Although likely not a Chinese or ancient expression, the phrase "May you live in interesting times" has certainly described these past few months surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. Many would say the adage is indeed a curse. But strength arises from adversity and our program has survived fully intact and is moving on to educate the next generation of anesthesiologists. Education likely will incorporate new or revisited social norms including social distancing, telemedicine and teleconferencing, limitations on hospital visitors and emphasis on infection control. Indeed, despite the obvious tragedies in loss of lives and economic distress, the new norms are an opportunity to develop a cleaner and more holistic society, and incidentally, one in which the health care worker is more appreciated and in turn, more attentive to the needs of others. I have had the opportunity to hear the bells ringing in appreciation during health care worker shift changes and have never before in my career seen the degree of reaching out for our services.
Anesthesiologists, from the Surgeon General of the United States, Vice Admiral Jerome M. Adams, to leaders of the American Society of Anesthesiologists and the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation, to local medical directors and staff anesthesiologists, have been experts and leaders in the response to this pandemic. As a result, our profession has become more respected and stronger. We are indeed the physicians from whom advice is sought in urgent situations. The knowledge and skills our residents attain will continue this contract with society. Anesthesiologists will continue to be leaders in guiding health care in changing and interesting times. As a resident, you will be proud to begin your essential role In the health care system. Indeed, with the move to more telemedicine, the anesthesiologist will remain one of the most involved physicians In direct patient care. It Is a role we will not take lightly.
So I continue to invite you to explore the anesthesiology residency program in Wichita. Our fully-accredited program provides comprehensive clinical training in all facets of anesthesiology except liver transplantation. Entry into the program is via ERAS and NRMP and generally only at the PGY-1 level. We intentionally do not offer fellowship training so that our residents will have access to the best cases. A significant number of our graduates do continue their education at top notch fellowship programs, including Massachusetts General Hospital, Stanford University, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Nebraska, the University of Arkansas and Mayo Clinic, among others. The opportunities for our graduates are virtually unlimited, although about half do choose to stay in Wichita and many others leave only to come back again to Wichita, the city you'll grow to appreciate.
Why Wichita? Wichita is a fantastic, progressive, small city featuring all major city events other than major league sports (which has lessened the economic impact of coronavirus on Wichita). Not having the major city headaches of traffic, high crime, and high living expenses allows for a low stress lifestyle perfect for raising families. Located in the heart of America with sunshine on more than 300 days per year, the Wichita metropolitan area is home to more than 500,000 people and is the regional health center for more than 1,000,000 in Kansas and northern Oklahoma. Wichitans get formal at the world-class symphony, the opera, the Emerald Ball, and other philanthropic events, but also enjoy the relaxed Midwest lifestyle at the annual week-long River Festival, summer open air concerts at Bradley Fair, the Cattleman's Ball, the many city parks, and nearby lakes. Minor league professional, college, and high school sports are ubiquitous when allowable, but so are individual sporting activities. Wichita has facilities for soccer, ice skating, hockey, bowling, basketball, baseball (including the National Baseball Congress), tennis, squash, archery, skateboarding, wall-climbing, golf, and handball, just to name a few.
More than 100 miles of bicycle lanes and trails span the city. The Sedgwick County Zoo is one of the top zoos in the nation and features special nights such as Zoobilee, an evening among the animals with food and drink catered from our finest restaurants. Wichita attracts many top entertainers at its various concert facilities and clubs. Science, art, and cultural museums complement Old Town, the Waterwalk, and Cowtown. Your enjoyment of Wichita is limited only by your time, imagination and recently, coronavirus restrictions. With our program's reasonable worklife balance, you will have the time. Please bring your imagination.
Why the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita Anesthesiology program? In one word: variety. Anesthesiology residents in Wichita learn everything from neonatal anesthesia to geriatric anesthesia, from anesthesia for craniotomies to the treatment of pains in the neck, from rapid outpatient turn-over to complex procedures such as total circulatory arrest. You may do cardiac bypass on-pump followed the next day by an off-pump case. Yet the variety in Wichita is not just case types. You will work with a variety of anesthesiology groups and hospitals. You will see various approaches to anesthesia practice -at the same time both academic and private. Our program is based in two state-of-the-art tertiary medical centers with specialty rotations in three hospitals and several outpatient centers. In short, our program is real preparation for the real world of anesthesia.
-Robert McKay, M.D.