Educational Curriculum

Preliminary year: The Department of Surgery has two PGY 1 positions available through the match for interested residents who match with our anesthesia program. Though anesthesia training officially begins at the CA1 (PGY 2) level, we will provide all our incoming PGY1 residents with a series of short, fun, educational videos as well as a brief introductory online textbook to familiarize them with basic anesthesia topics.

First month:  The first week of July is devoted to orientation of the new residents under the guidance of the program director and chief residents. Residents will be familiarized with anesthesia equipment, pre- operative assessment, case preparation and room set up, record keeping and basic clinical practice. Lectures in the first 2 months will cover basics of anesthesia. Readings will be keyed to Morgan and Mikhail’s Clinical Anesthesiology text which we will provide.  CA1s will participate in several Simulation Laboratory sessions, providing a unique, pressure -free opportunity to become accustomed to anesthetic practice and the operating room.  In the O.R. residents will be supervised one -to -one by their assigned mentors.

Scholarly activity:  All residents will complete one or more scholarly projects resulting in a local, regional or national presentation or journal publication. Our IRB is active and supportive of hospital-wide research activities and sponsors a yearly “St. Joseph’s Research Day” presentation and competition.

Lecture Series:   Tu, W, Fri, 6:30-7:10 AM- Comprehensive lecture series covering all major basic and subspecialty topics in anesthesia. We also include frequent Basic and Advanced exam board review sessions, “flipped classroom” sessions, problem-based learning discussions and mock oral exams.  Th 7-8 AM: Departmental meetings including Morbidity and Mortality Conference, Grand Rounds, Journal Club and Guest Lectures. We have recently joined the “Anesthesia Toolbox”, an online collaborative anesthesia learning community which provides comprehensive educational material across all three years of training. 

Simulation Training: (Pam Upadya, Director). The first Thursday of each month is a dedicated simulation session. Simulation is an essential component of anesthesia training, providing a safe, low-pressure, enjoyable and intellectually stimulating environment for learning critical thinking, fast-paced decision making, crisis management and team skills. Sim sessions are followed by reflective and formative debriefing which may include a video review of team performance. Pam Upadya has helped develop our own spacious simulation laboratory which is used hospital-wide by residents, nurses, medical students and even Paterson first responders. The lab includes manikins and models to practice technical skills, a high-fidelity computerized anesthesia simulator and virtual reality case simulations. We also run workshops for difficult airway training using manikins for fiberoptic intubation and pig tracheas for percutaneous tracheotomy, retrograde intubation and double lumen tube insertion. Residents will also be well-prepared for the future OSCE component of the ABA exam through a variety of simulated patient experiences.

Leadership Training Symposium:  Dr. Claudia Komer, Chair at St. Michael’s Medical Center, completed a Masters in Health Care Delivery Science, and has organized this innovative lecture series designed to help our residents understand the “non-technical” requirements for being a successful clinician and health care leader. This dinner series covers professionalism, quality improvement, providing value-based care, the perioperative surgical home (PSH) and education about the future of medicine and anesthesia.  Meetings take place every other month. Our residents are also given the opportunity to put this training into practice by serving on hospital committees (Critical Care, Infectious Disease, Blood Products/Transfusion, Pharmacy, Clinical Utilization, Patient Safety, Root Cause Analysis), and represent us at local (New Jersey State Society  of Anesthesia) and national (American Society of Anesthesiologists  Resident Component) Meetings.

Workshops: We organize difficult airway and regional anesthesia workshops using models, anatomic specimens and live subjects (for ultrasound visualization only!)

Teaching:  Teaching our many rotating medical students from a variety of medical schools is an essential and satisfying component of the learning experience. We have introduced a “Teaching Residents to Teach” curriculum which focuses on how to teach in the challenging OR environment.  If you can teach it you can do it!

Educational support and resources: St. Joseph’s provides all residents with a yearly educational stipend which can be used to purchase textbooks or technology. There is also a conference stipend for residents presenting at educational meetings. St. Joseph’s has an excellent hospital library and award winning librarians to assist you with your studies and projects.

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