About Our 4th Year Anesthesia Elective

Anesthesia Pic1The goal of the four-week elective in Anesthesiology for fourth year medical students is to expose the student to a wide variety of cases, starting with the basic ambulatory procedures and moving up to more advanced subspecialty cases. The clinical schedule is intended to provide a broad overview of the field of anesthesiology. The rotation is designed with flexibility to customize the rotation based on individual goals and interests.

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


Daily clinical assignments are made by the Clerkship Director to maximize the student’s clinical experience on service. The rotation assignments are flexible and accommodate the student’s individual goals for the rotation. The typical schedule for the rotation is:

  • Week 1: Basic cases (ambulatory, general surgery and orthopedics)
  • Week 2: Vascular, neurosurgery and regional
  • Week 3: Cardiac and thoracic
  • Week 4: Elective (allows the student to further customize his/her experience)

In the clinical setting, the student will have the opportunity to:

  • Review pharmacology and physiology principles in action
  • Gain exposure to the basics of airway management and airway adjuncts with emphasis on:
    • Bag-mask ventilation
    • Laryngeal mask airway (LMA) insertion
    • Endotracheal intubation


Students are excused from clinical responsibilities to attend:

  • The resident didactic series and immersive simulation sessions:These cover topics including core anesthesia concepts, perioperative care, OR management, pharmacology and subspecialty anesthesia.
  • Customized simulation sessions:These sessions for medical students are taught by experienced simulation faculty and senior residents. They focus on both technical skills and practice of basic OR anesthetic management.

In addition, students are welcomed to borrow Miller’s Basics of Anesthesia from our lending library and are given a pocket handbook (NMS Handbook of Anesthesiology) to keep. They should use these resources to review anesthetic concepts and prepare for operative cases.