The teaching of anesthesia history in US residency programs: results of a nationwide survey

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Anesthesiology

Publication Date


Document Type



Anesthesia; Anesthesiology; Curriculum; Data Collection; Faculty, Medical; History of Medicine; Humans; Internship and Residency; Teaching; United States


Anesthesiology | Medical Education


STUDY OBJECTIVE: To determine the extent to which history of anesthesia-related topics are included in the didactic curriculum of United States residency programs in anesthesiology.

DESIGN: Survey instrument.

SETTING: University-affiliated hospital.

MEASUREMENTS: In addition to information related to the identity of the respondent and institution, we inquired about the presence of faculty members with an interest in the history of anesthesia (HOA), the inclusion of HOA-related lectures in the didactic curriculum, whether the program would consider inviting an outside lecturer for a session devoted to HOA, the inclusion of HOA-related tours, and whether the program would allow residents an elective rotation of one to three months devoted to a research project related to HOA.

MAIN RESULTS: On the basis of responses from 46 of 132 residency programs (35%), 54% of programs had at least one faculty member with an interest in HOA, and 45% of programs included lectures related to HOA in their didactic curriculum. An encouraging finding was that 83% of programs (without such didactic sessions) were willing to invite visiting professors to deliver lectures on HOA. The vast majority (91%) did not conduct tours related to HOA, while 74% indicated a willingness to allow residents interested in HOA to devote one to three months to undertake such projects.

CONCLUSIONS: The low rate of interest in HOA among faculty members, and the lower rate of inclusion of lectures related to HOA during residency training, suggests that substantial barriers exist within the academic community towards a wider acceptance of the importance of HOA. Two positive indicators were the willingness to invite outside speakers and the receptivity to allowing residents to devote one to three months to projects related to HOA.

DOI of Published Version



J Clin Anesth. 2012 Mar;24(2):101-3. Epub 2012 Feb 1. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of clinical anesthesia

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID