The Residency FAQ

Welcome to the Resident-to-Applicant FAQ section. The goal of this is for current residents to answer some of the most common questions asked by applicants.

To submit a question, please email
chiefresidents@anesthesia.ucsf.edu . We will review all of the questions from applicants, select the most common ones, and solicit answers from our current residents. Please note that we will be unable to answer all questions.

Resident-to-Applicant FAQ  

Q: Does the department pay for professional society memberships?

A: Yes, The Department will pay for the following professional society memberships, which include subscriptions to the journals Anesthesiology, and Anesthesia & Analgesia:

-- American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA)
-- California Society of Anesthesiologists (CSA)
-- International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS)

 

Q: Does the department help pay for books?

A: Yes, the department provides an "educational stipend" of $2,000 that residents can use to purchase educational materials or attend conferences. This is disbursed across the CA-1 to CA-3 training years. Interns receive $500.

 

Q: Can you tell me about the various ICUs in your residency?

A: UCSF offers an amazing ICU training experience. Anesthesia residents get the opportunity to take care of complex patients as part of a multidisciplinary critical care team. Logistically, categorical residents spend a total of 6 months and advanced track residents spend 4 months in the ICUs at the three main UCSF hospitals (Moffitt, SFGH, and the VA). Each hospital has a slightly different ICU system.

Here is a breakdown of the specifics for each of the three hospitals:

-- Moffitt: There are five adult ICUs: two medical-surgical units, two neurological/neurosurgical units, and one cardiac unit. There are also neonatal and pediatric ICUs, which senior anesthesia residents can rotate through on an elective basis. 
-- ZFGH: There are three adult ICUs: one trauma/surgical/neuro unit, and two medical units. The medical ICUs are staffed primarily by the Medicine department. The trauma ICU is staffed by attendings, fellows, and residents from Anesthesia and Surgery. 
-- VA: There is one medical-surgical ICU. This unit is staffed by attendings and residents from Anesthesia and Medicine.

 

Q: What are the anesthesia resident salaries?

A: General salary information for UCSF residents can be found on the GME site. In addition to the base salary, UCSF provides all residents with a housing/living stipend to help offset the high cost of living in San Francisco. The Department of Anesthesiology also provides a quarterly housing stipend for its residents upon fulfillment of certain requirements.

 

Q: What about your "innovative" residency tracks?

A: Though you do not have to schedule two interview days for our innovative residency tracks (critical care scholar and research scholar tracks), the actual interview day will be slightly different. In addition to the standard interview day, there will be time devoted specifically to the innovative track that you are interested in. More information will be available on your specific interview day. Again, you will still need to separately rank each track on your final rank list.

 

Q: Tell me about the first month of CA-1 year. How was the transition into anesthesia?

A: The first month of CA-1 year, we run cases in the operating room as a typical anesthesia resident would - with a few exceptions. During each week of the first month, we are paired with a faculty member, and work exclusively one-on-one with him/her. That attending spends the entirety of each case supervising the new CA-1, becoming very familiar with the resident and developing a great working relationship. With the one-on-one system, residents improve their knowledge base and technical skills in more individually tailored ways.

Also, during this first month, residents leave their cases daily by 4pm in order to attend CA-1 specific didactic sessions hosted by faculty members. These lectures serve collectively as a primer to core topics in anesthesia, such as cardiopulmonary physiology, airway management, mechanical ventilation, etc. By the end of the month, I felt better prepared to evaluate patients preoperatively, develop an anesthetic plan, work in the OR independently, and manage problems as they arise.

 

Q: Is UCSF a "family-friendly" residency?

A: Yes, of course! Babies are welcomed and celebrated here at UCSF. At last count, there were eight babies from five residents in my class. I have a son who was born halfway through my CA-1 year. Maternity/Paternity leave is available. After I returned to work, I felt nothing but support from the faculty and department as I transitioned to parenthood. Family commitments and duties are valued and prioritized.

On a side note, many residents with children live in SF proper. Nannies and daycare are available, but these options can be expensive. Nannies usually charge $15-20/hour, but the cost is reduced if you share a nanny with another family. UCSF also does have daycare available from 6:30am to 6:00pm. Personally, I live in the East Bay and pay $800/month for full time care.

Having a baby during residency has been a wonderful experience (probably the best of my life).