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The Department of Anesthesiology offers an innovative didactic curriculum which includes five (5) scheduled lectures each week during the academic year (September – June) in recently renovated, modern educational facilities. A variety of different educational formats including formal lectures, grand rounds, morbidity and mortality conferences, case conferences, resident journal club, problem-based learning discussion groups, question and answer sessions, resident presentations, independent study modules, mock oral examination sessions, workshops and simulation are blended together to provide comprehensive preparation for the American Board of Anesthesiology Basic, Advanced and Applied examinations. We are also proud to offer the largest and most varied surgical case volume in the Philadelphia-area and the didactic program compliments this diverse clinical exposure. It is our expectation that every resident who successfully completes their training at Thomas Jefferson University will have the ability to pass all the ABA examinations and the prerequisite skills to succeed in even the most challenging Anesthesiology work environments.

Tuesday Morning Conferences

Beginning in September, resident conferences are held on Tuesdays from 6:00 - 6:50 am, primarily to review topics pertinent for junior residents. Although residents of all levels are welcome at each of the departmentally-sponsored lectures, the Tuesday morning session is specifically designed for CA-1 residents and closely follows the content outline for the Basic Examination now required during residency training. Topics include review of basic science principles with an emphasis on their clinical applications, clinical anesthesia topics with an emphasis on airway management and formation of an anesthetic plan, and topics related to communication or professionalism. With the mentoring of a faculty member, each CA-1 resident delivers at least one formal lecture to his or her colleagues during the PGY-2 year. Public speaking and formal presentation skills are an invaluable component of both academic and private practice and your residency training at Jefferson provides multiple opportunities to polish these important skills with coaching and mentoring from faculty.

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Wednesday Afternoon Conferences

During the academic year, a Wednesday afternoon conference from 1:30 - 2:30 pm is conducted. Intended primarily as a CA-3 conference, senior residents are relieved from the clinical duties to attend. CA-1 and CA-2 residents may or may not also be relieved from clinical duties as the operating room schedule permits. The primary focus of the Wednesday afternoon session is the presentation of advanced topics in Anesthesiology with a special emphasis on preparation for the ABA Oral Board Examination. Tutorial sessions on preparing for the ABA Oral Examination are conducted by current and former ABA Examiners on the faculty. In addition to the individualized Mock Oral Board experience offered six times each year, the Wednesday sessions use sample questions to help prepare the resident to critically analyze stem questions and formulate succinct and organized responses to examiner queries. This conference also affords the opportunity to present advanced topics in Anesthesiology valuable to senior-level residents and to discuss career opportunities and fellowship or job hunting/contract negotiation skills.

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Thursday Morning Conferences

Beginning in August, resident conferences are held on Thursdays from 6:00 - 6:50 am, immediately prior to the Departmental Grand Rounds. With the exception of Clinical Base Year (PGY-1) residents, all anesthesiology residents are expected to attend this conference. Formal lectures on a variety of clinical general and subspecialty anesthesiology topics are delivered by faculty and visiting guest speakers. Additionally, ten resident journal clubs are sponsored each year with faculty-moderated discussion of recent research or review articles.

Anesthesia Department of Anesthesiology Grand Rounds

The Departmental Grand Rounds are held each Thursday from 6:55 - 7:45 am throughout the calendar year. The conference features formal lectures on important or emerging topics in clinical anesthesiology, presentations of departmental research, visiting professor lectures, Morbidity and Mortality Conference, and combined Surgical-Anesthesia Morbidity and Mortality Conference. This conference is held every Thursday during the year, with the exception of holidays or when Mock Oral Examination simulation is held for the residents in lieu of both regularly scheduled Thursday lectures (6 times annually).back to top

Friday Morning Conference

Beginning in September, resident conferences are held most Fridays from 6:00 - 6:50 am. The format of this conference is question and answer sessions for the purpose of preparing for the American Board of Anesthesiology written examinations. Some of these conferences are conducted as formal question and answer sessions and some are conducted in a friendly, but competitive Jeopardy-style format. The resident gains experience answering questions in the “A-type” and “G-set” formats which appear on the ABA in-training and board examinations.back to top

Subspecialty Fellowship Discussion Groups

Several subspecialty case discussion groups are hosted by our Fellowship Directors. Dr. Michael Mahla hosts a discussion group for neuroanesthesia-related cases and Dr. Jordan Goldhammer hosts a discussion group for cardiac anesthesia-related cases. The conferences are required only fellows, but all are welcome.back to top

Core Faculty of the Didactic Program


James W. Heitz, MD, FACP
Program Director 


Matthew Hirshfeld, MD
Associate Program Director


Richard R. Bartkowski, MD, PhD
Morbidity and Mortality Conference Moderator 


Marc Torjman, PhD
Resident Journal Club Co-Moderator 


Michael E. Mahla, MD 
Director of Neuroanesthesia


Michael J. Williams, MD
Friday Morning Conference Moderator 

Dr. McNulty

Stephen McNulty, DO
Vice-Chairman for Education

Dr. Heitz

James W. Heitz, MD
Program Director

Mr. Schley

Curtis T. Schley
Program Coordinator
111 S. 11th Street
Suite 8290 Gibbon
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 955-2370
(215) 955-0677 fax

We participate in the National Residency Match Program and utilize the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).

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