Anesthesia Residency

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Program Leadership:
Kristina Sullivan, MD, Program Director
Administrative Staff:
Cindy Chin, Program Administrator
Jannot Ross, Program Administrator
Serena Smith, Program Administrator

UCSF Anesthesia Residency Program
School of Medicine
University of California, San Francisco
513 Parnassus Avenue, S436
San Francisco, CA 94143

Program Description


The UCSF Anesthesia Residency Program is a 4-year ACGME-accredited Residency Program. For more than half a century, the Anesthesia Residency has provided outstanding clinical training and produced leaders in our field. The demands of modern health care have led to increasing complexity in the perioperative and critical care environments. Our program has evolved to meet these challenges, and our commitment to excellence in residency training remains as strong as ever.

Educational Program (Basic Curriculum)

The Clinical Base (Intern) Year

For some, the experience as a UCSF anesthesia resident begins with the interdisciplinary internship program at UCSF. This rigorous yet richly rewarding year includes intensive training in internal medicine, surgery, critical care, neurology, and emergency medicine alongside some of the finest physicians in the country. The year culminates with a month of anesthesia, celebrating your entry into clinical work in our department. Anesthesia interns at UCSF are expected to sit for the nationwide In-Training Examination in the spring along with their senior colleagues.

The CA-1 Year

The CA-1 year centers on intraoperative training in anesthesiology. You will begin the first Clinical Anesthesia year with a month-long period of one-on-one faculty supervision, allowing tailored training with faculty specifically selected for their teaching abilities. Through the month of July, CA-1 residents are relieved from OR duties by 2 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday for afternoon lectures covering core concepts in anesthesia. CA-1 residents train in a wide variety of settings, including the administration of anesthesia for general surgery, OHNS, orthopedics, ambulatory surgery, acute pain medicine, trauma, evaluation of patients in the PREPARE (preoperative) clinic, ICU care, and post-op care in the PACU. Progress in acquiring medical knowledge is tested periodically with Anesthesia Knowledge Tests on Day 1, Month 1, Month 6, as well as the nationwide In-Training Examination (ITE) in the spring.

The CA-2 Year

During your CA-2 year, you will undergo intensive training in a variety of anesthesia subspecialty areas, including anesthesia for cardiac and thoracic surgery, obstetrics, neurosurgery, acute and chronic pain, regional anesthesia, pediatrics, and critical care. Educational sessions continue in the form of Wednesday Grand Rounds or lectures tailored to each residency class, small-group case-based sessions led by volunteer faculty, and daily intraoperative teaching sessions (ongoing, informal). To celebrate the midway point in your training, a weekend CA-2 retreat is held in the fall. For those interested in pursuing fellowship training, the fall/winter of CA-2 year is the time when many residents prepare their applications for fellowship training programs.

The CA-3 Year

During the CA-3 year, you will return to the general OR as a senior resident to provide anesthesia and intensive care with increasing autonomy. Specialty rotations include adult cardiac (at Kaiser San Francisco), TEE, thoracic and vascular surgery, regional anesthesia, ZSFG night team leader, and critical care. Whenever possible, senior residents care for patients undergoing the most complex procedures, such as liver transplant and heart and lung transplants. CA-3s have three months of “Selectives” with an array of options including pediatric cardiac, regional anesthesia at the Orthopaedic Institute, and additional training in OB, pediatrics, neurosurgery, etc. As residents have become increasingly involved with the UCSF Pathways Program, some now participate in several months of intensive study in Health Professions Education, Global Health, the interactions between Health and Society, etc. Residents participating in Innovative Residency Tracks (as Critical Care or Research Scholars) may extend their training into a “CA-4 year” as they acquire specialized additional skillsets. Residents with strong research interests can consolidate their clinical training into 2.5 years to participate in 6 months of research during their final year under the guidance of a faculty research mentor.

Detailed Instructional Schedule

  • General Anesthesia in the OR
  • Neuro Anesthesia
  • Regional Anesthesia
  • Pediatric Anesthesia
  • OB Anesthesia
  • Trauma Anesthesia
  • Vascular Anesthesia
  • Cardiac Anesthesia
  • Adult Cardiothoracic Anesthesia
  • Pediatric Cardiac Anesthesia
  • Prepare Clinic
  • Pre-op Anesthesia
  • Advance Anesthesia in the OR


The UCSF Anesthesia Residency Program has a wealth of clinical and research faculty distributed throughout UCSF and its associated hospitals listed below. Education within the program and supervision of trainees are the focus of the majority of the faculty.

Teaching Staff

  • Kristina Sullivan, MD, Program Director, Anesthesia
  • John Turnbull, MD, Associate Program Director, Anesthesia
  • Gabriel Sarah, MD, Associate Program Director, Anesthesia
  • Manuel Pardo, MD, Vice Chair of Education, Anesthesia
  • Wendy Smith, MD, Internship Director, Anesthesia
  • Matthias Braehler, MD, Clinical Professor, Anesthesia
  • Kris Breyer, MD, Associate Clinical Professor, Anesthesia
  • Lundy Campbell, MD, Clinical Professor, Anesthesia
  • Joyce Chang, MD, Associate Clinical Professor, Anesthesia
  • Lee-lynn Chen, MD, Clinical Professor, Anesthesia
  • Marla Ferschl, MD, Clinical Professor, Anesthesia

Instructional Facilities

The main facilities, which offer a wide depth and breadth of clinical and research experiences and training, where the trainees practice and see patients are:

  • UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center at Parnassus Heights, San Francisco, California
  • Mission Bay (UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, UCSF Betty Irene Moore Women’s Hospital, UCSF Bakar’s Cancer Center), San Francisco, California
  • Mt. Zion Hospital, San Francisco, California
  • Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco, California
  • Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, California
  • Kaiser San Francisco, San Francisco, California
  • UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, Oakland, California
  • UCSF Orthopedic Institute, San Francisco, California