What Makes UNC Unique?

Virtually every anesthesia program has structured didactics, journal clubs, and textbook resources. So what sets UNC apart from other programs? Read below to discover some of the unique opportunities we offer to help give you a strong, well rounded training experience.

Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) experienceKumar Teaching TEE

  • Each resident spends a total of 4 weeks dedicated solely to learning TEE (additional elective time is possible during CA-3 year).
  • During these 4 weeks, the resident performs all TEE exams for cardiac cases, in addition to all exams requested for non-cardiac cases. Residents are one-on-one with a Cardiac Anesthesiology attending for each exam
  • We don't have a cardiac anesthesiology fellowship, so residents perform all intraoperative TEE exams at UNC
  • When you are not actively engaged in performing a TEE, you can sharpen your skills on our state-of-the art Heartworks® TEE simulator
  • Each resident far exceeds the 50 required TEE exams needed to attain Basic Certification in TEE by the National Board of Echocardiography. For more information on the Basic Certification in TEE, visit: http://www.echoboards.org/content/basic-pte%c2%AE

Regional PictureRegional anesthesia experience

  • Each resident spends 8 weeks dedicated solely to performing peripheral nerve blocks and catheters
  • We have a full-time regional anesthesia nurse support whose role is to assist the regional service with patient positioning, charting and stocking equipment, allowing the resident to focus on performing procedures
  • While we do have a Regional Anesthesia Fellowship, all nerve block procedures are performed by residents with the regional fellows and attendings functioning as teachers
  • Each resident far exceeds the minimum number of nerve blocks required by the ACGME. Upon leaving UNC, our graduates often feel like the experts in ultrasound guided regional anesthesia in their respective practices

Research opportunitiesResident Poster

  • Our department currently ranks #24 (out of 133 anesthesiology training programs) in NIH funding
  • The research department consists of 20 faculty and staff, including an epidemiologist to assist residents with projects and statistical analysis
  • To learn more about the cutting edge research being done by our department, please visit: http://www.med.unc.edu/anesthesiology/research
  • Each year CA-2 residents lead a team scholarly project and present the results at a Resident Research Symposium. Pictures of the symposium and project titles from this year can be found here: http://www.med.unc.edu/anesthesiology/simulation/faculty-and-staff/faculty/files/resident-symposium-2015. Our residents subsequently present many of these posters at national meetings or submit them as abstracts for publication
  • Capital Hill Resident
  • We support individual residents with academic aspirations who wish to allocate a significant portion of their residency towards protected research time. A 6-month research track is available for residents in their final year of training, who desire to pursue an intensive research project. We support the various options for protected research time offered by the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA): http://www.theaba.org/pdf/Policy%20Info%20%20Templates%20for%20Research_FA07.pdf.

Opportunities for Political Advocacy and Health Care Policy

  • We send two residents annually to the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) Legislative Conference, with all expenses paid by the department. At this conference, residents learn about the advocacy efforts of the ASA and have an opportunity to meet senators, governors, and other legislators to learn about important issues facing our specialty
  • Each year we sponsor one resident for a month long Health Policy elective held by George Washington University in D.C. The resident learns about the changes in healthcare and its impact on the field of anesthesiology


International electivesWillie Misson

We send up to two or three CA-3 residents each year to spend a month at hospitals in Kenya, Malawi, or Ethiopia. They are given a great deal of autonomy in the OR and ICU, and are able to care for patients with unique conditions and pathologies that are seldom seen in the United States. Additionally, residents learn how to provide safe anesthesia without all of the advanced technology and equipment we have here in the United States.


Mission HospitalUnique out-of-the OR rotations

  • Pediatrics Sedation Rotation: Each resident spends two weeks providing anesthesia or sedation for pediatric patients in unique settings, including the MRI suites and minor procedure rooms. This rotation prepares you to provide anesthesia services outside the comfort of the operating room environment.
  • Adult out-of-the OR Rotation: Each resident spends two weeks in various OR settings outside of the main UNC campus doing cases in a high volume environment that replicate a private practice experience. Residents gain experience supervising multiple anesthetizing locations with attending supervision.
  •  Administrative Rotation:  CA-3 residents have the opportunity to make OR room assignments, run the board, and experience firsthand the administrative side of anesthesiology.
  • Outlying Locations Rotation:  During this rotation, our residents get to experience a variety of anesthesiology locations that they may see in the private practice setting including but not limited to sedation rooms, GI procedures, outpatient settings, and the burn reconstruction and aesthetics center. 


World class simulation trainingTransplant Cases

  • The Consortium for Anesthesia Patient Safety and Experiential Learning (CAPSEL) provides innovative and extensive course offerings to enhance anesthesiology training and patient safety throughout the hospital. More information can be found here: http://www.med.unc.edu/anesthesiology/simulation.
  • Our faculty are expertly trained and nationally known for their simulation expertise. UNC leaders always play key roles in the annual International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare, and present simulation-related content at the ASA Annual Meeting and subspecialty meetings across the country.
  • Our faculty and residents have won numerous awards for their contribution to simulation research and implementation.
  • CAPSEL collaborates with The School of Medicine in a state of the art simulation facility, fully equipped with a modern operating room, AV capture and feed for debriefing and creation of education portfolios, and full actor and technician support. This allows the faculty to focus on what they do best - help trainees become experts.

Intra-departmental moonlighting

  • Residents who have completed 6 months of anesthesia training and scored above the 30th percentile on their most recent In-training Examination (ITE) are eligible to moonlight on the weekends
  • Moonlighting shifts are from 7am -3pm each Saturday.  Residents are paid by the hour for these shifts.World Class Simulation 1

Faculty Oral Board Examiners and Biannual mock oral board exams

Nine of our faculty members serve as official Oral Board Examiners for the American Board of Anesthesiology. Our residents benefit heavily from the insight into the oral board exam. Each resident participates in two mock oral board exams every year with various faculty members. Our residents feel very well prepared for the Oral Boards and perform exceptionally well each year.

"Transition to Practice" lecture series

    We hold an annual Transition to Practice Symposium each spring where we offer a series of lectures by faculty and other visiting lecturers that give residents important tips and advice to transition into practice smoothly. A multitude of practical topics are addressed at these lectures, including:

    • What to look for in a prospective job
    •  Job contract interpretation
    • Financial planning and loan repayment strategies
    • Comparing and contrasting types of practice work settings

    Transplant CasesTransplant cases

    We are privileged in that we are 1 of only 3 hospitals in North Carolina that offers major organ transplant services. As a result, you will have the unique opportunity to deliver anesthesia care for liver, heart, lung, kidney, and pancreas transplant patients.