Letter from the Chief Residents

Welcome to the University of Kansas Medical Center anesthesiology residency! We are pleased that you are interested our program and aim to give you an inside look at what makes our program distinctive. To meet the needs of the region, the University of Kansas Medical Center continues to expand rapidly. With the opening of the new Cambridge Tower A, the anesthesiology department also continues to expand, offering new and exciting opportunities for our residency program. Despite our continued growth we are a tight-knit group that not only works together but also makes time to enjoy all the things Kansas City has to offer.

Our clinical base year of training provides exposure to the management of complex medical diseases in several areas including cardiology, nephrology, general inpatient medicine, and critical care. Time is divided between the University of Kansas Medical Center, which has 700+ beds, and the Kansas City Veterans Affairs hospital, 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 80-130 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, and we have just been accredited for heart transplants. Two months of our training are spent at Children's Mercy Hospital, a busy pediatric hospital serving the Midwest region. We also spend one month gaining valuable private practice experience at one of the busiest birthing centers in town.

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; our regional rotation provides extensive training in all types of nerve blocks with an emphasis on ultrasound-guided techniques. The airway rotation is four weeks of protected time for experience with the difficult airway, in-hospital codes, trauma triage and management. You will also receive extensive critical care training in the medical ICU, the cardiothoracic ICU, and the neurosciences ICU. 

Our didactic program consists of weekly department-wide M&M conferences, level-specific lectures, resident-led ABA keywords and transesophageal echo conference. Beginning in the CA 2 year we have mock oral board exam sessions with our anesthesia staff, several of whom are current examiners of the oral boards. For residents wishing to pursue additional training, we offer regional and pain fellowships as well as a strong track record of placing residents in highly coveted fellowships across the country.  

Our residents receive very competitive benefits, and we have an excellent support staff who keeps the department and the residency organized, compliant, and safe. The department and GME sponsor many social outings prioritizing a healthy balance for residents while training. 

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

Tim Sowder, MD & John Wiebelhaus, MD

Chief Residents, 2017 - 2018

Last modified: Sep 08, 2017
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."