Anesthesiology Residency at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center

Perspectives after graduation: Laura Lahaye and Christopher Reidy

We had the good fortune to be anesthesiology residents at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center from 2006 to 2010, as well as to serve as co-chief residents during our final year. Our recent transitions to general academic practice and cardiothoracic fellowship, respectively, have afforded the opportunity to reflect on our experience with new perspectives and appreciation.

Though we now reside in vibrant larger cities, we miss the peacefulness, natural beauty, and access to outdoor recreation that characterize life in and around Hanover. The quality of life that we enjoyed as residents was central to maintaining physical and mental balance during a period of intense training and learning. This is likely the reason that we continue to return as frequently as possible to visit our friends and favorite places.

The consistency and quality of clinical and didactic teaching that we received throughout residency was superior. Such excellence is facilitated by the commitment of the department leadership to maintain the ever-challenging balance of service and education in a residency program.

Our appreciation of the educational program was reinforced as we recently underwent the rigorous written and oral board certification exams. Throughout the certification process, we have been able to look to our robust training for confidence. The CA-3 oral board preparation conference represents a particular strength of our residency program for which we recently became very grateful.

The opportunity for residents to learn the fundamentals of perioperative transesophageal echocardiography is another unique strength of the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center residency. The availability of nonclinical echocardiography rotations and the commitment to teaching by the department’s many skilled echocardiographers combine to provide residents with a valuable and unique skill. We are certain that this will be an asset to residents who ultimately practice both cardiac and general anesthesiology as TEE becomes a more commonly employed perioperative technique.

The regional anesthesia rotation affords residents the opportunity to learn basic and advanced techniques using state-of-the-art equipment. The faculty is a dedicated group of enthusiastic teachers who thoroughly prepared us to provide a spectrum of acute pain services in practice.

Our recent transitions have reinforced the appreciation and high esteem with which we have always regarded the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center residency program. Perhaps the greatest aspect of the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center experience is the nature of the relationships that exist between faculty and residents. We hope to emulate the many teachers, mentors, and friends that we learned from at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center as we move on to our own careers in academic anesthesiology. Thank you.