Curriculum & Year by Year Descriptions

Core curriculum

The clinical experience offered by the Henry Ford Hospital Department of Anesthesiology is supplemented by a well-established didactic program that instills a strong scientific base of knowledge and understanding in our residents. In addition to an extensive orientation lecture series for all incoming residents, we offer the following conferences:

  • Case Conferences focusing on preoperative preparation, intraoperative management and postoperative care of surgical patients.
  • Core Curriculum Lectures by senior faculty focusing on the application of basic and clinical science of anesthesiology.
  • Board Review Sessions in preparation for the written and oral certifying exams of the American Board of Anesthesiology.
  • Simulation Center Training modules with Anesthesia machine hands-on training as well as airway management courses based on the level of training.
  • Anesthesiology Journal Clubs.
  • Root Cause Analysis training.
  • Grand Rounds.
  • National Visiting Professor Lectures.
  • Book Review Sessions chapter by chapter review of basic and advanced anesthesia texts.

Year by year descriptions

Clinical base year (CBY)

The clinical base year includes eleven months of clinical rotations during which the resident has responsibility for the diagnosis and treatment of patients with a variety of medical and surgical problems. Rotations include Internal Medicine, Nephrology, ENT Surgery, Cardiology, Pulmonary Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Surgical and Critical Care and Pain Medicine.

We have recently started a new Transfusion Medicine and Preoperative Clinic Experience. In addition, there is a 1-month rotation in Anesthesiology in the final month of the clinical base year to facilitate a smooth transition into the clinical anesthesia years. During this time, our residents also learn the intraoperative module for the EPIC electronic medical record.

For those interested in entering directly into the clinical anesthesia years, acceptable CBY experiences in other ACGME/AOA accredited programs as a prerequisite include training in internal or emergency medicine, pediatrics, surgery or any of the surgical specialties, OB/GYN, neurology, family medicine, critical care medicine or similar.

Clinical anesthesia years (CA-1, CA-2, CA-3)

The three-year clinical anesthesiology curriculum consists of experience in basic anesthesia training, subspecialty anesthesia training and advanced anesthesia training. We offer a graded curriculum of increasing complexity with learning that is progressively more challenging, both cognitively and technically. Residents are provided with specific goals and objectives for each rotation to achieve proficiency in all of the ACGME Core Competencies.

Our residents complete an institutional based curriculum in the Simulation Center with live "simulated patients" that includes OSCE modules on interpersonal and communication skills, emphasizing the important principles of history taking, informed consent and error disclosure. We also have written and oral board review sessions appropriate for each level of training.

The Department of Anesthesiology utilizes an extensive evaluation system to provide ongoing feedback to both the resident and faculty. The resident also has the opportunity to anonymously evaluate the entire structure of the program using computerized evaluation tools, as well as direct feedback by participation on committees.

Clinical anesthesia year 1 (CA-1 year)

The CA-1 year begins with a comprehensive orientation to the department and a structured daily didactic lecture series that serves as an introduction to basic anesthesiology. In addition, there is a daily session focusing on a new or commonly used drug which extends for one month.

Our residents engage in Simulation Center training on basic airway management skills and anesthesia machine checkout and troubleshooting during the first month of training. There are also training sessions on specific ancillary equipment such as infusion pumps and rapid infusers.

During the orientation period there is close supervision of each resident by a faculty preceptor. Fundamentals in preoperative preparation, intraoperative anesthesia management and postoperative care are emphasized. With increasing experience, residents are given greater independence and care for more complicated surgical patients. The CA-1 residents gain experience in a wide variety of surgical specialties as well as acute pain management. Our residents start some of their regional anesthesia and obstetric anesthesia experiences this year.

Clinical anesthesia year 2 (CA-2 year)

The CA-2 year is devoted primarily to subspecialty anesthesia training with emphasis on the theoretical background, subject material, and practice of sub-disciplines of anesthesiology. Our residents receive training for advanced flexible bronchoscopy and single lung ventilation options at the Simulation Center. The resident enjoys comprehensive rotations in cardiothoracic, vascular, neurosurgical, pediatric, critical care, obstetric and consultative anesthesia services. These experiences give the residents an opportunity to gain experience with a wide variety of cases in all of the surgical subspecialties.

Clinical anesthesia year 3 (CA-3 year)

The CA-3 year is a distinctly different experience than the CA-1 and CA-2 years, with progressively more complex training experiences and increased independence and responsibility. Residents are assigned the more advanced anesthetic procedures and care for the most seriously ill patients. At this level, our residents receive advanced airway management training in Simulation Center modules including surgical airway procedures.

The CA-3 year is designed to meet the needs of each resident in preparation for their imminent roles as fellows and attending physicians. Experiences consist of providing anesthesia care to the more complex cases and remote and ambulatory locations. The remaining anesthesia training will be in selected subspecialty rotations or in research.


More than $40 million is spent each year on our medical research, ranking Henry Ford among the top six percent of all research institutions in the nation. Within the Department of Anesthesiology, there is an active research component with a new emphasis on clinical projects involving the Perioperative Surgical Home. Residents in the program also work on Quality Improvement initiatives. The Department of Anesthesiology provides support for projects accepted for presentation at various scientific meetings.


The department uses an extensive evaluation system to review both resident and faculty performance. In addition, residents provide ongoing feedback of the program. Each resident receives monthly feedback following each rotation, periodic daily evaluation throughout the residency and every six months meets with the program director for a formal review.

Information for Applicants
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