The anesthesiology residency at MMC is a categorical program that accepts five new residents a year totaling twenty from intern to CA-3 year. Compared to other programs, our group of residents is small in size; but that is the only area where their numbers are 'bigger' than ours.
Maine Medical Center provides one of the best clinical caseloads available. Forty-nine staff anesthesiologists oversee the delivery nearly 50,000 anesthetics annually, providing a wealth of training experience. Because we do not train fellows, our residents do not have to compete with anyone for the most challenging and appropriate cases. Nurse anesthetists help manage the general O.R. case load such that residents' time in anesthesia sub-specialty areas is very protected without the need to be pulled to other areas of the O.R.
Training begins in the first year as a one-month tutorial one-to-one with a staff anesthesiologist. As beginning residents gain increasing confidence and ability, they are given more responsibility and autonomy. After six months of general anesthesia training, residents begin to rotate among our subspecialty rotations.
Each year MMC performs approximately 1,600 open heart procedures, including more than 100 pediatric cases. In most other programs these pediatric open-heart cases are reserved for fellows, but with proper guidance, our residents learn how to care for these very complex patients. We are also the only Level I regional referral center for high-risk obstetrics (3000 deliveries per year) and maintain the region's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (30 beds). The hospital has over thirty intensive care beds shared by Medical and Surgical/Trauma Critical Care Services.
Surgical subspecialties are well represented at MMC. In addition, because MMC is the regions Level I Trauma Center, our residents gain frequent experience with various types of blunt and penetrating trauma. Residents rotate through an outpatient surgical facility and have the opportunity to perform anesthetics in remote hospital locations such as MRI, CT scan, Interventional Radiology, pediatric cardiac catheterization, and extracorporeal shock-wave lithotripsy. The Acute Pain Service provides a variety of postoperative analgesic modalities. In addition, we have an active, multispecialty Chronic Pain Management Service.
In the CA-3 year, our residents are allowed to compose their own schedule of subspecialty training. We offer the traditional three choices of Advanced Clinical Track, Subspecialty Track, and Clinical Scientist Track (offered through the Maine Medical Center Research Institute). We also allow our residents to do an optional three-month away rotation at the program of their choice.
And our graduating residents have a fantastic track record of landing top fellowship positions. They report back to us that their experience gained at MMC surpasses that of their fellow peers trained at other institutions.
We pride ourselves on excellence in clinical training for our residents.