The Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston
Department of Anesthesiology
The Department of Anesthesiology

Residency Program Information


Admission Requirements

Applicants should hold an M.D. or D.O. degree from an accredited medical school in the United States or Canada. Graduates from other medical schools must achieve an acceptable score both the USMLE Step Boards. All Non-ERAS applicants must be fluent in written and spoken English and provide Three letters of recommendation, including a letter from a chairman, program director, or dean. Two recent photographs, official Sealed transcripts from the applicant's undergraduate college and medical school should be forwarded directly to the department. Official copies of the NBME, FLEX, USMLE, FMGEMS and/or ECFMG examination results are also required if they have been taken. Candidates must have the physical and mental capacity to perform all the usual tasks required of an anesthesiologist. Download a copy of the application.

Clinical Base Year

In general any CBY-1 year should be in basic clinical disciplines other than anesthesia, and the American Board of Anesthesiology recognizes transitional training, internal medicine, anesthesiology, surgery and any other surgical specialties, obstetrics and gynecology, neurology, family practice, or any combination of these, may be approved for the individual resident by the director of their training program. The program currently takes 10 residents in ‘Advanced’ positions starting the PGY-2 year at UTHSC Houston after completing CBY-1 at another program. The clinical base year must be spent in a program accredited by the Accreditation Council on General Medical Education, the American Osteopathic Association or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Our CBY-1 Categorical Program year has recently been revamped to include a Transitional training program. The goal of our CBY-1 year is to prepare residents for years of clinical anesthesiology training with a strong base of clinical and practical knowledge. Completion of USMLE or COMLEX Step 3 is one of the primary goals of any CBY-1 resident. Currently in 2011-12 our program includes; 1 month of Clinic, 1 month of ER, 1 month of Medical ICU, 1 month of Surgical or Neurosurgical-trauma ICU, 1 month of pediatrics, 1 month of ENT clinic, 1 month of ENT Surgery, 1 month of Anesthesiology OR, and 4 months of Medicine including cardiology, nephrology, and echocardiography exposure.

Clinical Anesthesia

The following three years, CA-1, CA-2 and CA-3, include experience in basic, subspecialty and advanced anesthesia training. Approximately 12 months are spent in general clinical anesthesia training with an additional 24 months are provided with experience in advanced or subspecialty training, or a period in scientific research. Further, All residents must also obtain at least four months of subspecialty training in critical care medicine during the PGY-1 to PGY4 years. The majority of experience will occur at Memorial Hermann Hospital TMC and Lyndon B Johnson Hospital our two primary sites. Additional elective rotations may be selected at the well known hospitals in the Texas Medical Center; Texas Children’s Hospital, Methodist Hospital, the Texas Heart Institute, and MD Anderson Hospital.

The Didactic Program

Residents who have completed their clinical base year are introduced to the practice of anesthesia during a one-month “T-mode” training rotation, a supportive and intensively monitored month in the operating room before embarking on standard resident clinical rotations. During the three years of clinical rotations, a lecture series is provided which takes the form of tutorials, mock oral board exams and PBL based lectures. The current didactic series, which runs Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings, is arranged in "blocks" of material and is taught by all Teaching Faculty members. Material is arranged so that the entire body of relevant knowledge is surveyed in three years and focused on topics relevant to the ABA Certification tests. Each year the department funds each resident to sit for the National In-training Exam of the American Board of Anesthesiology to help prepare for the board exams. Additionally this year 2011-12, the department’s best teaching faculty are initiating a book review series for the CA-3 (PGY-4) class to focus studies, engage residents, and improve performance.

Cardiovascular Anesthesia

The Cardiovascular Anesthesia service at UTHSCH includes an extensive variety and volume of cases. Residents are exposed to an incredible educational experience in cardiac pharmacology, physiology, technical skills, and perioperative management of cardiac patients. PGY-2 rotations are based at Memorial Hermann Hospital- Heart and Vascular Institute, which has five designated Cardiovascular Suite ORs. Residents may rotate at this location up to 4 times during training through PGY4. During PGY-3 and PGY-4, residents are each also exposed to a rotation at the world renowned Texas Heart Institute (THI) and world renowned Methodist Hospital Fondren Brown OR, an institution designed exclusively for cardiovascular care and surgeries. Our residents receive training for procedures and surgeries that occur in only select places in the country.

Intensive Care Unit Rotations

During the ICU rotation, the resident gains experience in the management of critically ill adult surgical patients and applies monitoring and resuscitative skills learned in the operating room. Particular emphasis is placed on the diagnosis and management of cardiovascular, respiratory, renal and metabolic failure and on the management of the comatose patient. The Department of Anesthesiology offers seven locations at which residents may experience critical care training during their four years of residency. Residents may elect to rotate in MD Anderson general mixed perioperative ICU, Methodist Hospital’s Neurosurgical ICU, Methodist Hospital’s Cardiovascular ICU, Memorial Hermann Hospital’s(MHH) Neurosurgical-Trauma ICU, MHHs’s Surgical-Trauma ICU, MHH’s Neonatal ICU, and MHH’s Pediatric ICU.

Neurosurgical Anesthesia

Neuro-anesthesiology experience is gained during two-1 month block rotations through the Department of Neurosurgery operating room. Faculty members with advanced training and special competence in neuro-anesthesiology impart the principles and practices of anesthesia care for patients with head injuries, tumors and cerebrovascular disease. Techniques of controlled hypotension, hypothermia and circulatory arrest are applied to specific problems in neuroanesthesia. Additionally a 1 year Texas Medical Board approved fellowship is offered for interested residents and faculty.

Obstetric Anesthesia

Experience in obstetric anesthesia is gained at Memorial Hermann Hospital or Lyndon B Johnson Hospital. Emphasis is placed on a thorough understanding of maternal and fetal physiology. Many residents enjoy OB anesthesiology and may elect to do two to 5 months of experience. In 2012, the department will be working on obtaining an ACGME accredited fellowship in OB Anesthesiology.

Pediatric Anesthesia

While at Hermann Hospital, residents spend a month assigned to the operating rooms serving the division of pediatric surgery. The faculty pediatric anesthesiologists give a solid introduction to the principles and practices of pediatric anesthesia. This is supplemented by an optional rotation at the Texas Children’s Hospital TMC. Our residents receive intense training in pediatric anesthesiology rivaling fellowship trained individuals of other institutions. Furthermore, UTHSC Houston offers 1 ACGME accredited position for Pediatric Anesthesiology Fellowship.

Regional Anesthesia

Our department offers exemplary experience in regional anesthesiology, one of the most important aspects of training at this time. Each resident is guaranteed 2 full months of regional rotation during which minimal time is spent providing general or monitored anesthesia. Each month four residents; one PGY-2 and one PGY-3 at Memorial Hermann Hospital, one PGY-3 at LBJ Hospital, and one PGY-4 at Methodist Hospital. Moreover, a handful of residents who perform outstandingly academically, clinically and professionally may earn a third month of experience on one of these rotations. Conversely, those who do not get a third month may elect to rotate at our ambulatory surgical center to obtain some experience in regional anesthesiology.

Transplant Anesthesia

Memorial Hermann Hospital, after pioneering early efforts in kidney transplantation, has also established an active liver transplant program. Approximately 100 transplant procedures per year are performed, including pediatric liver transplant and living-related liver transplant procedures. Specialized monitoring and anesthetic techniques allow the resident to become comfortable with the care of patients undergoing these complex procedures. Residents also have exposure to heart, lung, liver, kidney transplantation at the Texas Heart Institute and Methodist Fondren Brown cardiovascular month rotations.

Options for the CA-3 Year

The American Board of Anesthesiology provides options for residents in training. An Advanced Clinical Track allows focus of up to 6 months training in a subspecialty of choice; and, a Clinical Scientist Track allows the resident with research activity to pursue six to months of research training during the residency. Optimization of rotation schedule by our program has allowed residents to complete the minimum ACGME requirements by the very beginning of CA-3 year to enable pursuit of elective experiences, including international 1 month anesthesiology rotations.

Clinical Continuum of Anesthesia

After the M.D., D.O. or equivalent degree is conferred, all residents must complete a clinical base year and three years of full-time anesthesia training to be recognized as board-eligible by the American Board of Anesthesiology. Further, fellowships in subspecialty areas are required if residents intend to acquire multiple board certifications. Currently changes are ongoing in matters of American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) certification. Applicants should be aware that there will be 3 stages to ABA certification with the first written test in the middle of training and the second written test at the end of training. After successful completion of each stage sequentially, the oral board examination may be taken and full certification may be obtained.

CA-4 (Fellowships)

We accept applications for our 1 year anesthesiology subspecialty programs from qualified individuals who have completed three or more years of acceptable anesthesiology training. We currently offer ACGME accredited fellowships in Critical Care Anesthesiology, Cardiovascular Anesthesiology, and Pediatric Anesthesiology. Additional requirements may be set by the directors of each special section. Candidates are accepted into the programs on a flexible time schedule which is mutually agreeable to the candidate and the sub-specialty director. Currently the fellowship for pediatric anesthesiology is in the NRMP match system. Following receipt of the application and all required documents, qualified applicants will be contacted to schedule interviews and tours of our facilities.