Letter from the Chief Residents

Dr. Duncan

Dr. Carter

Welcome to the website for the University of Kansas Medical Center's Anesthesiology Residency! We are pleased that you are considering our program and hope that the information on our website will give you a better sense of what makes the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) distinctive. We are a  close-knit group of residents and faculty that is growing at a steady rate as KUMC expands to fit the needs of the region.

Our clinical base year (CBY) of training provides exposure to the management of complex medical diseases in several areas including cardiology, nephrology, general inpatient medicine, and critical care medicine. The intern year follows the 3+1 model, where you will spend three weeks in an internal medicine rotation followed by a +1 week in pain clinic, ENT or other rotation. Time is divided between KUMC, which is 600+ beds, and the Kansas City Veterans Affairs hospital, which is a 157-bed regional medical center for the VA.

The CA-1 to CA-3 years of training at KUMC are busy and well-rounded. KUMC delivers between 80 and 130 anesthetics per day providing ample educational cases for our residents. We have intraoperative rotations in general, vascular, ENT, gynecology, oncology, neurosurgery, plastics, ophthalmology, orthopedics, urology, pediatrics, cardiothoracic, and transplant surgery. The transplant program at KUMC is very strong, averaging more than 100 liver transplants per year. We spend two months at Children's Mercy Hospital, a busy children's hospital serving the Midwest. We also spend one month gaining valuable private practice experience at one of the busiest birthing centers in the area. This is in addition to providing care for our own busy high-risk obstetric department.  

Perioperative rotations include both acute and chronic pain management, post-anesthesia care, regional anesthesia, airway, and transesophageal echocardiogram. We spend a minimum of 10 weeks on the acute and chronic pain service, where we gain experience with both inpatient and outpatient procedures and management of pain. The airway rotation is four weeks of protected time for experience with the difficult airway, in-hospital codes, trauma triage and management. We have weekly TEE lectures and a one-month rotation for performing basic TEE exams that leads to eligibility for basic TEE certification. Our regional rotation provides extensive training in upper- and lower-extremity nerve blocks with an emphasis on ultrasound-guided techniques. 

You will also receive extensive critical care training in the medical ICU, the cardiothoracic ICU, and the neurosciences ICU. The NSICU and the CTS ICU are both under the direction of the anesthesiology department. The MICU is a closed unit with 40 beds and is under the direction of an excellent team of pulmonary/critical care physicians.

Our didactic program consists of weekly department-wide M&M conferences, level-specific lectures, resident-led ABA keywords and echo conference. The level-specific lectures focus on both the clinical practice of anesthesia and on the preparation for the basic and advanced written exams. Beginning in the CA-2 year we have staff-led mock oral sessions with our anesthesia staff (some of whom are current ABA oral examiners). Each year, the department also sends all the CA-2 and CA-3 residents to an educational conference of the residents' choosing.

For residents wishing to pursue additional training we offer a regional and a pain fellowship. Pediatric and cardiac fellowship programs are also in the strategic vision of the department with hopes of launching both programs in the next three years. We also have a strong track record of placing residents in highly coveted fellowships across the country, including cardiothoracic, critical care, and pediatrics. 

The department of anesthesiology and KUMC provide very competitive benefits including a yearly book allowance, medical, dental, and vision insurance options (for spouse and family), an iPad mini, meeting allowance and meal allowances. We have an excellent support staff who keep the department and the residency organized, compliant, and safe. The department and KUMC also sponsor many social outings for decompression from the stress of residency. These include a monthly resident social hour, welcome party, holiday party, graduation party and other group activities such as local sporting events.

The department of anesthesiology at KUMC is also very politically active on the local, state and federal level. Current faculty members serve on city-wide organizations, are involved in Kansas Society of Anesthesiologists, and are well-connected to the ASA. In addition, the department sends two residents to Washington, DC, each year for the ASA legislative conference, which includes advocacy meetings with our state's elected officials in congress.

We hope you have a great experience with us no matter the length of your visit. Thank you for your interest; either of us welcomes any questions you may have as you further explore our great program.


Heather Carter, DO
Michael Duncan, MD

2015-16 Anesthesia Chief Residents

Last modified: May 24, 2016
Residency Program

Residency Program Director
Gina Hendren, MD

Associate Program Directors
Gregory K. Unruh, MD
John Bracken, MD

Senior Residency Coordinator
Heather Gorman

Residency Coordinator
Tracy Fogel

Resident Quotes

"I selected KU for residency because of the family friendly feel I got from the program and past residents. I feel like KU does an excellent job of attracting residents with similar personalities that work well together."

"The clinical experience I receive at KU will prepare me well for handling any scenario that may occur in my future practice. I was looking for a program with broad but in depth training, and my professional goals will be met with a post-graduate education from KU."

"I enjoy living in Kansas City because there is a lot of good bbq and good people."