetic care, and from obstetrics that impacts anesthetic management of the patient should be included. The material covered in the didactic program must demonstrate appropriate continuity and sequencing to ensure that residents are ultimately exposed to all subjects at regularly held learning exercises.

Intern Lecture Series

The goal of the intern lecture series is to introduce interns to anesthesiology fundamentals at the beginning of their anesthesiology training. Topics include pre-operative screening, pain management, and ultrasound basics, among others. Lunch is provided for this series that meets once a month on Thursdays from noon to 1:00 p.m.

CA1 Lecture Series: Anesthesiology Fundamentals

This series is designed to build on the intern lecture series by providing trainees a concrete base of anesthesiology as they begin their anesthesiology rotations. Three primary topics are covered over the year:

  • General cardio-pulmonary physiology and management
  • Renal, hematologic, gastrointestinal and endocrine physiology
  • Basics of intraoperative anesthesia management and introductions to subspecialty anesthesia topics (OB, CV, and neuro)

The final portion of the series is devoted to board review topics. This series meets on Tuesday afternoons from 5 – 6 p.m.

CA 2/3 Lecture Series: Subspecialty Anesthesiology

This lecture series provides advanced residents with in-depth knowledge of anesthesiology subspecialties.  Each month is dedicated to a specific subspecialty and is organized by a block leader—a faculty member with expertise in that subspecialty.  Each subspecialty has two months of lectures over the course of two years.  Many of these sessions are taught using the flipped classroom format, “a pedagogical model in which the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed.”[1]

For flipped sessions, pre-work is often posted in the Education Highway, an online repository of learning resources for departmental faculty, trainees, and CRNAs, or emailed to residents prior to the session.  In the session, residents will participate in active learning activities such as case-based learning, large and small group discussions, and review games such as Peds Jeopardy.  This series meets on Wednesdays from 5 – 6 p.m.

[1] EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative. (2012, February). 7 things you should know about flipped classrooms.

All Residents Lecture Series: Thursday Series

The Thursday afternoon lecture series is designed to provide trainees with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed as well-rounded attending anesthesiologists post-training.  This series focuses on the following ACGME competencies: practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, and systems-based practice. During the course of the year, residents will participate in the following activities on Thursday afternoons from 5 – 6 p.m.:

  • M&Ms (6x/year)
  • Twitter Journal Club (3x/year)
  • QI lectures
  • Nuts and bolts meetings with residency program leadership
  • Leadership development sessions
  • Mock orals
  • TEE Interactive Series (see TEE below).

Resident TEE Curriculum

The Resident TEE curriculum is a 6-month curriculum for CA-2 and CA-3 residents focused on basic perioperative TEE; including image optimization, recognition of valvular abnormalities, ventricular dysfunction, and hands-on image acquisition.


In addition to didactics, Duke Anesthesiology trainees have the opportunity to participate in world-class simulation activities. These sessions use various modalities of simulation, including task trainers for procedural skills as well as high-fidelity mannequins for case-based scenarios. A faculty champion, often division-specific, leads each session. The curriculum is developed and standardized in collaboration with simulation staff to ensure a paramount learning experience for all participants. The chart below reflects simulation-based education for graduate medical education in the Department of Anesthesiology.


Intern Survival Skills: Procedure-based simulation training including central line, airway management, and IV placement led by Dr. Sharon McCartney.

Subspecialty Case-based Scenarios: Organized by Dr. John Eck, these regular sessions rotate CA-1, CA-2, and CA-3 learners through cases created by champions in each subspecialty.

Anesthesia Crisis Resource Management (ACRM): Complex case-based scenarios that challenge CA-2 and CA-3 learners with crisis resource management focused debriefings. Course originated with Dr. Ankeet Udani.

Education Highway

Trainees have access to the Education Highway, an online departmental repository for learning materials. This tool provides opportunities for self-directed learning in addition to supporting the flipped lectures. Each division has a space, curated by a faculty member with expertise in that area, to house educational videos, significant papers, protocols, and other learning materials. Each week, a recording of the departmental Grand Rounds lecture is posted for viewing by those unable to attend.

Teaching Scholars

Teaching scholars are CA-3 residents chosen through an application and nomination process. The teaching scholars program is designed to provide participants with an excellent fund of knowledge in the area of medical education. Under the mentorship of Ankeet Udani, MD, MEd and Ashley Grantham, PhD, teaching scholars complete an education research project with the goal of presenting at the American Society of Anesthesiologists yearly meeting. Teaching scholars receive monthly lectures on education topics including curriculum design and education research. Teaching scholars are responsible for assisting in the instruction of medical students in the simulation center as well as assisting in teaching peers in need of remediation. Additionally, teaching scholars moderate resident M&Ms with Brad Taicher, MD.

Advising and Coaching

Each resident has the opportunity to choose a faculty adviser. In addition to the support provided by the resident’s adviser and residency program leadership, the department’s PhD educator, Ashley Grantham, is also available for individual educational coaching.

Other Resources

The following individuals are available to answer questions about the educational opportunities available in the department for trainees:

Annemarie Thompson, MD
Professor of Anesthesiology
Director, Anesthesiology Residency Program

Ankeet Udani, MD, MEd
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology
Assistant Director, Human Simulation and Patient Safety Center
Assistant Director, Anesthesiology Residency Program

Brian Colin, MD
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology
Assistant Director, Anesthesiology Residency Program

Mark Stafford-Smith, MD, CM, FRCPC, FASE
Professor of Anesthesiology
Director, Fellowship Education Program
Vice Chair, Education

Ashley Grantham, PhD
Medical Education Specialist

Jessica Burkhart
GME Senior Program Coordinator

Resident Clinical Research Activities

Residents in the Duke University Department of Anesthesiology have endless opportunities to involve themselves in research. All subspecialty divisions within the department are academically productive, with nearly all research faculty actively managing multiple simultaneous projects. For those interested in basic science, our division boasts several productive laboratories investigating pain, myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury, neuroprotection, and the role of G-protein coupled receptors in human disease.

The Department of Anesthesiology is also fortunate to have unparalleled support for clinical research (Clinical Anesthesiology Research Endeavors, or CARE), allowing straightforward design and conduct of complex and unique clinical investigations. While participation in research is not required, resident research collaboration is both important and universally appreciated by investigators.  Residents are encouraged to attend research meetings when their training schedule allows. Furthermore, residents presenting at national meetings typically receive departmental financial support for travel, board, meals, and attendance. For residents who are interested in a research-focused career, the residency training program offers two ACES positions annually. Please refer to the ACES program section of the website for more information.

General Research About the Department

Resident Clinical Research Activities

2015-2016 Schedule

Mandatory Rotations (9 months)
Department Rotation Location Duration
Medicine General Medicine DRH 6 weeks
Cardiology DUMC 1 month
Cardiology Consults DUMC 1 month
Pulmonary Medicine DUMC 1 month
Surgery Surgical ICU VA 1 month
General Surgery DRH 1 month
Pediatric General Pediatric Wards DUMC 1 month
Pediatric ICU DUMC 1 month
Emergency Department Emergency Medicine DUMC 1 month
Anesthesia Elective Rotations (3 months)
Rotation Location Duration
Clinical Anesthesia DUMC 1 month
Acute Pain Service DUMC 1 month
Hyperbaric & Undersea Medicine DUMC 1 months

DUMC=Duke University Medical Center
DRH=Duke Regional Hospital
VA=Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center

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The primary focus of our residency training program is development of clinical skill and expertise required for the practice of anesthesiology. However, many of our residency applicants aspire to careers in academic anesthesiology and seek to supplement their clinical training with opportunities for research and publication. In the past, the knowledge gained through clinical training was sufficient for an appointment as a junior faculty member and to conduct meaningful laboratory or clinical research. But the quickening pace of innovation makes it difficult to perform state-of-the-art research without additional postdoctoral training. Increasingly, the skills necessary for successful scientific investigation falls outside the scope of clinical residency programs. Given these challenges, how is our specialty working to prepare the next generation of physician-scientists?

The Duke University Department of Anesthesiology has constructed two continuums designed to integrate advanced clinical and research training without prolonging the duration of the traditional residency and fellowship system. Our goal is to prepare outstanding clinicians with the skills and experience necessary for successful careers in academic anesthesiology.


By combining a modified 4-year anesthesiology residency with a year of subspecialty fellowship, the ACES-5 continuum is designed to offer trainees up to 13 months of dedicated research experience while meeting the American Board of Anesthesiology clinical training requirements for both residency and fellowship certification.  The 5-year curriculum will be individualized to meet the academic goals of each Scholar and will not require selection of a clinical fellowship until after completing subspecialty rotations.  In addition to housestaff salary and benefits, a stipend will be provided to each Scholar during the CA-1 through CA-4 (fellowship) years. Individuals completing ACES-5 will be eligible for enrollment in the NIH T32 post-doctoral research training program in conjunction with a faculty appointment.

Academic Chief Resident

The Academic Chief Resident is responsible for helping to organize ACES educational and social activities during the academic year. S/he monitors the effectiveness of various ACES activities, acts as a resource for residency applicants considering the ACES program, and serves as a liaison between the Departmental leadership and ACES residents to work toward enhancing the ACES experience. S/he also sponsor the ACES visiting professor visit, a capstone event for the ACES program typically held near the end of the academic year.

Didactic Component

The ACES program includes a lecture series designed to address the career development objectives of the Scholars. The following is a list of upcoming lectures:

Other lectures topics currently in preparation include “-omic Technologies”, “Repository of Biologic Tissues”, “Industry-Sponsored Research”, “IRB and IACUC”, “Bioinformatics”, and “NIH Pathway to Independence (PI) Award (K99/R00)”. Scholars will also have the opportunity to select a prominent clinician-scientist in anesthesiology to visit Duke as part of the Invited Lecturer Series.

For More Information and to Apply

Submit completed ACES Program applications to:

Jessica Burkhart, Senior Residency Program Coordinator
Department of Anesthesiology
DUMC 3094
Durham, NC 27710

Applications are open to applicants who have been offered an interview.

Learn about our ACES Scholars and Mentors

Wonder what a typical day is like as a Duke Anesthesiology resident? Five of our trainees provide a first-hand account of their experience during specific rotations at different levels of the program. As you read, we hope that you can imagine yourself enjoying the Duke experience for yourself in the future!

Jason Hall, MDJason D. Hall, MD, JD
Intern Year

Anushree Doshi, MDAnu Doshi, MD
CA-1 Year

Shawn Jia, MDShawn Jia, MD
CA-2 Year

Michael Plakke, MDMike Plakke, MD
CA-3 Year

Kendall Smith, MDKendall Smith, MD
ACES Program

Duke Anesthesiology Residency - By The Numbers

Annemarie Thompson, MD

Welcome to the Duke Anesthesiology Residency Program! As the program’s director, I have the privilege to lead, support, and mentor outstanding young physicians in our residency program. I am equally honored to work with the Duke Anesthesiology faculty, internationally known for its peerless clinicians, unparalleled education, and groundbreaking research. The Triangle (Durham-Raleigh-Chapel Hill area) is well known for its major universities, Research Triangle Park, baseball, barbecue, and of course, basketball. But you might be pleasantly surprised by the less well-known advantages of living and working in the area when you visit Duke. For medical students seeking world-class training in a challenging but supportive environment, I cannot imagine a better place to begin your journey. – Annemarie Thompson, MD

Watch this video to learn why our rising CA-1 residents wanted to Match with the Duke Anesthesiology Residency Program!

Contact Us

Jessica Burkhart
Residency Program Coordinator
Department of Anesthesiology
Office: 919-681-3811

Shelby Schultz
Junior Program Coordinator
Department of Anesthesiology
Office: 919-681-2924