Didactic Programs

The Department of Anesthesiology provides a variety of formal and informal educational opportunities for its members. We believe strongly that diversity in the pursuit of education allows our residents to mature in both their professional and personal lives. We also believe that a strong didactic program will lead to success for the ABA certification.


  • At least five departmental conferences are scheduled each week for Residents, Faculty and Staff. Lists of recommended readings are provided. Additional subspecialty conferences help provide a depth of exposure to selected topics.
  • Residents also meet regularly with Dr. Zvara (Chair's Interactive Sessions) throughout the year, reviewing a variety of topics. In addition, the faculty gives all residents practice oral examinations twice each year, providing immediate feedback.

Journal Clubs

  • Evening Journal Clubs are scheduled intermittently through the year. Occasionally, we sponsor joint Journal Clubs with neighboring training programs. Meetings are held at various local restaurants or in the department, where resident presentations are followed by a group  discussion.


  • We have a Human Patient Simulator for medical student and resident education, and for research. The Human Patient Simulator is a full-size manikin which, through its computer interfaces and realistic bioengineering calculations, provides a large number of scenarios typical of the operating room environment, intensive care unit, or emergency room.
  • The scenarios range from the basic induction of anesthesia in a healthy patient to cross-clamping and unclamping the aorta of an elderly patient with severe cardiopulmonary disease. There are scenarios for emergencies such as malignant hyperthermia, anaphylaxis, pneumothorax, and the various types of shock. Anesthesia machine faults can also be simulated.
  • The Department also has the HeartWorks Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE) simulator. This allows for real time TEE image simulation from the 3D virtual heart. This modality allows our residents and medical students to visualize and learn clearly the relationship between the 2D TEE image represented on the screen and the underlying 3D anatomy of the heart, prior to practicing on a live patient.

Computer Resources

  • All  of our clinical anesthesia residents receive iPads upon entering the program. The residents have ready access to intradepartmental, campus-wide and internet computer facilities to assist with literature searches, research activities, lecture presentations, and self-paced programmed education. Our library maintains an up-to-date collection of computer assisted interactive educational software programs.
  • Computer facilities are available 24 hours a day to allow residents free access to the latest methods of education in anesthesia. The department has a staff of computer specialists with expertise in educational software, word processing, data storage and retrieval, statistical analysis, and multimedia presentation techniques. Residents are encouraged to utilize these facilities to assist in research endeavors and to supplement the more traditional didactic and clinically based educational experiences.


  • The library of the Department of Anesthesiology provides excellent educational resources for residents, fellows, faculty, and staff. The Department subscribes to many anesthesiology publications, which are reserved exclusively for members of the department.
  • The library also includes computer workstations with online training software. The library is available for the department use only and is always open for study and research.
  • The Health Sciences Library is located in close proximity to the UNC hospitals complex. Electronic journals and books and databases such as PubMed, CINAHL, ISI Citation Databases, BIOSIS, PsychINFO, eFacts, and Lexi-Comp are available anywhere on campus. Faculty, staff, and students can access almost all electronic resources from home. A total renovation of the library building was completed in early 2005, adding high end technology options, group study spaces, and a coffee shop.

Visiting Professors

  • UNC Anesthesiology supports an active Visiting Professor Program with other excellent programs around the country and the world. Just as our academic faculty members receive invitations to contribute to the educational programs at other institutions, we invite a number of visiting professors to visit our campus each year. Faculty members from other institutions provide a fresh perspective on anesthesiology issues.