Skip to main content
MenuSearch & Directory

Anesthesiology Residency

Saint Louis University’s anesthesiology residency begins with a clinical base year that complies with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)’s Residency Review Committee requirements. We also provide a comprehensive practice management rotation in the first year.

The clinical base includes at least six months of experience in caring for inpatients in specialties such as internal medicine, pediatrics, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, neurology, and family medicine. Rotations in critical care and emergency medicine are required. These experiences form the foundation upon which subsequent training in anesthesiology occurs.

Letter from the Program Director

Welcome to the Saint Louis University Anesthesiology residency program. The program has evolved through the years to become the robust, well-respected education experience that it is today. SSM Saint Louis University Hospital provides an impressive scope of teaching, research and clinical care that makes postgraduate training here an invaluable preparation for the practice of private or academic medicine. More than 580 physicians and scientists bring together years of specialized training and experience. In addition, we have a supportive community of individuals here who look beyond the technology of modern medicine, primarily focusing on its human dimension. We welcome your inquiry into the resources available to you at this institution and extend best wishes in fulfilling personal and professional ambitions.

Vikram Chawa, M.D.

Vikram Chawa, M.D.
Program Director
Assistant Professor

Clinical Anesthesia Training

As residents progress through Clinical Anesthesia Year One and Clinical Anesthesia Year Two, they are given increasing levels of responsibility appropriate to their knowledge, skills and emerging clinical judgment.

Clinical Anesthesia Year One residents concentrate on general anesthesia at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital. During the first half of the first year, residents are introduced to pediatric anesthesiology. During the second half of their first year, they are introduced to rotations in critical care service, cardiothoracic heart and neurology.

Clinical Anesthesia Year Two residents are exposed to the many subspecialty areas of anesthesia, and complete rotations in obstetric, pediatric and cardiothoracic anesthesia, as well as pain management and regional anesthesia. Residents in their second year may also spend additional time in an intensive care unit staffed by board-certified critical care-trained anesthesiologists. Residents assume primary responsibility for patients who present with multiple organ failures, trauma-related injury, neurosurgical procedures and organ transplantation.

Residents are responsible for both individual and team projects. The rotation culminates in a capstone project, presented in teams of two residents each, identifying the opportunity to apply sound practice management and quality improvement principles to institutional challenges and issues.

June Orientation and Training for Clinical Anesthesia Year One

Special training to orient incoming residents to the fundamentals of anesthesia practice begins with a comprehensive, month-long orientation in June of the Clinical Base Year. Lectures are combined with one-on-one clinical time in the operating room to encourage residents to read about cases, interact with faculty in the operating room and increase their knowledge base.

Residency Program Features

Didactic Education

Our anesthesiology faculty offers residents continuous guidance and support. In addition to daily coaching and feedback, residents receive monthly evaluations of their clinical skills from attending physicians who have worked with them in the operating room. Our Clinical Competency Committee, composed of attending physicians, meets quarterly to review the progress of each resident. If evaluations indicate that a resident needs assistance, additional help is provided. Interventions may include key word study, assigned reading, simulation exercises and monthly evaluations.

Core Lecture

Reflecting an ABA-oriented, two-year curriculum, 60-minute lectures are presented each Wednesday morning before Grand Rounds.


Exams include both the Anesthesia Knowledge Test Series in the first 18 months of training and the ABA In-Training exams annually.

Simulation Training

SLU’s Life Support Skills Center is the home of the Human Patient Simulator, Difficult Airway Laboratory, Bronchoscopy Simulator and other educational tools.

Monthly Seminars

Clinical Base Year seminars are held on the second Wednesday of each month from 2-3:30 p.m. The first hour is dedicated to topic-drive presentations, discussions and journal clubs.

Journal Club

Journal Club discussions serve to summarize and critique current journal articles in terms of relevance, content, methodology and reliability of results.

Medical Conferences

Our residents are encouraged to participate in local, regional and national conferences, and are supported financially by the department.

Grand Rounds

Weekly Grand Rounds provide a venue for prominent speakers, representing a cross-section of the specialty, including both local speakers and visiting professors who have distinguished themselves in the field.

Morbidity and Mortality

M and M conferences are held monthly during Grand Rounds to provide residents additional education regarding difficult cases, outcomes and related statistics.

Board Preparation

A Wednesday morning Clinical Anesthesia Year Three conference focuses on board preparation with special lectures, review questions and group discussions.

Oral Exam Practice

ABA oral-exam practice is held throughout the Clinical Anesthesia Year Three. Faculty members serve as board examiners and, in teams of two, conduct practice oral board exams with residents.

Manageable Call Schedule

Residents in our program average four to five calls per month. While on call, the resident is required to be in-house for a 24-hour period. Residents are not required to work on their post-call days. When a weekend call is required, only one weekend day is scheduled. The 80-hour work week is adhered to strictly.

Practice Management Rotation

Structured like a business course for physician executives, the practice management rotation provides residents with an introduction to the fiscal, organizational and administrative aspects of health care. A series of introductory lectures sponsored by the American College of Physician Executives is incorporated into the rotation.

In addition, the rotation emphasizes the concepts embodied by quality improvement theory and the application of these concepts to the physician's practice in the daily health care environment.