medical students

about anesthesiology

What is Anesthesiology?

Anesthesia comes from the Greek for “without sensation”.  Induced for medical purposes such as surgery, anesthesia is a controlled state of temporary loss of sensation and/or awareness. According to the American Society of Anesthesiologists, anesthesiology is the practice of medicine dedicated to the relief of pain and total care of the surgical patient before, during and after surgery. 

Anesthesiologists provide anesthesia services in several locations throughout the hospital and provide support to almost every other specialty.  In addition to working in the operating room, anesthesiologists respond to code blues, perform emergency airway management and line placements, and provide inpatient and outpatient pain consultation.  Anesthesiologists provide care in locations such as the pain clinic, gastroenterology suite, pulmonary clinic, labor and delivery, interventional cardiology lab, pediatric sedation unit, emergency room, trauma bay, radiation oncology, stone center, and MRI and CT scanners.

How is Anesthesia training important to being a military physician?

USU is one of the only medical schools that requires an anesthesia clerkship for graduation.  This is because after graduation many graduates will find themselves in austere locations where they may be the only physician available to aid a sick or critically injured patient.  All USU graduates must be competent in emergency medical skills commonly performed by anesthesiologists such as airway management, obtaining intravenous access, and fluid resuscitation. Possessing the skills learned in the anesthesia clerkship will enable all USU graduates to stabilize patients in austere environments and evacuate them to higher levels of care.  In addition, as a military physician assigned to military medical units you will likely educate soldiers and non-commissioned officers on skills such as basic airway management and obtaining intravenous access.  Finally, given the small size of operational medicine units, as a military physician, you may need to assist an anesthesia provider with a difficult airway or massive resuscitation.  The skills that you learn on your anesthesia clerkship will enable you to meet these demands regardless of your specialty and subspecialty training following graduation.



ANE, Clerkships graphic

In addition to participating in a required clerkship which will help develop the skills necessary for all military physicians, students have the opportunity to further experience anesthesia in different settings and specialties. To learn more about the timing of the clerkship opportunities please visit the
USU Clerkships page. For additional information about the anesthesiology clerkships offered at USU please read a description of the courses below, and visit the Department of Anesthesiology Intranet page for scheduling specifics and additional clerkship information.


Anesthesia and Perioperative Care for Military Physicians (Course code: ANR 4205)

Students are introduced to anesthesiology with a focus on skills required of every military physician such as airway management and IV catheter placement. The rotation will include time in the operating room but will also provide exposure to other perioperative medicine locations. Utilizing and integrating their understanding of physiology, pharmacology and pathology, students will join the anesthesia team as they safely guide patients through surgery. Students are evaluated with a multiple choice final exam, graded observed patient encounters and by their Site Director’s final evaluation of performance.

These courses can be completed after successful completion of the required clerkship. All of these courses will build on the knowledge and experience of the required clerkship. Please visit our Intranet page for scheduling information.

Acute Pain Elective (Course code: ANR 4224)

Students will learn about the management of acute pain patients on this rotation. Rotation will include time on the acute pain service rounding on post-surgical and acute on chronic pain patients. They will also observe and assist with preoperative nerve blocks for surgical patients. In addition, students will rotate on the anesthesia OB service to learn about neuraxial anesthesia for childbirth.


Anesthesia Advanced Operating Room Experience Elective (Course code: ANR 4223)

This MS4 clerkship experience is designed to build upon students’ past Anesthesia clerkship experience(s), providing them with greater exposure to and a stronger foundation in anesthesia. Students are expected to perform airway management and place IV catheters with minimal supervision. In addition, students will be expected to create complete anesthetic plans for surgical patients. By the end of this rotation students will be prepared to begin a residency in anesthesiology.

Sites: Bremerton, Eglin, Camp Lejeune, Fort Belvoir, Fort Benning, Fort Bliss, Fort Bragg, Fort Hood, Jacksonville, Madigan, Nellis, NMCP, NMCSD, SAMMC, Tripler, WRNMMC

Anesthesia Critical Care Elective (Course code: ANR 4225)

Students will spend 4 weeks engaged in the care of critical care patients. At the end of this rotation, students will have an understanding of the close relationship and coordination required of the operating room and the ICU. Students will utilize and integrate their understanding of pathophysiology, pharmacology, surgery and anesthesia to care for critically ill patients in the operating room and the intensive care unit.

Sites: NMCSD

Chronic Pain Elective (Course code: ANR 4220)

Students will be involved in the care of patients in the pain management clinic. They will be responsible for supervised evaluation of new and established patients. They will participate in performing appropriate regional conduction blocks, and developing outpatient treatment regimens. In addition, they will assist with inpatient consults.


Pediatric Anesthesia Elective (Course code: ANR 4226)

This clerkship builds upon students’ past Anesthesia clerkship experience(s), providing them exposure to pediatric anesthesia.  Students will perform airway management and place IV catheters on pediatric patients.  In addition, students are expected to create complete anesthetic plans for pediatric surgical patients. By the end of this rotation students will be familiar with techniques and challenges unique to pediatric anesthesia.

Sites: Pediatric Specialists of Virginia

Trauma and Burn Anesthesia Elective (Course code: ANR 4227)

Students will spend 4 weeks engaged in the perioperative care of trauma and burn patients. This elective clerkship experience is designed to build upon students’ past Anesthesia clerkship experience(s), providing them with greater exposure to, and a stronger foundation in anesthesia. Students are expected to perform airway management, place IV catheters and assist with fluid resuscitation in trauma patients. Depending on case load and student interest, students will spend time in the main OR, burn OR, surgical/trauma ICUs and work with the anesthesia trauma team at SAMMC.  Since trauma is 24/7, students should anticipate time on the anesthesia trauma night float team and weekend shifts.  By the end of this rotation students will understand the unique challenges associated with providing perioperative care to trauma and burn patients.

Sites: SAMMC

Clerkship Director: Katherine Slogic, MD, Lt Col, USAF, MC (

Clerkship Assistant Director: Erin Tracy, MD, Maj, USAF, MC (

Clerkship Coordinator: Kellie Nealeigh, PhD (


The Anesthesia Interest Group (AIG) serves to provide students with an interest in anesthesiology the opportunity to learn more about the specialty, shadow anesthesiologists, participate in skills labs, and connect with mentors and other interested students. More information about AIG can be found on the AIG Intranet page

Faculty advisor: Katherine Slogic, MD, Lt Col, USAF, MC (



There are opportunities to engage in research, complete a capstone project, and connect with a mentor in anesthesiology. Please visit our Intranet page for more information on how to participate in these opportunities.