Letter from the chief:

Meyer Chief Photo

Dear Applicant,

Thank you for your interest in the Oregon Health &Science University (OHSU) Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine (APOM). By now, you've discovered that anesthesiology is a broad specialty involving all aspects of perioperative care. We vigilantly take care of a wide range of patients at their time of greatest need. Your next decision is to determine where you want to undergo your anesthesia training. Now that you've found your way to our website, I'd like to introduce you to the OHSU program.

First off, you will not find better clinical training anywhere in the country. We are a small residency program relative to the high case volume at OHSU, which provides our residents a broad mix of cases. With active hepatic and transplant surgical services, including liver and heart transplants, you will learn to do challenging cases early in your training. Our residents begin subspecialty rotations –cardiac, regional, pediatrics, critical care, obstetrics, and pain –during the CA1 year and complete at least one rotation in all subspecialties by mid CA2 year. This speeds the learning curve and provides our residents the experiences needed to decide if they want to seek fellowship training as well as the subspecialty they would like to pursue. Our residents also get outstanding exposure to regional anesthesia, including experience in placing and managing peripheral nerve catheters for inpatient and outpatient use.

The formal didactic curriculum provides a nice balance to our clinical training and has evolved over time based on resident feedback. Our core didactics consist of weekly oral board prep done by our department Chair, weekly departmental Grand Rounds, and a class-specific lecture series focusing on high-yield written board review and clinical topics. You will also be a part of the APOM Academy, which brings together residents across classes for quality improvement projects and case-based learning. Finally, our residents can participate in the ASPIRE program which provides more in-depth training on topics such as echocardiography and regional anesthesia.

Our program is enriched by a diverse faculty from all over the world and from different academic, fellowship-trained, and private practice backgrounds –you'll see a variety of perspectives on managing patients. Our faculty members do an excellent job of "in-room" and formal didactic teaching, as well as provide graduated autonomy to our residents as they progress through the program. Because of the clinical volume at OHSU, our outstanding supporting cast of nurse anesthetists help ensure that our residents have time for didactic learning. Our team is devoted to supporting the residency program, so the most educational cases will always go to resident providers.

Beyond our clinical duties, many of our residents are actively involved in scholarly pursuits and community and professional service. OHSU APOM is one of the top academic departments in the country and our nationally renowned investigators serve as mentors for residents interested in research. Our residents frequently seek out and participate in local community service projects, and our department regularly support residents traveling abroad to provide anesthesia to those in need as part of the Humanitarian Overseas Physician Education (HOPE) program. Our residents also take part in advocacy through the Oregon Society of Anesthesiologists (OSA) and the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA).

OHSU is organized such that the vast majority of your clinical assignments are at one location. This simplifies attendance at educational activities and limits your need to commute. The main campus on "the hill" consists of our core operating rooms, Doernbecher Children's Hospital (DCH), the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center (PVAMC), and intensive care units, all of which are covered by our residents. The main campus is connected to our newer waterfront area by an aerial tram, where you'll find our primary ambulatory surgical center at the OHSU Center for Health &Healing (CHH), our Comprehensive Pain Center, and our high fidelity simulation center.

For those of you applying to our categorical positions, you'll find that our intern year is a balanced mix of medicine, surgery, and anesthesia rotations that will give you a well-rounded foundation of clinical knowledge before starting your anesthesia training. You'll get to know your surgery and medicine colleagues well and quickly learn to navigate the OHSU system. Although you only spend one month in the operating room, you spend an additional three months on anesthesia-led rotations in critical care, the Adult Pain Service (APS), and in the PVAMC preoperative medicine clinic. We have developed an intern-specific didactic curriculum that takes place during a half-day away from your clinical duties each week. The curriculum is a blend of formal lectures and hands-on training in topics ranging from central line placement to bedside ultrasound. It also serves as a means of staying connected with the APOM department throughout the year.

OHSU is located in Portland, Oregon, a vibrant city in the Pacific Northwest that also serves as a jumping-off point for adventure in any direction. It's a very livable city with great options for those who like to live in the heart of downtown, as well as great neighborhoods for those of you with families. The city itself is a culinary dream with too many amazing restaurants and food carts to mention, some of which are located at the bottom of our tram. Between the Blazers, Timbers, Thorns, Hops, Pickles, and Winterhawks, you can catch live sports all year long. Enjoy live music at any number of venues throughout town. Did I mention Portland is the center of the microbrew universe? If you like outdoor adventure, you're in luck. Mount Hood is close enough for skiing and snowboarding on post-call days. The beach is an hour away. The nearby hiking, paddling, and mountain biking is outstanding. And I'm partial to the great fishing in every direction.

Finally, I'll highlight our alumni. Each year we survey our graduated residents on how well the program prepared them for their practice. The resounding response is that OHSU program has prepared them extremely well. Our residents are competitive applicants for academic and private practice jobs, as well as all of the subspecialty fellowships. Our well-connected faculty and extensive alumni network are great assets for career searching or the transition to fellowship.

Thank you for checking out our program and I look forward hearing from you.


John Meyer
Chief Resident –OHSU Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine