Our applicants are a diverse group with varied backgrounds and different levels of training. Nonetheless, the anxieties and fears seem to follow a pattern. To help you with your decision-making process, here are the questions we hear most often, and our answers.
Q How busy are the call nights?
A Sometimes there will be no case and you will get a good night’s sleep. Other times, you’ll get no sleep at all. Usually it’s somewhere between these two extremes. Importantly, in 2007 we eliminated 24 hour call shifts for the first call resident in the operating room, and for the call resident in Labor and Delivery. Both of these are now 12 hour first call shifts.
Q What is the attending staff like?
A The attending staff represents a diverse group that trained in some of the country’s most prestigious anesthesiology programs. This gives the resident the advantage of being exposed to many different viewpoints. Our typical attending physician has a wealth of clinical experience and an intellectual commitment to the advancement of anesthesiology, which includes being open to new ideas and techniques.
Most of our faculty have spent major portions of their professional lives here. Morale is high and turnover minimal. Many of our attendings are board certified in second and third specialties such as internal medicine, pediatrics, and critical care.
Q How do residents do on part one of the anesthesiology boards?
A A very high percentage of our graduating CA-3 residents annually pass the exam on their first try. Through the administration of monthly department tests and the Anesthesia Knowledge Test (AKT) program, we assess our residents frequently between the annual anesthesiology In-Training Exams. If a resident is having a problem during their training, we are quick to spot the difficulty and implement plans to get him or her back on track.
Q Are CA-3 residents able to get the jobs that they really want?
A Our graduating residents have consistently gotten the positions they wanted-both in fellowships, clinical practice, and academia. About 70 to 80 percent of residents choose to do fellowships after graduation. About 20 to 30 percent of graduates take positions in private practice and/or academic anesthesiology. In the past few years, some of our graduates have secured fellowship positions in regional anesthesia, OB anesthesia, pediatric anesthesia, pain medicine, and cardiothoracic anesthesia at outstanding programs that include Stanford, Northwestern, the Hospital for Special Surgery, Cedars-Sinai, Duke University, Columbia, University of Pittsburgh, Medical College of Wisconsin, Virginia Mason in Seattle, the Medical University of South Carolina, Case Western Reserve, Vanderbilt, the University of California at San Diego, the University of Washington, Mount Sinai/St Luke’s-Roosevelt, Riley Children’s in Indianapolis, Cincinnati Children’s, National Children’s in Washington, D.C., and the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Our graduates have usually been able to relocate to the part of the country where they want to be. Of course, we always try to entice the best and the brightest to join our staff at University of Illinois.
Q How much are residents paid?
A Resident Stipends Fiscal 2017-2018
Residents receive 4 weeks of vacation during their Clinical Base and CA-1 training years. In addition to four weeks of vacation during their CA-2 and CA-3 training years, they are also entitled to one conference week during each of these years.