Q: I am a medical student studying in Europe, in my penultimate year of med school, and I’m planning to take the Step 1 this year. I have a huge interest in anesthesiology, and searching online helped me realize that Duke University School of Medicine (DUSoM) is one of the best out there. In order to give me a head start, what would you advise I focus on – high step scores, research or clinical experience? I need advice on early preparations I can engage in now to increase my chances to end up at DUSoM, seeing how highly competitive it is.
A: I am excited to hear about your interest. I am sure you will receive lots of advice on how to best prepare for a career in anesthesiology, beginning with residency. At Duke, we are looking for residents who are passionate about anesthesiology and will lead our field into the future. It is important to be well-rounded with 1) a good understanding of physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacology, 2) well-developed clinical skills and bedside manner, 3) a passion for lifelong learning, and 4) leadership experience. This is not a comprehensive list, but is meant to guide you as you begin your preparations. At Duke, we will foster growth in each one of these areas to best prepare you for your career.