Clinical Anesthesia Year 3

The CA-3 year is a time of increasing independence and development of leadership and supervising skills. This year allows the CA-3 resident to gain more experience in and comfort with complex cases in all the surgical subspecialties.

Rotations at Virginia Mason:

Regional Anesthesia Team: (1 month) Residents use their extensive exposure to regional anesthesia from the CA-1 and CA-2 years to work alongside regional anesthesia fellows as part of the Regional Anesthesia Team. More than 2,000 nerve block catheter procedures are performed annually at Virginia Mason for inpatients and outpatients. This rotation allows ample opportunities to hone advanced regional anesthesia skills, serve as an expert consultant for fellow anesthesiologists and surgeons, and develop teaching and supervising experience.
Elective: (1 month) The elective month is flexible by design. Residents have many choices for their elective at Virginia Mason and at other institutions. Popular options include:

  • Echocardiography/POCUS. In-depth education on transesophageal and transthoracic echocardiography, as well as point-of-care lung, abdominal and vascular ultrasound (POCUS). Case volume and availability is such that interested residents can choose to take the basic perioperative transesophageal echocardiography certification exam, the cost of which is covered by the Department of Anesthesiology.
  • Systems-Based Practice. Throughout the month, residents participate in several multi-day VMPS quality improvement events such as kaizen events and Rapid Process Improvement Workshops (RPIWs). This provides outstanding exposure to the process of analyzing waste and inefficiency in medical systems, and a team-based approach to developing solutions. In addition, residents are participants in adverse and near-miss event reporting and root cause analysis of error.
  • Global Health. Virginia Mason residents have rotated to a variety of sites around the globe, serving as clinicians and as teachers for anesthesia providers in the region.
  • Hyperbaric Medicine. Virginia Mason’s Center for Hyperbaric Medicine is the biggest in Western Washington and the primary regional center for treatment of decompression sickness, carbon monoxide poisoning and other emergencies.

Away Rotations:

Trauma Anesthesia: (2 months) Residents return to Harborview Medical Center, where they experience the challenges and rewards of working in operating rooms at a Level 1 trauma center.

Pediatric Anesthesia: (1 month) Residents return to Seattle Children's Hospital for a final month of training.

Obstetric Anesthesia: (1 month) Residents return to Swedish Medical Center for a final month of experience on Labor and Delivery.

The remainder of the year challenges residents with complex cases and preparing them to be academic or private perioperative consultants.