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Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine: US Anesthesiology Resident Training—The Year 2015
  1. Joseph M. Neal, MD*,
  2. Anne Gravel Sullivan, PhD,
  3. Richard W. Rosenquist, MD and
  4. Dan J. Kopacz, MD§
  1. *Department of Anesthesiology, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA; †Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, Chicago, IL; ‡Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Management, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH; and §Pikes Peak Anesthesia Associates, Colorado Springs, CO
  1. correspondence: Joseph M. Neal, MD, 1100 9th Ave (B2-AN), Seattle, WA 98101 (e-mail: Joseph.Neal{at}


Background and Objectives The Anesthesiology Review Committee of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education sets core requirements for residency program accreditation. We periodically report and analyze the US anesthesiology residents' training experience in regional anesthesia and pain medicine.

Methods Resident caseload, procedure, and pain medicine evaluation data were aggregated for the resident cohort who graduated in 2015. These data were analyzed for present-day experience and compared with previous reports from years 1980, 1990, and 2000 graduates.

Results Data were available for 1631 residents who graduated from 129 training programs. Regional anesthesia as a portion of the overall anesthesiology residents' training experience remains unchanged since 1990. The distribution of regional anesthesia training has shifted from neuraxial to peripheral blocks. All residents at the 10th percentile and above achieved the benchmark for spinal, epidural, and peripheral nerve block anesthetics and for new pain evaluations.

Conclusions The focus of US anesthesiology resident training in regional anesthesia and pain medicine has changed over the past 15 years by shifting from neuraxial to peripheral nerve block techniques. Previous training deficits have resolved for spinal anesthesia and peripheral nerve block. Procedural experience in pain medicine overwhelmingly involves epidural and facet injections.

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  • A.G.S. is Executive Director, Anesthesiology Review Committee (RC), Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. R.W.R. is a member of RC. J.M.N. and D.J.K. declare no conflict of interest.