Anesthesiology Residency Program

A message from the Program Director

Welcome and thank you for your interest in the Health Quest Anesthesiology Residency Program. Our residency is based at Vassar Brothers Medical Center (VBMC), a 365-bed facility serving New York’s beautiful Mid-Hudson Valley for more than 120 years.

VBMC is a Level II Trauma Center, with the area’s only cardiothoracic surgery program between Westchester County and Albany, NY. In 2020, VBMC will open a new patient pavilion overlooking the Hudson River, adding 15 state-of-the-art OR suites and an innovative conference center to offer enhanced patient care and educational experiences.

Our anesthesiology education faculty has trained at premier programs across the country, bringing their experience and knowledge to Health Quest and preparing you for leadership in tomorrow’s healthcare. Our Anesthesiology Residency Program offers excellent clinical training, access to a diverse patient population and experience with significant comorbidities. All surgical specialties are represented in our program with high volumes of orthopedic, robotic, neurosurgical and cardiac cases. Given the complexity of our patient population and the diversity of cases, our residents will be uniquely prepared for independent anesthesia practice. Marist College, also located in Poughkeepsie, NY, offers a simulation suite that features both standardized patients and high-tech mannequins.

Health Quest Advanced Anesthesiology (PGY 2-4) has six residency positions each year, all of which are linked in the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) with a Health Quest Transitional Year Internship. This allows you to complete all four years of anesthesiology training within the Health Quest system. Residents will rotate through various service lines at VBMC, as well as Albany Medical Center (AMC) for pediatric and ICU rotations. As a new program, we will have six (6) PGY 1 positions as well as six (6) PGY 2 (CA1) positions for the 2020-2021 academic year.

We are very excited that you are considering our residency program, and we invite you to join us!

 

Sincerely,

 

Vlad Frenk, MD
Health Quest Anesthesiology Residency Program
Program Director

Program Structure

The three-year Health Quest Anesthesiology Residency Program is an advanced anesthesiology program based at Vassar Brothers Medical Center (VBMC), a Heath Quest facility. Residents enter the program as a PGY2 (CA1), after having completed a transitional, surgical, or medical internship year.

During their training, residents will rotate monthly through a diverse curriculum ensuring that they receive education in a wide range of anesthesia subspecialties. Our curriculum and program structure are designed to prepare residents to become independent physicians, fellowship candidates and leaders in the field of anesthesiology.

Residents also rotate at Albany Medical Center (AMC) in Albany, NY, for four months during their PGY3 (CA2) year. They spend two months on pediatric anesthesiology rotation and two months in the ICU at Albany Medical Center. Residents select three electives during their final year. Electives may be any anesthesiology subspecialty, a research month, or any other rotation discussed and agreed upon in conjunction with the Program Director.

An example of one resident’s training schedule for the Health Quest Anesthesiology Residency Program is shown below. This is just an example; the schedule may be adjusted by the Program Director to ensure adequate clinical training experiences, case log numbers and Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) compliance.

You can also download our Program’s Fast Fact Sheet here.

Academic Didactic Schedule

Mandatory conferences for anesthesiology residents are held on a regular basis. Didactic sessions are held daily, monthly, quarterly and annually as listed below. All lectures are designed to provide residents with a broad range of knowledge on the ACGME competencies.

Daily

Anesthesia Topic
Each day from 6:30am to 7:00am, residents are assigned a specific topic area they present prior to their cases starting for the day. Topics will be chosen from the previous year’s In-Training Exam (ITE) results, enhancing knowledge areas in which the program can improve. Residents provide an overview of the content topic, and how it applies to their daily practice and patient cases. All residents assigned to shifts, calls, or who are leaving post-call are expected to attend. A faculty member oversees this session.

July CA1 Boot Camp
During the month of July, CA1 residents attend a daily boot camp lecture from 3:00pm to 5:00pm. These lectures provide a strong knowledge base of basic anesthesia topics, such as an overview of the anatomical systems, drugs and reactions, anesthesia machine preparation and more.

Monthly

Grand Rounds, first Friday of the month, 7–8am
Grand Rounds sessions occur on the first Friday of each month at 7am and are led by an outside speaker, multidisciplinary team member, or faculty member. Grand Rounds conferences use a variety of formats for presenting material including topic review, clinical pathological conferences, case of the month, etc. Topics for Grand Rounds conferences vary from week to week, but always include patient cases, ethical topics, professionalism discussions, quality improvement, system-based issues and additional competency-based topics.

Quality and Process Improvement, third Friday of the month, 7–8:30am
Quality and Process Improvement (Q&PI) Conferences, formerly Morbidity and Mortality (M&M), occur on a monthly basis and are presented by residents with guidance from faculty mentors. The topics are chosen by residents and faculty based on current/past patient care cases where a significant system error occurred. Q&PI provides a forum for resident interaction and discussion with attending physicians regarding improvements to care and the opportunity to identify system errors. Residents present a case and faculty mentors facilitate discussion based on the topic.

PGY-Specific Academic Teaching Day, once per month, 9am–5pm
CA1 Residents = first Wednesday of the month
CA2 Residents = second Wednesday of the month
CA3 Residents = third Wednesday of the month

Residents attend a monthly, full-day didactic session per postgraduate year (PGY). During each academic teaching day, topics cover a broad range of areas that are focused on the specific PGY level and competency level of the resident class. Topics and sessions are tailored to meet the needs of that specific class, but cover a broad range of anesthesia subjects. The following schedule depicts the sessions that occur during the academic teaching day for each resident class.

Board Preparation, 9–11am
Residents participate in a monthly board preparation conference that focuses on preparing them for the American Board of Anesthesiology’s Basic Exam, In-Training Exam (ITE), written board exam, oral board exam and Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) board exam. The CA1 residents focus on the basic exam, Anesthesia Knowledge Tests (AKTs) and ITE. The CA2 and CA3 residents focus on preparing for the remaining AKTs, ITE, ABA written board exam and the ABA oral board examination. These sessions are be led by faculty.

Note/Chart Review Session 11am–12pm
During this monthly session, the Program Director reviews four to five case records that are de-identified. The Program Director will walk through each record noting strengths, and areas for improvement. This session provides residents with the tools necessary to prepare accurate, legible and comprehensive medical records.

Anesthesia-Specific Lectures, 1–5pm
Anesthesia-specific lectures cover a variety of topics including basic science, patient care practices, anesthesia machine management, practice management, drug interactions and additional subspecialty-related topics. Each lecture session is tailored to the Clinical Anesthesia (CA) year/level class. CA1 residents will focus on basic science topics, anatomy and implications of anesthesia, physiological systems, basic anesthesia topics and anesthesia machine knowledge that is necessary for a CA1 level of practice. CA2 and CA3 resident sessions cover advanced anesthesia topics and applicability of those to advanced patient care cases in all anesthesia settings.

Bi-Monthly

Journal Club
Journal Club occurs on a bi-monthly basis (every other month) on Thursday evenings from 7pm to 9pm. Topics are chosen from the American Board of Anesthesia Content Outline and recent evidence-based medical literature. The topics are presented by a resident with assistance from a faculty mentor in an informal setting.

Quarterly

Joint Program Lecture Series: July, October, January, April, 4-5pm
Joint Program Lecture Series occur on a quarterly basis in conjunction with the General Surgery, Family Medicine and Internal Medicine residency programs. Lectures include GME-wide topics such as resident fatigue, burnout and resident wellness. Sessions are hosted by the GME office and presented by invited speakers.

All-GME Resident Forum: July, October, January, April, 5-6pm
The All-GME Resident Forum occurs on a quarterly basis, following the Joint Program Lecture series. This forum serves as a venue for residents to discuss concerns and ideas among their peers. No faculty, leadership or administrative staff are present, unless invited. Two representatives from the All-GME Resident Forum sit on the Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC) and bring forward any concerns discussed during resident forum meetings. Topics may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Stress and depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Disruptive behavior
  • Burnout
  • Boundary violations
  • Impairment
  • Instructive feedback

Annually

Simulation Session
In a full-day session, from 8am–5pm, once per academic year, residents are directly observed and evaluated on their experiences in the Marist College simulation center to assess their skills and progression. The Marist College simulation center is home to a gross anatomy laboratory, a 10-bed skills laboratory and a technologically advanced clinical simulation suite with a twin trauma bay and five traditional exam rooms. The simulation center incorporates the use of both standardized patients and high-fidelity mannequins.

Mock Oral Boards, Academic Teaching Day
Annually, the Program Director conducts a mock oral board session for all residents. Each resident is given a case scenario to review and then will answer a variety of questions related to the case. This session mirrors the oral board examination that residents are required to complete upon graduation.

Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), half-day
During the annual OSCE half-day, residents are tested on the OSCE Example Scenarios from the ABA’s OSCE Content Outline. These scenarios are designed to prepare residents for their board-certifying OSCE session upon graduation and in the board certification process. Scenarios test skills such as patient management, interpersonal skills and communication, professionalism and other pertinent topics.

Research and Quality Improvement (QI) Opportunities

All residents in the Health Quest Anesthesiology Residency Program are required to participate in one academic assignment and quality improvement project over the course of their training. Additional research and QI participation by residents above the minimum requirement are strongly encouraged. Residents are paired with a faculty mentor for all academic assignments, scholarly activity and quality improvement projects. This mentor is tasked with assisting residents in background research, feasibility, Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, study design, implementation and analysis. Additionally, residents have access to the hospital’s Quality Assurance (QA) Officer, for assistance in the development and implementation of all quality improvement projects. Acting as a supplement to the resident’s project mentor, the QA Officer serves as an excellent resource for residents to use when working on quality improvement projects, implementation or analysis.

The goal of the anesthesiology scholarly activity and research curriculum is to advance each resident’s knowledge of the basic principles of research, including how it is conducted, evaluated, explained to patients and applied to patient care. Residents will be provided with a variety of resources to facilitate involvement in scholarly activity projects throughout their training, both in the continuity clinic and inpatient settings.

The Health Quest Anesthesiology Residency Program requires residents to meet the following scholarly activity requirements prior to graduation.

  • Each resident must complete one form of scholarly activity under faculty member supervision, which may include:
    • Grand Rounds presentations
    • Preparation and publication of review articles
    • Book chapters
    • Manuals for teaching or clinical practice
    • Development, performance or participation in one or more clinical or laboratory investigations

Residents present all research within the department, locally, regionally or nationally and/or prepare projects to result in peer-reviewed abstracts or manuscripts. Each year, the Health Quest Graduate Medical Education Department sponsors a Resident Research Day wherein residents can present posters and oral presentations on ongoing or completed research topics.

Resident Resources

ABA In-Training Exam – Residents’ medical knowledge and clinical reasoning will be benchmarked for measuring longitudinal growth through the results of the annual American Board of Anesthesiology In-Training Exam. All anesthesiology residents complete the exam in the middle of February every year. Results will be reviewed with the Program Director to inform discussions and individualization of curriculum and clinical training (e.g., reading materials, board prep and electives).

ABA Basic Exam – During the first year of anesthesia training (CA1 year), residents are required to sit for and take the American Board of Anesthesia Basic Exam. This is the first exam in the process to become board certified. It focuses on the scientific basis of clinical anesthetic practice and will concentrate on content areas such as pharmacology, physiology, anatomy, anesthesia equipment and monitoring. This exam is taken during June of the CA1 year.

Anesthesia Knowledge Test (AKT) – During the residency training program, residents complete a set of exams known as the Anesthesia Knowledge Tests (AKTs). These exams are designed to test resident’s knowledge at specific times throughout the training program in comparison to board preparation and residents at their level throughout the country. This tool is designed to provide the Program Director with a metric and gauge of each resident’s growth. Residents will be administered these tests four times throughout their training including: a pre-test given during orientation (AKT-Pre); a post-test given at the conclusion of one month of training (AKT-Post); a six-month test after having completed six months of training (AKT-6); and a 24-month test at the end of the CA2 year (AKT-24). The AKT-Pre, AKT-Post, AKT-6 and AKT-24 exams are used to help gauge each resident’s medical knowledge.

How to Apply

The Health Quest Anesthesiology Residency Program thanks you for your interest in applying to our program. We accept all applications through ERAS only and participate annually in the NRMP Match Program.

Requirements

The following items are required for interview consideration for the Health Quest Anesthesiology Residency Program. All items must be received through the ERAS application portal:

  • Personal statement
  • Current CV
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • MSPE (Dean’s) letter
  • USMLE or COMLEX scores

Important Dates

We interview candidates for the Health Quest Anesthesiology Residency Program on select dates in October, November, December and January. These dates are provided to select residency applicants via ERAS invitation. Other important dates include:

  • Mid-September: NRMP registration opens
  • Early October: MSPE (Dean’s) letters released through NRMP
  • Late November: Standard registration deadline for applicants
  • Late February: Rank order list deadline
  • Mid-March: Match week
  • Mid-March: Email notification of “You’ve Matched”
  • Mid- March: MATCH DAY CELEBRATION

Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for your interest in the Health Quest Anesthesiology Residency Program! If you need more information, please contact us.

Where will I train?
The majority of training takes place at Vassar Brother Medical Center (VBMC) in Poughkeepsie, NY, with ICU and pediatrics rotations occurring at Albany Medical Center (AMC) in Albany, NY.

When is my application due?
Applications are due through ERAS on November 30.

How many residency positions are there?
We accept six (6) residents each year, for a total of 18 anesthesiology residents.  As a new program, we will have 6 PGY1 positions as well as 6 PGY2 (CA-1) positions for the 2020 NRMP Match. Beginning in 2021, we will accept only PGY1 categorical positions going forward.

When are the interviews?
Interviews take place on select dates in October, November, December and January. If you are selected for an interview, you will be notified via ERAS.

Do you accept foreign graduates?
We currently accept foreign graduates who are sponsored for J1 Visas by the ECFMG. We do not sponsor foreign graduates for H-1B Visas.

Additional Benefit and Stipend Information

  • Relocation allowance during the first year of residency: $2,000.
  • Educational stipend: $1,800 annually
  • Lab coats: 3 lab coats are provided during the first year of residency