Anesthesia Residency at Vassar Brothers Medical Center

Letter From the Director

I love my job!

I am intensely grateful for a career I find so rewarding. Inspiring and motivating future anesthesiologists provides such satisfaction, I can scarcely imagine working outside of an academic institution. The enthusiasm our faculty have for Anesthesia is infectious. Our forums range from informal settings such as the OR and ICU, to core curriculum lectures, to departmental Grand Rounds. Our faculty bring their devotion to the practice of anesthesia, a breadth of experience, and scholarship to our program.

I’m thrilled to finally call the Hudson Valley my home! The combination of outdoor experiences and proximity to New York City, makes this the ideal location to work and play. On my days off, you’ll find me on the cycling trails at Minnewaska State Park, paddling a SUP on Canopus Lake, or hiking up Bull Hill for spectacular views of the Hudson River Valley!

As a small program, we encourage our residents to pursue their individualized goals. With a rigorous foundation in the basics of anesthesia, we also support residents who are looking for unique experiences in Anesthesiology, such as electives and international missions. Our faculty will get to know you individually—your strengths, weaknesses and goals—and support you in becoming the best physician anesthesiologist you can be.


Jennifer McDonald,
MD-Program Director
Anesthesia Residency

Program Structure

The three-year Nuvance Health Anesthesiology Residency Program is a categorical program in conjunction with the Nuvance Health Transitional Year Residency Program (PGY1), based at Vassar Brothers Medical Center (VBMC). After completing the Nuvance Health Transitional Year Program, residents continue at VBMC for the start of their CA1 year. Matching into the Anesthesia program assures you a position in the TY program.

During their training, residents will rotate through a diverse curriculum ensuring that they receive education in a wide range of anesthesia subspecialties. Our curriculum and program structure are designed to prepare residents to become independent physicians, fellowship candidates and leaders in the field of anesthesiology.

In their final year, residents may select up to three electives which may include any anesthesiology subspecialty, a research month, or any other rotation discussed and agreed upon in conjunction with the Program Director.

A sample block diagram for Nuvance Health Anesthesiology Residency Program is shown below. The schedule may be adjusted by the Program Director to ensure adequate clinical training experiences, case log numbers and Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) compliance.

2023-2024 Anesthesia Block Schedule

Academic Offerings


The didactic sessions in the Anesthesiology residency program at Nuvance Health, are in place to facilitate residents’ learning throughout the duration of the program. Discussions are held on a weekly basis and mostly led by faculty with some sessions led by residents with the support and mentorship of the program faculty. To best support residents, the program provides protected time for each resident to engage in the session and the didactic schedule runs as follows:

  1. (Monday) Academic Afternoon Didactic Conferences: Every other week, these sessions focus on anesthesia-specific content, including information from the ABA content outline, Chief Rounds, Journal Club articles, and other anesthesia specific topics. This didactic session is faculty-led.
  2. (Tuesday) Oral Board Preparation: Residents engage in a series of faculty-led mock oral board examinations to help them prepare to pass the oral board component of the examinations series and become independent practitioners.
  3. (Wednesday) Keywords: Residents are provided with a keyword from the ITE Examination or ABA Content Outline. They are expected to research the keyword and come to their didactic session prepared to present the keyword, the meaning and implication into patient care, and integrate their coresidents into the discussion regarding its utilization during patient care. Faculty provide support and oversight during these sessions and help guide the discussion.
  4. (Thursday) Department Wide Conference: These conferences include Mortality and Morbidity (M&M) conferences, Grand Rounds, quarterly resident forums, quarterly town halls, and anesthesiology department guest lectures. These lectures are a mix between faculty-led, guest lecture led, and resident-led/faculty guidance, and all department members including faculty, advanced practicing professionals (CRNAs), staff, residents and department leadership attend and participate.
      1. M&M conferences: These department-wide conferences provide the residents the opportunity to review actual cases and the errors and potential errors associated with the case, and identify potential solutions. The M&M conferences ensure that residents work with their peers and supervising attendings to identify system issues and brainstorm patient care adjustments through evidence-driven practice improvement.
      2. Grand Rounds: These conferences will be multidisciplinary, joint conferences with other departments and residency programs within the Nuvance System. This enhances our ability to provide systems-based care and ensure patient safety across several services. Hospital-wide initiatives and safety and quality issues within the anesthesiology department will also be discussed.
      3. Anesthesiology guest lectures: These lectures are presented by experts in the field who present their knowledge on a unique field related to Anesthesiology.
      4. Quarterly Resident Forum: During this resident only forum (similar to GME Resident Council), the residents will meet to discuss the program in a confidential format. The chief resident leads this session and gathers all aggregate suggestions and complaints to present them to the Program Director. The Program Director then provides feedback to the residents prior to the next Forum.
      5. Quarterly Town Hall: Town Hall meetings are led by the Department Chair, and discuss topics specific to the running of the Department.
  5. (Friday) Series Lectures: These lecture series are recurrent and faculty-led, and provide a more intensive inquisition into the following topics
    1. Echocardiography and TEE
    2. Pain
    3. ICU
    4. 6-week intensive Board Review and Prep prior to the ABA Basic and Advanced Examinations
  6. Case Wellness Conference: During this monthly conference, have the opportunity to present cases that have a difficult aspect to it (patient mortality, difficult conversation, etc.) and discuss with the group the process that was followed to handle the situation, the emotional management of the case and any best practices utilized. This series is designed to provide residents with a forum in which they can discuss cases that have occurred between residents and faculty that may have had a difficult component to them and how they were able to handle it or how they may have struggled with it.
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
3pm – 5pm 6:30am – 7am 6:30am – 7am 6:30am – 7am 6:30am – 7am
Academic Afternoon Didactic Conferences & Journal Club Oral Board Prep Resident Keywords Department-Wide Conference Series Lecture
Longitudinal/Occasional Lectures: Simulations, GME Grand Rounds, GME Lecture Series, Research Lectures, and Resident Town Halls

Scholarship and Research

Research and Quality Improvement (QI) Opportunities

All residents in the Nuvance Health Anesthesiology Residency Program are required to contribute one Scholarly Work and Quality Improvement Project over the course of their training. Additional research and QI participation by residents above the minimum requirement are strongly encouraged. Residents are paired with a faculty mentor for all academic assignments, who is tasked with assisting residents in background research, feasibility, Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, study design, implementation and analysis. Additionally, residents have access to the hospital’s Quality Assurance (QA) Officer, for assistance in the development and implementation of all quality improvement projects.

The goal of the anesthesiology scholarly activity and research curriculum is to advance each resident’s knowledge of the basic principles of research, including how it is conducted, evaluated, explained to patients and applied to patient care. Residents will be provided with a variety of resources to facilitate involvement in scholarly activity projects throughout their training, both in the continuity clinic and inpatient settings.

The Nuvance Health Anesthesiology Residency Program requires residents to meet the following scholarly activity requirements prior to graduation.

  • Each resident must complete one form of scholarly activity under faculty member supervision, which may include:
    • Grand Rounds presentations or Conference Presentations
    • Preparation and publication of review articles
    • Book chapters
    • Manuals for teaching or clinical practice
    • Development, performance or participation in one or more clinical or laboratory investigations

In addition to the opportunity to present at National conferences, each year, the Nuvance Health Graduate Medical Education Department sponsors a Resident Research Day wherein residents can present posters and oral presentations on ongoing or completed research topics.

Resident/Fellow Resources


ABA In-Training Exam (ITE) – Residents’ medical knowledge and clinical reasoning will be benchmarked for measuring longitudinal growth through the results of the annual American Board of Anesthesiology In-Training Exam. All anesthesiology residents complete the exam in yearly in February. Results will be reviewed with the Program Director to inform discussions and individualization of curriculum and clinical training (e.g., reading materials, board prep and electives).

ABA Basic Exam – During the first year of anesthesia training (CA1 year), residents are required to take the American Board of Anesthesia Basic Exam. This is the first exam in the process to become board certified. It focuses on the scientific basis of clinical anesthetic practice and concentrates on content such as pharmacology, physiology, anatomy, anesthesia equipment and monitoring. This exam is taken during June of the CA1 year.

Anesthesia Knowledge Test (AKT) – These exams are designed to test resident’s knowledge at specific times throughout the training program in comparison to board preparation and residents at their level throughout the country. This tool is designed to provide the Program Director with a metric and gauge of each resident’s growth. Residents will be administered these tests four times throughout their training including: a pre-test given during orientation (AKT-Pre); a post-test given at the conclusion of one month of training (AKT-Post); and a six-month test after having completed six months of training (AKT-6).

Resources: Nuvance Health offers a multitude of resources to residents to supplement their learning and training. All resources are available for residents to participate and engage during didactic activities and residents are provided with the tools on how to access them. Resources include access to online book, articles, journals, and many other library tools. Residents are also provided with a TrueLearn subscription for the ABA Basic Examination, the ITE Examination, and the ABA Advanced Examination.

Business Residency Program: Residents have the opportunity to participate in the NAPA Business Residency Program as a form of didactics. This residency program has two possible facets for residents to participate in:

  1. A lecture series that can be given remotely, regardless of the basics of the business of anesthesia; and,
  2. An in-person month-long CA3 elective that provides a more intensive and deeper dive into Anesthesia business.

How to Apply

The Nuvance Health Anesthesiology Residency Program thanks you for your interest in applying to our program. We accept all applications through ERAS only and participate annually in the NRMP Match Program.


The following items are required for interview consideration for the Nuvance Health Anesthesiology Residency Program. All items must be received through the ERAS application portal:

  • Personal statement
  • Current CV
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • MSPE (Dean’s) letter
  • USMLE or COMLEX scores

Important Dates

We interview candidates for the Nuvance Health Anesthesiology Residency Program on select dates in October, November, December and January. These dates are provided to select residency applicants via ERAS invitation. Other important dates include:

  • Mid-September: NRMP registration opens
  • Early October: MSPE (Dean’s) letters released through NRMP
  • Late November: Standard registration deadline for applicants
  • Late February: Rank order list deadline
  • Mid-March: Match week
  • Mid-March: Email notification of “You’ve Matched”

Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for your interest in the Nuvance Health Anesthesiology Residency Program! If you need more information, please contact us.

Where will I train?
The majority of training takes place at Vassar Brother Medical Center (VBMC) in Poughkeepsie, NY, with ICU and pediatrics rotations occurring at Albany Medical Center (AMC) in Albany, NY.

When is my application due?
Applications are due through ERAS on November 30.

How many residency positions are there?
We accept six (6) residents each year, for a total of 18 anesthesiology residents.  As a new program, we will have 6 PGY1 positions as well as 6 PGY2 (CA-1) positions for the 2020 NRMP Match. Beginning in 2021, we will accept only PGY1 categorical positions going forward.

When are the interviews?
Interviews take place on select dates in October, November, December and January. If you are selected for an interview, you will be notified via ERAS.

Do you accept foreign graduates?
We currently accept foreign graduates who are sponsored for J1 Visas by the ECFMG. We do not sponsor foreign graduates for H-1B Visas.

Additional Benefit and Stipend Information

  • Relocation allowance during the first year of residency: $2,000.
  • Educational stipend: $1,800 annually
  • Lab coats: 3 lab coats are provided during the first year of residency