Residency is a critical step after medical school. It is during this time that students become physicians, and learn how to not only care for patients, but also make life-or-death decisions. For residents in anesthesiology, this is of the utmost importance. While aspiring anesthesiologists may have had exposure to the field during medical school through sub-internships or electives, first-hand experience is the greatest teacher. Yet, residency education has evolved significantly over the past several decades, broadening its scope to include research, education, and pedagogy. Furthermore, tools utilized to evaluate potential residents, such as the National Resident Matching Program, are themselves undergoing evaluation to ensure that well-qualified applicants are in the pipeline to become anesthesiologists.
Residency, while an important and necessary stage in becoming a licensed, practicing physician, is not necessarily guaranteed. Fourth-year medical students are assessed in a variety of ways in order for residency programs to assess their aptitude as a future intern and/or resident1. Students must pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Steps 1, 2, and 3 prior to entering residency, preferably passing with high scores.
In addition to high board scores, students are encouraged to participate in research, with the goal of being published in peer-reviewed journals. Lastly, the more exposure that a student has to the field of anesthesiology, the better. Students who match successfully into their top program of choice have typically taken anesthesiology electives, potentially ICU or other sub-specialty field electives, as well as participated in away rotations. Each of these factors is integrated with the National Resident Matching Program, which conducts an algorithm that aligns student preferences with residency ranking lists.
preferably passing with high scores.
In addition to high board scores, students are encouraged to participate in research, with the goal of being published in peer-reviewed journals.