3rd Year Medical Student Surgery Clerkship: Anesthesia Rotation

About Our Anesthesia Rotation

Anesthesia Pic3The goal of the one-week anesthesia rotation in the Core Clerkship in Surgery at BIDMC is to expose the student to certain aspects of the anesthesia specialty that every physician should know. The student will be provided with an intense one-on-one experience with people who are genuinely interested in teaching; this has been a highly valued part of the surgical rotation by past medical students. We welcome students interested in learning more about the practice of anesthesiology to participate in the two-week perioperative medicine selective during the third year Core Clerkship in Surgery or through the fourth year elective.

Learning Objectives

During the rotation, the student will acquire an understanding of:

  • The preoperative evaluation and preparation of the surgical patient
  • Basic respiratory physiology including airway assessment
  • Basic cardiac physiology including the effects of anesthetic agents on the cardiovascular system and standard physiologic monitors
  • The evaluation and management of postoperative pain
  • Basic ventilator management


The student will participate in activities in both the clinical and non-clinical settings.

Setting Description


The student will be assigned a resident mentor, to whom the student reports each day. If a primary mentor is on call or unavailable, the student will be assigned to a secondary mentor. In the clinical setting under the guidance of the mentor, the student will:

  • Have exposure to the basics of airway management and airway adjuncts, specifically:
    • Bag-mask ventilation (a skill in which all physicians should be proficient in case of an emergency situation)
    • Laryngeal mask airway (LMA) insertion
    • Endotracheal intubation
  • Have exposure to IV insertion
  • Work in the ECT clinic where the student will learn IV and bag-mask ventilation skills
  • Demonstrate satisfactory bag-mask ventilation on an anesthetized patient by the end of the rotation
  • Learn about preoperative evaluation and preparation
  • Learn about acute management of postoperative pain
  • Review pharmacology and physiology principles in action

At the end of each day, the student is expected to discuss the following day’s cases and logistics with his/her resident mentor. The student should review any pertinent information later that evening at home in preparation for the next day.


The student will attend two simulation teaching sessions on:

  1. Basic airway management (involving bag-mask ventilation)
  2. Intermediate airway management (primarily intubation by direct laryngoscopy)

The student is also invited to attend:

*Clinical activities will occur in the operating rooms, holding areas, and post anesthesia care units in the Shapiro and Feldberg Buildings (East Campus) as well as in the Rosenberg Building (West Campus).


Students will be evaluated by staff and residents utilizing an online daily feedback form. Evaluations will be reviewed with the student by the surgical clerkship director during feedback sessions.