Message From The Program Director

Welcome to the University of Illinois Anesthesiology  Residency Program! We are thrilled that you are considering a career in this fascinating and rewarding specialty. The mission of our department is to provide excellent clinical care, educate future leaders in the field of anesthesiology, and conduct research to improve and advance the specialty.

Rena Beckerly MD/MBA,
Residency Program Director

The UIC Residency Program in Anesthesiology offers excellent clinical training which involves caring for the most medically challenging patients in the Chicagoland area.  All surgical specialties are represented in our program, with high volumes of neurosurgical, orthopedic, transplant, and bariatric cases.  Given the complexity of our patient population and the diversity of cases, our residents are uniquely prepared for independent anesthesia practice.  Residents also train at away clinical rotations to experience anesthetic management in non-academic settings.

As a four-year categorical program, our residents complete four months of anesthesia training during their intern year.  Additionally, we reserve the last month of the intern year to offer a month long orientation prior to starting in the operating room full time.  This orientation includes our Basics of Anesthesia lecture series, introduction to ultrasound and echocardiography, quality improvement curriculum, and frequent simulation sessions.  This early exposure enables our residents to use these tools throughout their training and master these skills prior to graduation.  We are constantly improving and reevaluating the curriculum to produce outstanding clinicians.

Education is a central tenet of our department and residency.   Residents participate in a variety of educational activities including a rigorous morning didactic series, simulation sessions, professional development opportunities, quality improvement projects, and faculty mentorship in research endeavors. Our diverse faculty has trained at premier programs across the country, bringing their experience and knowledge to UIC.  Many attendings are nationally recognized for their expertise and research endeavors. This allows for excellent resident mentorship and guidance in applying for fellowship programs.  For this academic year, our seniors have secured fellowships at Massachusetts General Hospital, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Mayo Clinic, NYU, Cedars Sinai, Emory and Loyola.  After four years at UIC, our residents are uniquely confident in their clinical abilities and easily obtain board certification.

The Associate Head of Education, Dr. Heather Nixon, has recently completed formal training in medical education and has completely transformed the educational experience at UIC.  She received the national Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology teacher of the year award and national recognition for her research in education.  Dr. Christine Park is the Immediate Past President of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, comprising of nearly 4000 members in 50 countries.  She is a tremendous asset to the department and an integral part of the educational curriculum.  Dr. Chanannait Paisansathan began her role as Vice-President of the Society for Neuroscience in Anesthesiology and Critical Care in October 2018 and will become President in 2020.  Dr. David Schwartz is an Assistant Vice-Chancellor for Health Affairs at UIC. Additionally, Dr. Richard Banchs is the former Senior Director of Organization Process Improvement for the UIC Medical Center and developed a quality assurance curriculum for the residents.  Dr. Bud Pygon is the former Chief Medical Officer for the Hospital. Our department faculty members have earned tremendous respect within the hospital and UIC community for their institutional leadership roles.

Residents also actively pursue opportunities to develop skills outside the operating room and diversify their training.   These opportunities include elective rotations abroad, research months, quality improvement rotations and advanced degrees.  Each year, our residents are recognized for case presentations and scientific abstracts at various meetings including the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology, the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia, the Society for Neuroscience in Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Anesthesia Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, and the International Anesthesiology Research Society.  UIC residents travel to many countries including Vietnam, IndiaGhana, and Korea to learn about global health care. Some residents choose to pursue advanced degree coursework during their residency (MBA, Masters work).  The program at the University of Illinois at Chicago takes resident professional development seriously and promotes such activities. Many of our residents serve on national resident committees including the Society for Education in Anesthesia, American Medical Association, Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology, and Anesthesia Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine.  The opportunities are endless at UIC as we have excellent support from the department leadership.

We encourage you to apply to the program, and to explore this website to learn more about what the University of Illinois at Chicago Anesthesiology program has to offer.  Look at our Residency section, and check out the Chicago Life section.

We look forward to hearing from you!  Please do not hesitate to send your inquiries.