Anesthesia Residency Program
Massachusetts General Hospital's Anesthesia Residency Program provides residents with comprehensive education, training and research opportunities in anesthesia, critical care and pain medicine under the mentorship of world-class faculty and clinicians.
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About THE DEPARTMENT
Welcome to the Anesthesia Residency Program at Massachusetts General Hospital. Our residents receive unparalleled education in anesthesia, critical care and pain medicine. This education stems from interactions with expert faculty educators, world-class researchers, highly skilled surgeons who perform advanced surgical procedures, and outstanding co-residents.
Our residents can expect to advance in their professional development at an accelerated pace. We support our residents’ varied academic interests and have a long history of successfully helping our residents attain their professional goals. Whether you hope to become an expert-level clinician, independently funded investigator, master educator or leader in health care, our program will help you attain success as you advance in your journey of professional development.
Our Educational Mission
“We approach teaching and learning with a mastery orientation, employing both strategy and effort. We approach all activities, including giving and receiving feedback, with a goal of improving one’s performance. We use experimentally demonstrated strategies to improve teaching and learning. All cases provide opportunities for learning and improving. Failure is another opportunity to learn and improve.”
—Keith Baker, MD, PhD, program director
“Mass General is a leading center of anesthesia training. Our faculty is extraordinary and gives residents a broad breadth of experience in clinical care, education and quality management, as well as clinical, translational and basic research.”
—Jeanine Wiener-Kronish, MD, anesthetist-in-chief
Grand Rounds presentation at the Mass General Simches Research Center
Anesthesia residents receive a rich clinical experience at Massachusetts General Hospital, where more than 48,000 inpatients are admitted annually. Challenging clinical cases include heart, lung and liver transplantation. Mass General is a Level I trauma center, providing residents with exposure to both penetrating and blunt trauma cases.
Residents are given a level of supervision appropriate to their ability, along with a caseload that provides a broad clinical experience. This quickly builds technical expertise, good judgment, leadership and decision-making skills, allowing residents to become confident in dealing with the most challenging perioperative issues.
In addition to caring for patients in the operating room, residents learn to manage perioperative cases in the intensive care unit (ICU), recovery room, neuroradiology suite, proton therapy center, MRI suite, endoscopy suite, and electrophysiology and cardiac catherization labs.
Much of the clinical teaching at Mass General takes place in or around the operating room, or, in the case of the ICU rotations, by the bedside. Emphasis is placed on case-related teaching in individual and small-group settings. Residents rotate to join clinical teams for one or two months at a time, in more than 12 specialty areas. Teams generally include two to four residents, occasionally a fellow in advanced training, and four or five attending staff who are specialists in that field. Residents benefit by being able to focus on one subspecialty at a time and training with expert faculty members. This deployment provides team members with the kind of small-group intimacy that would otherwise be difficult to foster in institutions as large as Mass General.
Early in their training, residents select a faculty advisor who will help them develop a long-term plan for career development. Upon completing the required rotations of the CA-2 year, residents find exceptional opportunities for advanced clinical training, both in residency and beyond. In the CA-3 year, residents are primarily focused on gaining experience with advanced and complex anesthetic assignments. Such challenges are available at Mass General in nearly all of the anesthetic subspecialties, including:
- Critical care
- Pain management
- Cardiac anesthesia
- Pediatric anesthesia
- Obstetric anesthesia
- Thoracic anesthesia
- Vascular anesthesia
In addition, the department draws upon the resources of other Mass General departments, other Harvard-affiliated hospitals and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to arrange nontraditional or research fellowships for residents with special interests. Mass General has been selected by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a National Center for Infertility, largely because of the institution's outstanding Reproductive Endocrinology Unit. Mass General residents also may arrange an obstetrical anesthesia observership at several Harvard hospitals, including our partner, Brigham and Women's Hospital.
The Anesthesia Residency Program utilizes strong affiliation agreements with area medical centers, including Cambridge Hospital, West Roxbury VA, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) and the Shriner’s Burn Institute, to build upon our extensive specialty clinical training opportunities within Mass General. Finally, a multitude of international rotation opportunities exist for interested trainees. Recent international rotations have taken residents to countries including Uganda, the Philippines, Vietnam, Ethiopia and Peru.
At Mass General, each resident begins with a unique month of tutorial, designed to make the introduction to the field of anesthesia smooth and successful.
During the tutorial month, two staff members are assigned to each resident. Each staff member works one-on-one with the resident separately for two weeks. This format provides a continuity of learning that allows the resident to grow quickly without having to repeat steps. New residents who are being tutored are given first choice of cases from the entire operating room schedule, ensuring that residents work on cases that match their ability level and present specific management issues.
Residents start in small groups at staggered times during the summer months, usually four at a time. This format, in conjunction with giving the tutorial staff first choice of cases, allows the tutor/tutee to take part in operating room cases that are appropriate to teach the elementary skills of anesthesia.
During the tutorial month, residents are also provided with a basic lecture each afternoon, a weeklong simulator course and a day at the Harvard Center for Medical Simulation. Tutorial provides a gentle introduction to the field of anesthesia for new residents and prepares them to provide a simple anesthetic to a healthy patient in a safe manner. This tutorial is the foundation on which the resident will build for the next three years.
The Center for Medical Simulation (CMS) is located in Charlestown, just across the bridge from Mass General. While the center has supported the educational efforts of the Harvard Anesthesia Training Programs for many years, the leadership of the CMS and most of its faculty are members of the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine (DACCPM) at Mass General. The facility offers innovative, interactive courses and educational programs for residents and other clinicians. CMS is equipped with several highly realistic, computer-controlled patient mannequin simulators. It has two versatile simulation rooms that can each serve as a fully equipped operating room, ICU, recovery room, emergency ward, labor room or radiology suite.
Under the leadership of Executive Director Jeffrey Cooper, PhD, CMS has taken the lead in promoting practices to support safe patient care. The center also offers the Institute for Medical Simulation, a program to "teach the teachers" and future leaders in the field of simulation.
DACCPM residents participate in training at least once a year, beginning with an introductory course for new residents during the first month in the CA-1 year. All second- and third-year residents participate in the Anesthesia Crisis Resource Management (ACRM) training, based on the concepts of team training originating from the aviation industry and other high-vigilance work groups. There are also additional opportunities for a one-month simulator elective and longer programs for research studies.
The Anesthesia Residency Program offers the first-call experience to senior residents to help prepare them for independent practice. Each night, the first-call resident leads the resident call team, allocates resources, communicates with nursing and surgical teams, and manages the OR overnight.
The first-call resident is responsible for supervising the residents doing cases and is their primary backup for questions and help. The first-call resident teaches junior residents, often assisting them in the management of cases and techniques they have not previously encountered. An attending anesthesiologist is always on call with them and is present for all cases. The role of the attending is to support and teach, allowing the first-call resident to take the lead and make the transition from resident to independent anesthesiologist. This experience has proved to be invaluable for our graduates.
Being a successful resident requires a strong base in fundamental knowledge on which further expertise can be built. This knowledge base is assured through a combination of didactic lecture sessions as well as many opportunities for learning at the bedside.
The heart of the didactic program at Mass General are the Thursday morning conferences, which include a Grand Rounds presentation and either a Clinical Case Conference, Morbidity and Mortality Conference, Journal Club or Board Review (for all residents). Learn more
Four-Year Categorical Program
The four-year categorical program is offered in conjunction with Newton-Wellesley Hospital (NWH). Residents complete the internship experience at NWH, with the final elective module designated for anesthesia tutorial at Mass General. This allows for an additional elective month during the CA-3 year. The program is a combined surgical and medical year, with approximately four months of surgery, two months of ICU and six months of medical training. This program offers a unique opportunity for interested medical graduates to gain an excellent foundation for their careers as anesthesiologists.
Our anesthesia residents have the opportunity to receive training from more than 100 incredible teachers who are among the best in our specialty. Our faculty, along with our program leadership and chief residents, provide varying levels of support to our residents.
Anesthesia Residency Program Director and Vice Chair for Education
Assistant Residency Program Director
Assistant Residency Program Director
- Jeanine Wiener-Kronish, MD
- Paul Alfille, MD
Division Chief, Neurosurgical, Vascular and Thoracic Anesthesia
- J. Perren Cobb, MD
Chair, Critical Care Medicine
- Michael G. Fitzsimons, MD
Division Chief, Cardiac Anesthesia
- Lisa Leffert, MD
Division Chief, Obstetric Anesthesia
- Mazen Makatabi, MB BCh
Division Chief, General Surgery Anesthesia
- Ala Nozari, MD, PhD
Division Chief, Orthopedic Anesthesia
- Richard Pino, MD
Vice Chair, Clinical Affairs
- James P. Rathmell, MD
Division Chief, Pain Medicine
- Ann Schwartz
Chief Nurse Anesthetist
- Erik Shank, MD
Division Chief, Pediatric Anesthesia
Through friendly competition, anesthesia residents develop leadership skills on and off the field.
The Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital recruits top candidates, both nationally and internationally, into our Anesthesia Residency Program. Our residents bring to the program diverse perspectives and backgrounds, enriching the program further and deepening the care experience that our patients receive.
CA-1 residents come together for a fall weekend retreat, beginning with a daylong Outward Bound experience at Thompson Island located in the Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area. This outdoor team-building experience is followed by a retreat where residents are familiarized with the learning environment.
Throughout their training, residents participate in a variety of social events where they get to know each other and form lasting friendships including:
- Resident picnics and dinners
- Beer and wine tastings
- Sporting events including softball and bowling
- Annual Spring Fling (held at The Seaport Boston Hotel)
- Poster sessions
- Toys for Tots charity drive
Welcome to Boston
A world-class city with a small-town feel, Boston is rich in history and culture and home to more than 50 colleges and universities. Boston is known for its sports teams and for its major cultural institutions like the Boston Ballet and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. There are many museums, galleries and restaurants to visit, along with a thriving local music scene for interested residents.
View of the Charles River in Boston.
Most area attractions are within walking distance or a short trip on public transportation. Mass General is located right near the city center, which is surrounded by a number of neighborhoods where our residents live. Some of the better-known areas include Harvard Square, Beacon Hill, Back Bay, South End and the North End.
Boston is also centrally located to major destinations in the Northeast. New York is just four hours away by bus. Train lines such as Amtrak and the MBTA local commuter rail make traveling in New England and along the coast easy. We are in close proximity to Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and other major travel destinations. International flights are also available out of Boston's Logan International Airport, approximately a 15-minute cab ride away from the hospital.
Resources for Prospective, Incoming and Current Residents
Making the move to Boston is both exciting and challenging. There are resources available to help you find housing, furniture and networks to connect to:
Anesthesia Residency Program Application
The Anesthesia Residency Program welcomes inquiries from all interested applicants. We participate in the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) and do not accept paper applications. Those who would like to submit a formal application should do so through the ERAS associated with the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC).
Please submit the following documents electronically via ERAS:
- A completed ERAS application
- Dean's letter
- Medical school transcript
- United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE) Board scores
- Three letters of reference
- Personal statement
- A curriculum vitae
The application deadline for the Anesthesia Residency Program is November 1.
For specific information about application requirements and important deadlines, please contact:
Residency Recruitment Coordinator
If you are an international medical school graduate and wish to apply, please contact the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) to submit your ERAS application. You must be ECFMG-certified to apply to our program. We sponsor J-1 visas and H1B visas.
Visiting Clerkship Program
The Visiting Clerkship Program (VCP) is designed to increase medical student awareness of opportunities in academic medicine, to increase student consideration of academic training programs for internship and residency, and especially, to increase the number of national minority students applying to hospital training programs affiliated with Harvard Medical School. Learn more
Anesthesia Residency ProgramKeith Baker, MD, Program Director
c/o Patricia Luberto, Program Coordinator
55 Fruit Street, Gray-Bigelow 444
Boston, MA 02114
Public Transportation Access: yes
Disabled Access: yes