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Clinical Experience

All the anesthesia subspecialties are practiced at UTMB. Residents rotate through different services including pediatric, cardiac, neurosurgical, obstetric, pain management and intensive care units. Residents also have months dedicated to improve knowledge and performance of specific procedures like transesophageal echocardiography, regional anesthesia and airway management. Our residents care for all types of patients from healthy day surgery patients to critically ill patients from the Burn, Surgical, Pediatric, and Neonatal ICUs.

The cardiothoracic experience at UTMB includes performance of a wide variety of cardiac and thoracic procedures including on and off-pump coronary artery bypass, valve repair and replacement, ventricular remodeling, adult congenital heart defect repair, thoracic aortic procedures, heart and lung transplant, lung resections and pneumonectomies, esophageal and tracheal resection, thymectomy for myasthenia gravis, and anterior mediastinal mass resection. Residents become proficient at placement and interpretation of invasive hemodynamic monitors and have significant exposure to transesophageal echocardiography. Management of hemodynamic derangement with pharmacologic and mechanical circulatory aids is emphasized.

Approximately 6,000 babies are delivered each year at UTMB; 60-70% percent of the expectant mothers are high-risk parturients. We provide analgesia for labor and delivery and anesthesia for cesarean sections and tubal ligations for most of these patients and also participate in the management of the acute care of the critically ill parturient.

During their Pain Management rotation, our residents care for patients with acute and chronic pain. Residents provide multimodal therapy, including neural blockade, neuro-axial opioids epidural analgesia, peripheral nerve infusion analgesia, interventional pain procedures and interact with the pain psychologist for psychosocial evaluation, and behavior modification.

During their Surgical Intensive Care Unit rotation, anesthesiology residents provide all aspects of patient care, including hemodynamic, ventilatory, nutritional, renal, metabolic, hematologic, and antimicrobial management.

Residents are exposed to echocardiography on multiple rotations.  On the day surgery rotation, residents participate in the performance of transesophageal echocardiograms done in the operating room and ICU. The cardiothoracic anesthesia rotation at UTMB includes transesophageal echocardiograms performed on every patient as well as a weekly, dedicated echocardiography conference and a separate, weekly didactic cardiothoracic anesthesia conference with a heavy concentration on transesophageal echocardiography.

Residents learn to perform a variety of regional techniques. Epidural, caudal, and spinal anesthesia are reinforced during the obstetric, cardiac, pain, and pediatric rotations. One to two CA3 residents are assigned to the Regional rotation each month. This month is dedicated to improving peripheral nerve block techniques. This resident is responsible for placing all needed peripheral nerve blocks and catheters for the patients in the operating room including brachial plexus, lumbar plexus, sciatic, femoral, and ankle blocks.

During the Airway Rotation the resident will focus on learning to use a variety of alternative airway devices in the general operating room. Faculty will also guide residents through invasive techniques used to secure difficult airways at the human patient simulator center. During these simulation sessions, residents will be exposed to clinical scenarios designed to increase their competence in decision-making and airway management. At the end of the rotation, residents should have increased confidence and the ability to safely manage a difficult airway based on the ASA Difficult Airway Algorithm.