The goal of this rotation is to introduce the theory and practice of pain relief during childbirth and the medical management of high risk obstetrical patients. Emphasis will be placed on the interaction between obstetric anesthetic techniques and maternal/fetal physiology.

Learning Objectives

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

  • The theory and clinical application of various options for labor analgesia, including perenteral narcotics, intravenous narcotics, epidural and combined spinal-epidural analgesia
  • The acute changes in maternal physiology that occur during labor and delivery and how those changes may affect the parturient
  • The theory and clinical practice of anesthesia for cesarean delivery, including regional anesthesia and general anesthesia
  • The options for post-cesarean pain relief
  • The complications of labor analgesia and anesthesia
  • How to differentiate anesthetic from obstetric complications
  • The process of birth of the neonate, with emphasis on the transition from fetal to neonatal circulation


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

Setting Description


The student will work closely with the obstetric anesthesia team in the daily activities, including providing analgesia for labor and anesthesia for cesarean delivery. He/she will:

  • Perform medical assessments
  • Play an active role in the anesthetic care
  • Round on his/her patients the following day
  • Follow particular high risk patients and research and discuss the anesthetic implications of their diseases

Overnight and weekend call is optional at the discretion of the student.


The student will attend daily lectures on either obstetric or general anesthesia. He/she is expected to take part in discussions after thorough literature reviews.


The student will be observed and evaluated daily. In addition, feedback will be provided at the end of the rotation.


Contact Information
Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine (Education Division)
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
East Campus, Rabb 239
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
P: 617-667-3110
F: 617-667-5050