In the fall of 2012, the University of North Carolina received approval from the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Anesthesiology to offer combined residency training in pediatrics and anesthesiology. The purpose of this integrated program is to develop physicians that are fully qualified to obtain board certification in pediatrics and anesthesiology. Combined training is ideal for individuals that are interested in pursuing a career in pediatric critical care, pediatric anesthesiology, or pediatric pain management.
Located in the heart of Chapel Hill, the University of North Carolina Hospitals is a public, academic medical center operated by and for the people of North Carolina. UNC Hospitals is a large, tertiary care center that receives referrals from all over the state and surrounding areas, and comprises more than 7,100 employees, 1,100 medical staff, and 780 resident physicians. The Hospitals’ mission is to deliver high-quality patient care, educate health care professionals, advance research, and provide community service. All located on the same beautiful campus, the medical complex is physically connected and includes North Carolina Children’s Hospital, North Carolina Memorial Hospital, North Carolina Neurosciences Hospital, North Carolina Women’s Hospital, and North Carolina Cancer Hospital. This unique set up and close proximity makes UNC the perfect institution to foster collaboration between the department of pediatrics and anesthesiology.
At UNC the goal from the arrival of our first combined program resident in June 2013 has been to create a truly integrated program. Faculty from both departments are well known to one another, and both groups are committed to creating a culture that fosters education and mentorship. The program directors, program coordinators, and residents are all committed to making UNC the best place to complete combined residency training.
Combined residents at UNC are involved in both departments from the beginning of intern year. A highlight of this integration is the Academic Medicine Rotation in November/December, where all anesthesia interns spend five weeks together away from the hustle and bustle of the wards receiving focused training in quality improvement, leadership, professionalism, and education. This rotation is a highlight of intern year for anesthesia residents and a wonderful opportunity for the combined program intern to get to know his or her anesthesia co-interns well. In addition, once a month throughout intern year the combined intern’s pediatrics shifts are covered and he/she spends the day in the operating room getting to know the anesthesia department and learning the logistics of the work day. This occurs primarily on Wednesdays to allow the combined program intern to attend anesthesia grand rounds. Likewise, when on anesthesia rotations, residents spend one day in pediatric continuity clinic. This is generally on Thursdays to allow participation in pediatric grand rounds. Best of all, it is not uncommon to see residents grabbing frequent free lunches from either department (regardless of their current rotation)!