A Day in the Life of a CA-3 Resident

As an anesthesiology resident, many people (including residents from other specialties), ask me what a typical day is like. This is because anesthesia is a very unique specialty in medicine. I am also unique amongst my co-residents because I commute from the western suburbs.

My commute in the morning is 30 minutes and early enough to avoid rush hour traffic. On a general OR rotation, I arrive around 5:40 AM to set up the OR for the day and draw up medications. I then attend morning conference at 6:30 AM, after of course grabbing my morning joe. Topics include keywords, practice oral boards, and attending lectures. I then pre-op my patient, review the H&P, and fine tune an anesthetic plan with my attending (cases are discussed the evening before with the attending). I indulge in a 15-minute coffee break and 30-minute lunch offered by floating CRNA's or the lucky attending who gets to work with me.

Case variety and length are highly variable on a general OR rotation. For this reason, cases typically will be completed in a room anywhere from 3 PM to 7 PM. I then check in with the OR coordinator for another assignment, see inpatient pre-ops, or be dismissed. Exit time is highly influenced by the call schedule and whether you were late the evening before.

The evening commute for me usually takes 45 minutes to an hour. I will be sure to have completed my inpatient pre-ops prior to leaving the hospital. Then, I page my attending and discuss the plan for the next day. I rest up at home with my envied home cooked meals, and finally, reading around my cases!

Patrick Mulligan, M.D.

Patrick Mulligan, M.D., CA-3 Resident