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Chief Residents' Message


(l - r) Drs.Johnny Nguyen, Dawnna Watson, Nikul Patel and Jason Nakken - Anesthesiology Chief Residents 2017-2018

Hello! As you are aware, your choice of residency will not only affect the next four years but will have a lasting impact on your practice of this wonderful and rewarding specialty. We would like to highlight a few things that our residents felt were important when they chose UTMB for Anesthesiology.

When choosing a residency, one of the most important things to notice is resident satisfaction and morale. Our residents are genuinely satisfied with our program as a whole, but especially with the amount and quality of faculty teaching. Our faculty-both junior and senior- really enjoy teaching and it shows!

At UTMB you’ll also get a wide range of case variety. We serve patients from all over the state of Texas: consequently, we have a great deal of pathology that you may not often see in other places. One example is our rotation through the Shriners’ Burn Hospital. Here we become proficient in the management of the very difficult airways that some of these patients have, both in the acute and chronic phases.

If you are interested in research, our program offers a research track. You can take six months in the last year of residency to perform in an area of your choice. Your mentor could be one of our outstanding faculty, including our chair, Dr. Don Prough (Dr. Prough, incidentally, has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Critical Care Medicine). Over the years, many of our residents have won awards for their research at regional and national meetings.

The work atmosphere here is very congenial: we are a fun group and look out for each other. We enjoy hanging out in the residents’ lounge at lunch and between cases. When someone has an emergency or if something comes up, it’s easy to find a volunteer to help out. There is also genuine respect and camaraderie between faculty members and residents. It’s easier to come to work if you like the people you work with! In some places residents are perceived as “cheap laborers” or “bag-squeezers” and feel that they come to work mostly to fill rooms. Not so here. At UTMB, residents are relieved at 4:30 pm by other residents who choose to moonlight. This allows ample time for studying, family, and having some fun outside the hospital.

We mentioned moonlighting or our “late rooms”… You can pick up extra cash: $50 an hour, for doing cases, all the while learning Anesthesiology! This option starts after completing six months in the ORs.

The area around UTMB is one of the most affordable in the country. You can live in Galveston and enjoy the proximity to the beach, year-round outdoor sports, or drive up to Houston for big city benefits. Since the weather is so nice, many residents even ride their bike to work year-round. It’s great because you don’t have to face daily traffic problems but can still get all the conveniences like shopping, restaurants, games and concerts that Houston provides.

Back to education… as further proof of our program’s commitment, we get a very generous book allowance: $3000 over the course of residency. We can also use this money to attend anesthesia conferences and review courses. Our residents also have the written boards and USMLE Step 3 exams paid for by the department. We also get a laptop computer for home use and reimbursement for a smartphone every two years. Even though our House Officers’ Association gives us a meal allowance, our faculty buy carry-out dinner and dessert every night on call. This gives us something to look forward to even during the busiest call!

All residents at UTMB have health benefits paid for by the hospital. These cover both the resident and his/her dependents. This is great because paying for insurance could take a large chunk from your salary.

As you can see, there are many big (and small) aspects of our program that make it unique and worthwhile! Many of our medical students become interested in anesthesiology and the program because of it’s great reputation! We are very proud of our training program and would highly recommend it, but don’t just take our work, come by and check us our for yourself.

Do a visiting rotation, drop in, or contact us with any questions you might have.

We’d love to hear from you and good luck!