CA-1 year

Residents spend an initial two months in the foundations curriculum. This introduces them to the fundamentals of anesthesiology.

It consists of four components:

  1. One week orientation period, simulation, task training, and equipment training. Operating room assignments start after the completion of this initial training period.
  2. Introductory didactic curriculum that focuses on the fundamentals of anesthesia practice. These lectures are provided 2 hours every day for the first 5 weeks.
  3. One-on-one operating room assignments with faculty for individualized clinical teaching. For each new resident, assignments are restricted to a limited number of faculty members in July and August to optimize instruction and learning. The duration of this closely supervised period is customized to each resident’s needs but typically lasts for 6-8 weeks.
  4. "Shadow Calls" provide CA-1 residents an opportunity to gradually become familiar with the responsibilities of being on call and ensures that they are prepared to assume call duties in the fall.

In the latter half of the CA-1 year, the residents benefit from early subspecialty exposure in ambulatory surgery, neuroanesthesia, pediatrics, obstetrics, and cardiothoracic anesthesia. 

During the CA-1 year, emphasis is placed on airway management, monitoring, life support, and the basics of anesthesiology. Under close faculty guidance, residents are given progressive responsibility for total anesthetic management of patients in the operating room, as well as the labor and delivery floor. 

CA-2 Year

In the CA-2 year, residents are afforded an appreciation for the expanding role of the anesthesiologist outside the operating room as well as responsibility for management of more complex patients and procedures in the operating room.

In addition to performing cases in the 15-room inpatient operating suite, 8-room ambulatory surgery operating area, residents complete one month of obstetric anesthesia at Tufts Medical Center and one month at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Subspecialty rotations continue in neuroanesthesia, vascular, thoracic, cardiac, obstetric, pediatric, regional, and ambulatory anesthesia, as well as pain management and ICU. 

CA-3 Year

CA-3 residents have four months of electives that are customizable to each residents’ career goals. During the remainder of their CA-3 year, residents gain experience caring for complex patients by rotating through subspecialty areas. In addition, senior residents are provided with the valuable experience of supervising and teaching junior residents.  

The current options for electives are:


  • Cardiothoracic ICU
  • Difficult airway
  • Echocardiography 
  • Additional months in the following subspecialties (acute pain, cardiac, chronic pain, neuroanesthesia, thoracic) 
  • Additional research


  • Chronic Pain - Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Chronic Pain - Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Boston, MA
  • Pediatric Anesthesia – Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston MA 
  • Pediatric Cardiac Anesthesia – Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston MA 
  • Pediatric pain– Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston MA 
  • Pediatric Anesthesia – Mass Eye and Ear, Boston, MA

Didactic Program

Our academic mission is built on a philosophy of capturing the maximum breath of educational content through optimal resource utilization while always remaining learner centric. By recognizing that comprehension of material occurs best when the teaching modality is congruent, we strategically incorporate lectures, simulation, in-training preparation, oral board practice, and skills labs (echocardiography, regional, vascular access) to provide the most high-yield educational experience for each of our residents. We strive to match the topic and format to create a synergistic learning opportunity where mastery of the content can be achieved. 

The strength of our training program in anesthesiology lies in the commitment of our faculty to resident education. This is accomplished by the integration of a carefully designed, well organized didactic lecture series into the clinical experience. It is a priority of our department that residents be uniformly relieved of their clinical duties to attend departmental lectures. The didactic lecture series is based upon the ABA Content Outlined for the BASIC, In-Training, and Advanced exams. The program provides four hours of didactic activities per week, which unlike many programs is scheduled within the work day.

Customized program for CA-1s and senior residents: The resident education program commences with a daily lecture series specifically for the CA-1 residents in July to mid-August. Lectures on basic concepts, skills lab, and simulation during our anesthesia boot camp are conducted in considerable depth in small group sessions. From September onwards, CA-1 residents have a faculty moderated didactic program following the ABA Content Outline. The senior curriculum is a lecture/seminar series that covers all the major advanced topics and specialty areas of anesthesia in a 2-year rotating curriculum.

All residents are relieved for 2 hours every Wednesday and Thursday between 3 and 5 PM to attend education sessions. Specialty blocks are coordinated by section chiefs and cover respiratory, cardiac, pediatric, obstetric and pain topics in addition to physics, pharmacology and renal/endocrine blocks. Additionally, residents participate in morbidity and mortality conferences, quality improvement meetings, and journal club sessions where they are required to give formal presentations on topics of their choice throughout the year.

Keyword sessions are led by a CA-2 resident and conducted in one-hour sessions twice a month.

Departmental grand rounds are held on Thursday between 7-8 am.

Board Preparation: A fully immersive formal mock oral examination is given to all CA-3 residents and interested junior residents. The experience is designed to parallel ABA exam conditions, format, and style to help residents obtain an accurate self-assessment and practice in an environment of simulated stress. A full mock OSCE examination consisting of stations designed from the ABA OSCE content outline is also held in the spring. Our graduating residents have continually remarked on how valuable they found these experiences to be for their board exam preparation. 
In addition, sessions with board-type practice questions covering material taught in the core lecture blocks are frequently held to assist with resident knowledge consolidation. Residents can also arrange for a private mock oral exam with a faculty member by request as well. 
All residents take the annual In-Training Examination administered by the American Board of Anesthesiology as well as the Anesthesia Knowledge Test (AKT). The AKT is administered four times during the course of training. Our intensive study program has produced a success rate for ABA specialty certification that exceeds the national average.


Simulation based training is provided at the Tufts University Clinical Skills and Simulation Center (CSSC). Our simulation center provides an interactive and supportive experiential learning environment for our residents. Our faculty enjoy teaching and closely supervising residents while they can practice essential problem-solving skills and dynamics of a team approach to acute patient care. It is a once monthly program covering a wide range of clinical scenarios with an extensive debriefing session for residents at all levels. Training at the center includes ACLS, PALS, and procedure simulations. ACLS certification is readily available to all residents. 

Several senior residents are sponsored to attend the Anesthesia Crisis Resource Management Course (ACRM) at the Harvard Center of Medical Simulation (CMS) at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We believe that through simulation, we can build a culture of safety and improve patient care.