Chief Resident’s Welcome


Danisa Daubenspeck, D.O. (L), Heena Pranav, M.D. (R)

Welcome to the Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care at the University of Chicago. We hope you are interested in meeting us and seeing what our residency program has to offer. Our number one priority is to train you to be an outstanding anesthesiologist, and we believe that our program can do that.

We have a rigorous educational program that advances your career over three years of training in anesthesiology. Your learning will be centered in three separate facilities on one campus: The Center for Care and Discovery, the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine, and Comer Children’s Hospital. In addition to this broad educational experience at the University of Chicago, you will also gain experience at North Shore Hospital in Evanston, a busy community hospital a few miles north of the city.

Our anesthesiology residency offers 8 categorical positions and 10 advanced positions, totaling 18 residents per class. Although we are a large residency program, each resident is exposed to a plentiful and diverse caseload at all stages of training. Our categorical internship offers clinical experience in wards and intensive care units, including a unique month in ENT where you will learn how to perform flexible laryngoscopy and assist in surgical airways. The following clinical anesthesia years will prepare you to be a consultant anesthesiologist. The first month in the OR can be daunting, but our program pairs you one-on-one with two faculty members for intensive intraoperative teaching and guidance. These faculty members are very approachable and are dedicated to resident leadership and education. Many of them become mentors for our residents throughout their time here and are available for your job search after graduation.

Throughout the first year, you will learn the basics of anesthesiology and get experience in many subspecialties. As your residency progresses, you will care for patients ranging from those who need total endoscopic robotic cardiac surgery to those with complex conditions in the intensive care unit (surgical, cardiothoracic). You also will receive training in high-risk obstetrics and treat children in our Level I Pediatric Trauma Center. Additionally, as of May 1st, 2018, we are now a Level I Adult Trauma Center, which affords you the ability to learn how to manage fast-paced, high acuity trauma cases. After graduation, many of our residents obtain fellowships at prestigious institutions or appointments to highly sought-after private practice groups. We are a large and busy tertiary care center, but you can rely on plenty of collegial support from our exceptional faculty, co-residents, CRNAs and certified anesthesia technicians.

We offer an extensive didactic curriculum to supplement your clinical training. Daily morning didactic sessions include invited speakers from within and outside the department, peer teaching by residents with faculty mentorship, preparation for written boards, and a comprehensive mock oral board exam with current or past ABA oral board examiners that you are involved in each year. Our didactic sessions are often supplemented with hands-on teaching such as ultrasound workshops, epidural simulation training, transesophageal echocardiography simulation, and practice in our Airway Lab. On Wednesdays, our morning Grand Rounds lectures focus on topics such as quality improvement, morbidity and mortality, and visiting professor rounds.

The opportunity for residents to learn from our distinguished faculty is one of the major strengths of our program. Among them are active oral board examiners, previous or current board members and presidents of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), the Society of Obstetric Anesthesia (SOAP), and the Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists (SOCCA) and faculty actively pursuing cutting edge research.

Despite a robust clinical and nonclinical experience, residents find ample time to pursue other educational and leadership opportunities, attend national meetings, and present their research at the Regional Midwest Anesthesia Research Conference, the national ASA meeting, or other subspecialty meetings. In addition to providing you with a comprehensive clinical experience our program is very dedicated to resident well-being. With a resident-run wellness committee who organizes multiple social events throughout the year we hope to foster a culture of closeness and support.

To supplement all of this, you are training in the great city of Chicago. We have a variety of diverse neighborhoods that boast some of the best restaurants in the country. Our summers are filled with fun days at the beach, street festivals and concerts every weekend, and tons of awesome rooftops with amazing views. Even in the coldness of the winter, we have fun activities like ice skating in the Maggie Daley skate park or drinking hot apple cider at the German market. If you love to get out and exercise- our 18-mile Lakefront Path is perfect for running or biking along beautiful Lake Michigan and the 606 is an elevated trail that runs right in the middle of the city. No matter what you enjoy to do - Chicago is filled with places for fun.

We encourage you to come and check us out and learn more about our program. If you have any questions about our program or living in Chicago, please feel free to contact us! We are excited to meet you!