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This pioneer group of wartime anesthesiologists gained valuable skills and knowledge from their service in European theater of operations. These physician anesthetists proved their competency in the wartime and this led to a greater respect for anesthesia as a profession and it became apparent that this is a field that is more suited for physicians [ 37 ]. These veteran anesthesiologists brought back sophisticated Intravenous and regional anesthetics skills. After the war many of these veterans developed an interest in anesthesia and sought more thorough instructions in anesthesia.

Among the trainees was Virgil K. Stoelting, who would go on to become the first chair of anesthesiology at Indiana University. Anesthesiologists nationwide called for a movement to establish independent anesthesiology departments at academic institutions. This led to creation of Association of University Anesthesiologists AUA with aim of promoting free and informal interchange of ideas, development of anesthesia teaching and research.

Emeul Papper served as the first president and AUA, whose first meeting took place in Philadelphia, attended by the founding group of eight [ 39 ]. In , the ABA required all the applicants to dedicate five years exclusively to the practice of anesthesiology.

Residency and Board Review Best Books: Anesthesiology

Initially the anesthesiology residency was 2 years but beginning in the RRC allowed programs to offer a 4-year course, with the extra year spent doing sub-specialty training or doing research. In ACGME adopted a more standardized approach to the number of years and recommended three-year residency [ 40 ].

During the same year doctors of osteopathic medicine were also deemed eligible for ABA certification [ 40 ]. The commission noted an ineffectiveness of existing institutions of GME and persistence of apprenticeship in training. LCGME emphasized program structure, the amount and quality of formal teaching and promoted a balance between service and education.

LCGME achieved this mandate by defining minimum requirements for anesthesiology programs, which became increasingly specific over the coming years.

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In the LCGME defined intern year for anesthesiology as the clinical base year which could be spent training in medicine, surgery, neurology, pediatrics or any combination of these with the approval of program director preferably at the same institution as the parent institution [ 42 ]. In [ 43 ] ACGME set criteria for the appointment of program director to anesthesiology residency program.

ACGME also made recommendations for the qualifications of the faculty, ratio of faculty to number of residents, scholarly activity and resident record maintenance. In addition to the structural reorganization of anesthesiology by ACGME, ABA also refined its examination process in order to reduce the variability in examination process [ 33 ].

During the same time, the Society for Education in Anesthesia SEA was formed with an aim of promotion of education in anesthesiology. Over the years, eventually these guidelines and efforts from ACGME, ABA, and anesthesiology societies transformed anesthesiology residency from the rather unstructured model of the past to the well-controlled learning environment of today.

Following the death of Libby Zion, purported to be secondary to medical error caused by resident fatigue; Bell Commission recommended an 80 h per week restriction on resident duty hour in As a result of the 80 h work week restriction residents now spend approximately 15, h in training compared to 30, h before. It is imperative that the sophisticated training techniques should be incorporated into residents training in order to produce well trained anesthesiologist [ 44 ]. Interestingly however, Stedman noticed that at Ochsner anesthesiology residency program the work hour restriction caused no loss in total caseload number of anesthetics administered per resident per year in was vs.

He attributed this to the increased OR efficiency and the increased number of cases residents performs in the newly formed regional anesthesia rotation [ 22 ]. The ACGME 80 h anesthesia resident work week did cause significant financial implication for Institutions which were used to having inexpensive labor in the form of anesthesia residents.

Backeris et al. One of the distinctions of an anesthesiologist from their nursing counterparts is the contribution they make to the development of the specialty by continuously trying to improve practice based on evidence.

Helping to advance scientific knowledge

ACGME requires the faculty to create an environment of inquiry and for the programs to provide mechanisms and resources for the residents to conduct research and scholarly activity. There is constant emphasis on participation of the residents in scholarly activity. Residents are expected to learn skills to critically appraise the literature for its validity for future practice.

There is however, a concern that there is not enough contribution to research in anesthesiology as compared to some of the peer specialties. Schwinn et al. There is a need to train more physician scientists. Incorporating research curriculum into resident education can help them be more academically productive [ 47 - 49 ]. A survey by Ahmad et al.

It would probably require a change in the culture of academic anesthesiology to ensure the mandatory enhancement of resident research education [ 50 ]. Sakai et al. Similarly, Freundlich at al. It seems likely that in coming years, anesthesiology departments will continue to devote more time and resources to ensure that anesthesiology residents are well trained in the research methodology; so they can continue to contribute to development of anesthesiology as a profession.

The traditional model of assessment in anesthesiology has been global clinical evaluation and standardized testing.

There is a general notion that performance on standardized examinations can be used to predict clinical performance however this claim was not substantiated in any study and there was no direct correlation with actual clinical performance and standardized clinical measures for the same resident [ 54 ]. There has been a gradual evolution in anesthesiology education to nontraditional assessment methods that stimulate learning including self-assessment, peer review and simulation based learning.

Over the years the training model transformed from the traditional model to an outcome based model with focuses on learning and teaching of six core competencies [ 55 , 56 ]. Patient Care: that is compassionate, appropriate, and effective for treating health problems and promoting health;. Medical Knowledge: about established and evolving biomedical, clinical, and cognate e. Practice-Based Learning and Improvement: that involves investigation and evaluation of their own patient care, appraisal, and assimilation of scientific evidence, and improvements in patient care;.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills: that result in effective information exchange and teaming with patients, their families, and other health professionals;.

First Aid for the Anesthesiology Boards / Edition 1

Professionalism: as manifested through a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities, adherence to ethical principles, and sensitivity to a diverse patient population;. Systems-Based Practice: as manifested by actions that demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of health care and the ability to effectively call on system resources to provide care that is of optimal value. Schwengel et al. The CA-1 residents participate in a curriculum composed of lectures, interactive sessions and exercises designed to develop conceptual understanding of a wide range of topics, including fundamentals of safety and safe design, how to critically evaluate the literature and how to investigate defects.

Variability in the quality of anesthesiology resident education decreased around the country. However, these ACGME minimum program requirements for anesthesiology curtailed the programs from innovation and added administrative burden to the program [ 59 ]. The National Interest in patient safety and outcomes measure lead ACGME to come up with The Outcome Project which mandated that residency programs teach six core competencies, create reliable tools to assess learning of the competencies, and use the data for program improvement.

It has been suggested that the New Accreditation System will allow better programs to innovate while allowing struggling programs to improve; all while decreasing the amount of administrative work done by the program director [ 60 ]. A key element of the NAS is the measurement and reporting of outcomes through the educational milestones. As the ACGME is moving toward continuous accreditation outcomes-based milestones which are specific for anesthesiology, are used for determining resident and fellow performance within the six ACGME Core Competencies [ 61 ].

These milestones result from a close collaboration among the ABA, the review committees, medical- specialty organizations, program-director associations, and residents. A small number of anesthesiologists mostly at the larger academic centers would spend time focusing on, and doing research on particular cohort of patients. All these factors lead to advancements in knowledge of physiology and pharmacology with introduction of drugs such as fentanyl and ketamine. Similarly considerable scientific progress was made in critical care and the pediatric anesthesia.

Keeping up the development in subspecialty Anesthesiology, ABA mandated subspecialty rotations starting in And most recently in ABA approved an additional time-limited pediatric anesthesiology certificate. Currently the ACGME requires all residents to have a specified minimum recommended amount of subspecialty anesthesia rotations.

This program requires five, rather than six, years of training and allows physicians to be fully qualified and certified in both specialties [ 63 ]. Interest in combined pediatrics-anesthesia training is growing among applicants [ 64 ]. As of , there are 5 approved programs for combined residency training in Internal medicine and Anesthesiology [ 65 ].

The advents in information technology in the past decades have also impacted anesthesiology education. Simulation has become an integral part of residency training. Simulation allows residents to experience clinical scenarios that are infrequent in daily practice, but critical to anesthesia practice such as anaphylaxis, airway fire or the use of bronchial blockers and double-lumen endotracheal tubes ETT for single lung isolation [ 66 ].

With the 80 h work limit, educators are hard pressed to make anesthesiology training as enriching as possible. Educators are trying to find new and innovative ways to introduce technology in anesthesia education.


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Tanaka et al. Educators are trying to shift to a blended educational model with podcasts, videos, online quizzes and other online educational modalities [ 68 ]. This has been somewhat difficult to achieve owing to the intrinsic nature of anesthesiology which requires face to face and hands-on training. There have been varying results on usefulness of different modalities and the effectiveness of these tools depends more on the learning style of the resident. However, it seems likely that with coming time anesthesiology training will evolve to utilize and incorporate more technological advances such as simulation training and e-learning.

In conclusion, it is remarkable to see how a specialty that had its humble origins in a self-taught and practiced unstructured training has evolved into this well-planned and regulated educational system producing highly competent physicians that have been trained in all the domains that will help them succeed in providing high quality patient care as well as advance this discipline in the future.

Specialty Board Review

Home Publications Conferences Register Contact. Home Editorial Panel Editorial Board. Guidelines Upcoming Special Issues. Authors are requested to submit articles directly to Online Manuscript Submission System of respective journal. Research Article Open Access. Year Number of Residency Programs Total number of Training Positions 1 Data not available 45 Data not available 1, of which 1, were filled 1, 5, a 5, Figure 4: Growth of residency programs with year.


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