Doctors stand in the operating room and discuss the patient vitals and medicines for anesthesiologists
Anesthesiology Curriculum & Clinical Rotations

Our residents receive a comprehensive educational experience that is made to ensure acquisition of the skills, knowledge, and judgment necessary to be exemplary leaders in anesthesiology.

Our residency is a four-year categorical program inclusive of the Clinical Base Year (CBY). Training is divided into 13 four-week blocks in the CBY through CA-3 with a balance between clinical hands-on training and didactic instruction.

Residents are introduced to vital subspecialty rotations during CA-1 year. Exposure to subspecialties early in training:

  • Aids resident security and comfort in their clinical practice
  • Progresses the program toward competency-based rotations, an active goal within anesthesiology training at-large
  • Provides an opportunity to customize training and electives to better suit individual resident needs as they progress toward fellowships or other post-residency career goals
    Clinical Base Year (CBY – Intern Year)

    Our intern year consists of a comprehensive, robust curriculum focusing on critical care medicine, surgical and medical specialties, emergency medicine, pain medicine, and research.

    CA-1 through CA-3 Years

    The CA1-CA3 years include didactic instruction utilizing tutorials, simulation and case-based discussion, keywords, journal clubs and workshops. Each resident is assigned a faculty mentor, who provides advice, suggestions, consultation, and tracks their progress as the resident progresses through the program. 

    Residents are also enrolled in the anesthesia knowledge examination series, the annual American Board of Anesthesiology in-training examination and participate in mock oral examinations and observed structured clinical examinations in preparation for the American Board of Anesthesiology applied examination.

    Each resident receives a unique training program schedule that includes all specialty rotations for that clinical year, allowing the resident to track their progress as they proceed through these experiences. Anesthesiology is a case log specialty and case-specific experiences are required by the American Board of Anesthesiology. Residents track their experiences by entering cases into the ACGME Case Log System. 

    Intern Year

    Learn more about our intern year experience.

    Clinical Care Settings and Rotations

    Residents rotate through our Brighton Specialty Health Center, Back and Pain Center at Burlington, East Ann Arbor Surgical Center, Michigan Medicine Hospital as well as the Ann Arbor Veterans Affairs Hospital with the opportunity to do electives at our affiliated Community partnership with St. Joseph Mercy Hospital of Ann Arbor.

    CA-1 residents are assigned mostly to the adult hospital (University Hospital), where they spend six to seven months learning the anesthetics for general surgery, plastics, otolaryngology, oncology, and orthopedics.

    Beyond the University Hospital ORs, CA-1s complete rotations in cardiac anesthesia, neuroanesthesia, pediatric anesthesia, obstetric anesthesia, ambulatory anesthesia, ICU, preoperative clinic, PACU, VA hospital, and regional anesthesia to maximize subspecialty and various practice setting exposure.

    A typical week for CA-1s at UH may include full OR days Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, a holding room day on Thursday, which typically runs from 6 a.m.-2 p.m., and then another OR day on Friday with pre-call relief at 3 p.m. prior to a 24-hr call on Saturday.

    A regular day in the operating rooms at University Hospital involves:

    • Reviewing the cases the night before with your attending
    • 6 am: Arrive and set up your operating room
    • 6:30-7 am: Morning teaching conference
    • 7 am: Meet your patient and complete your history and physical
    • 7:30 am: First case start
    • 5 pm: Finish the day or get relieved (typically around 3 pm if pre-call)

    CA-1s generally take one or two 24-hour calls per month on Saturday or Sunday at University Hospital. CA-1s also are assigned to two or three holding room (preoperative area) days a month, where they perform preoperative IVs, arterial lines, and prepare for awake fiberoptic intubations to be performed in the OR. They may also accompany the CA-3 to floor airways. CA-1s perform 1-2 weeks of night float a year, which runs from Monday to Friday.

    CA-2 residents primarily rotate in anesthesia subspecialties for 4-week blocks, including pediatrics, obstetrics, neuroanesthesia, cardiac, thoracic, vascular, regional anesthesia and acute pain management and outpatient chronic pain clinic. Additional rotations include non-operating room anesthesia (NORA) experience (primarily interventional radiology), cardiovascular intensive care unit (CVC-ICU), and transesophageal echocardiography (TEE). Liver transplantation is prioritized to CA-2s during case allocation.

    Cardiac anesthesia, obstetric anesthesia, and the ICU have independent rotating call schedules. Other rotations, such as vascular and thoracic anesthesia, share a call schedule with the University Hospital with protected OR days to ensure exposure to these subspecialties.

    The call schedule for CA-2s at University Hospital is called CA-2 back-up; residents arrive at 3 p.m. during the week (6 am on the weekends) to help end the workday until relieved for home call through 7 am the next morning.

    CA-3 residents primarily perform advanced subspecialty rotations, including pediatrics, obstetrics, neuroanesthesia, cardiac, regional anesthesia, ambulatory anesthesia (assume a sub-staffing role to support transition to independent practice). Additional rotations include the non-operating room anesthesia (NORA) experience (primarily endoscopies and bronchoscopies), CVC-ICU, and 2-week electives.

    CA-3s step into a more supervisory role as they transition to fellows and early career attendings. When on call at University Hospital, CA-3s arrive at 3 pm, secure airways during codes, supervise CA-1s in the ORs, oversee the PACU, and manage the workflow of the ORs at the end of the day and overnight. After the call day, CA-3s are ensured a post-call day off followed by a day in the holding room helping with preoperative procedures and performing urgent and emergent airway management outside of the operating room throughout the hospital.

    Additional Training

    We also support and sponsor anesthesiology residents selected for admission to the following programs offered at Michigan Medicine or within our department:

    Facilities & Spaces
    See where training takes place

    Discover the spaces where you'll train, learn and practice at the University of Michigan Medical School Department of Anesthesiology. As one of the largest training programs in the country, we provide unparalleled opportunities for our learners.

    View Anesthesiology Facilities & Spaces