Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Application Forms & Recommendations

Application Processing

Interviews for 2020-2021

COVID-19

International Students

USMLE

Education

Rotation Schedules & Call

Resident/Family Life in Gainesville & Program Culture

General Information

In terms of facilities, what is coming to UF Health in the next 5 years?

UF Health Gainesville completed construction of its third new bed tower, a highly advanced adult cardiac, neuro, and vascular hospital, in late 2017. While it is not likely that there will be major new construction on the Gainesville campus over the next five years, there are continuous remodeling and improvement construction projects underway in several areas. It is likely that additional facilities in the North Florida region will become part of the UF Health system during this period, but it has not been determined what, if any, would be the role for anesthesiology residents in these other facilities. All required anesthesiology resident rotations can be completed within the immediate Gainesville area.

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What is a typical day like for residents?

Please go to our Residency Overview page and see the video “A Day in the Life.”

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What are the strengths of your program?

Among our program’s strengths are the case diversity and high-acuity cases as measured by case-mix index, research and innovations, support from departmental leadership, and our simulation center. Additionally, although we are a large program, we cultivate a culture of family and inclusivity among our faculty and housestaff.

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What is your patient population like?

UF Health Shands Hospital is a tertiary referral center for the southeast, a Level 1 Trauma Center, and ranks in the top 10 in patient acuity according to the case-mix index. We have a pediatric hospital and a cancer hospital, as well as neuromedicine and heart and vascular hospitals that opened in late 2017. Training at the University of Florida prepares residents for any type of practice.

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What is the focus of this residency program?

Our goal is to provide comprehensive education and training to prepare residents for any practice setting, whether academic medicine, fellowship, or private practice. Our graduates are generally split 50-50 between fellowship and private practice. Please see our Program Aims.

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What makes a successful resident in your program?

Residents from all walks of life are successful in our program. The most common denominator is a passion for patient care; a commitment to one’s co-residents, the program, and the specialty of anesthesiology; and a willingness to work hard, learn, and grow.

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What makes your program unique?

The camaraderie of our residents, the dedication and excellence of our faculty and staff, the challenging case mix at our hospitals, and the tremendous learning and working environment at the University of Florida all contribute to making our program unique. The program also has access to superb basic, translational, and clinical research opportunities that place the program among the top quarter of U.S. anesthesiology residency programs.

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How family friendly is your program?

This is an academically and clinically rigorous program; at the same time, trainees at UF anesthesiology have a tremendous support network among their co-residents, as well as program and departmental faculty and staff. The 2019-2020 overall per-week work hour average was 50.92 hours, with interns averaging 43.85 hours, CA1s averaging 53.65 hours, CA2s averaging 54.04 hours, and CA3s averaging 50.89 hours. This provides plenty of time to enjoy the benefits of living in Gainesville and the North Florida region.

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Do you provide a stipend for food, parking, travel, and academic support?

Resident salaries by PGY year can be found at the link. *In general, the program will provide travel support for residents to present at conferences, as well as a professional development allowance to allow for the purchase of study materials. Residents must pay for their own parking

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Is there a medical student Anesthesia Interest Group at the University of Florida?

The University of Florida COM does have an Anesthesia Interest Group located on campus and run by medical students. This organization meets regularly to discuss topics and trends in anesthesiology, student learning directives and rotations, applying to residency, and other pertinent issues.

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I haven’t applied to your residency program yet. Can I talk to someone in your office?

Before you speak to the recruitment office please make sure to review all the information and content provided online along with the Application process page.

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If I am in a different residency program, but am now interested in the University of Florida Anesthesiology Residency Program. What should I do?

First discuss this with your previous/current program director. He or she can provide the best initial advice. We cannot speak with them about you until they have an official approval from the ACGME. To do so would be a a serious match violation.

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Does the UF Anesthesiology Residency Program recognize membership in Alpha Omega Alpha, Gold Humanism, Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Sigma Pi, and other national honor societies?

Yes. Proven leadership, organizing a program, directing an activity, chairing a committee, and being more than a member  demonstrates the attributes we seek in our residents, and we highly encourage these kinds of applicants. Remember, leadership skills are important characteristics, but most important to us are the humanistic qualities of a physician.

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How many total residents are in your program?

We are accredited by the ACGME for a total of 97 anesthesiology residents. Our current plan is to accommodate 20 PGY1s (interns) and 25 residents in each class, PGY2-4, for a total of up to 95 residents actually in training.

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Application Forms & Recommendations

I am applying this year. Can I send in my letters of recommendation before I apply?

No. All letters of recommendation must be sent directly through ERAS. We will not accept them otherwise. If you are having trouble, please contact ERAS and your letter writer to make sure all documents were uploaded correctly.

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I wasn’t accepted by UF Anesthesiology. How can I strengthen my ERAS application?

UF is a competitive anesthesiology training program which seeks to recruit the strongest applicants for each year’s entering class. Your application would be considered again based upon merit in comparison to others applying this year. Otherwise, once you have received notification that you did not match with UF and all other programs through the NRMP to which you  applied, you will be entered in to SOAP and allowed to match into other programs. Please make sure to adhere to all SOAP guidelines.

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How many categorical vs. advanced match spots are offered?

Twenty categorical positions are offered to begin at the “intern” (also known as PGY-1 or Clinical Base year) level and five “R” positions are offered to begin at the PGY-2 (or “Clinical Anesthesia-1”) levels each year, yielding a target of 25 residents in each of the three Clinical Anesthesia resident classes (CA-1 through CA-3, PGY-2 through 4).  The program may offer “A” (advanced) positions, which designate a PGY-2 position that is scheduled to begin in July of the year following the match (approximately 16 months following the match).  Within these available positions, one position each year may be designated a Gravenstein Scholar for highly qualified applicants with clear research potential who aspire to an academic teaching and research career following residency.

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Do you offer spots outside of the match?

No. All match positions must be submitted through a formal ERAS application during the match cycle. All off-cycle positions are offered through NRMP with strict adherence all NRMP and ACGME guidelines.

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Do you offer couples match spots?

Yes!  You must indicate that you are looking for a couples match spot through your ERAS application during the match cycle.

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Is there a cutoff point for years since medical school graduation?

We understand that exeptional circumstances, such as medical hardship or military service, may affect residency application for even the most competitive applicants. These will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

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Do you accept Osteopathic graduates?

Yes. We are looking for exceptional candidates, whether MD or DO, with competitive credentials, who will contribute to the Department’s strength and future of our specialty.

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Application Processing

How will I receive notification regarding my application status with UF Anesthesiology?

If you are selected for an interview, you will be invited through our online scheduling platform, Thalamus. We will send all correspondence regarding application status via e-mail using the address you provide on your ERAS application. For best results, create an e-mail account that is only to be used by ERAS and the programs to which you are applying, and do not use a SPAM blocker. You will receive notification when a decision is made on your application.

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Why haven’t I heard a decision from UF Anesthesiology regarding my application? I’ve already heard from all of the other programs to which I’ve applied this year.

In most cases, this is because UF Anesthesiology only reviews verified ERAS applications. Some programs review preliminary or unverified applications, but we do not. If it has been more than six weeks since you filed your ERAS application and you have not been notified that your application information is verified, you should contact ERAS. Typically an application’s verification is delayed due to ERAS not receiving all transcripts for their review.  If you believe an error has been made, please contact us for confirmation.

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If I am accepted, can I defer residency?

Deferred residency will only be considered on an individual basis and for exceptional reasons. Once granted a deferral, no new academic requirements will be imposed (i.e. you will not be required to retake your USMLE if it is more than 3 years old).

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Interviews for 2020-2021

Given the virtual interview format, will there be more interviews given?

We plan on interviewing the same number of residents as in years past: about 250.

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What will the virtual interview day be like?

We will have about 12 candidates per interview day. Applicants will be invited to a virtual “happy hour” with residents on the day before the interview. The typical interview day agenda will be:

  • 1 hour: Introduction/Orientation with the Program Director and Resident Recruitment Team
  • 2 hours: Interviews – each applicant will have 3 interviews:
    • An individual interview with the Program Director
    • Two panel interviews, with the panel usually consisting of one faculty member and one resident
  • 30 minutes: Conclusions and final Q&A

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When do you expect to start and finish interviewing during this cycle?

We plan to start sending out interview invitations through Thalamus in late October, with interviews running from November through January.

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How can applicants show a strong interest in the program?

In your personal statement, tell us why you want to be considered specifically for anesthesiology residency at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

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COVID-19

How has COVID-19 affected the number of cases for residents?

After the resumption of elective surgeries in May 2020, resident case numbers are back to normal. All residents are expected to meet or exceed their ACGME minimums.

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How is the pandemic affecting training and how is the program adapting?

Clinical training for residents has not changed significantly. Didactic education is virtual currently, but we intend to resume a hybrid of in-person and virtual didactics as soon as we can.

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Will there be any changes to the interview process this year due to COVID-19?

Virtual interviews are the most dramatic change. We will schedule interviews through Thalamus, and will interview the same number of applicants as in years past.

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What guidance do you have for applicants during the COVID cycle?

The AAMC has an excellent web page with advice for applicants.

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International Students

Do you accept international medical students?

We do accept International Medical Graduates, however we do not sponsor H-1 or J-1 visas. You must either be a United States Citizen or be a United States Permanent Alien and in possession of the assigned ‘green card.’

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I have a medical degree from a country outside of the United States. Can I enter your Residency Program?

You must follow our regular admissions policy, which requires citizenship or permanent resident status, a medical degree or equivalent from a United States accredited institution, and an ERAS application with letters of recommendation. Alternatively, you may consider obtaining medical licensing authority in the US; details are available at http://www.ecfmg.org/.

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USMLE

What is the minimum USMLE Step 1 score that I need to be considered?

For successful applicants, our low end average USMLE Step 1 score is a 220. Although there is no defined cut-off for performance on USMLE 1, a higher score will certainly make a candidate more competetive.

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If I failed USMLE Step 1 should I still apply?

We only consider applicants with passing first attempts; we discourage applicants with multiple attempts from applying. If there is an exceptional reason why you did not pass USMLE 1 on your first attempt, your personal statement should include this.

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Do I need to have taken USMLE step 2 to apply?

We evaluate applicants for the entering class based primarily on USMLE Step 1 scores achieved during the first years of medical school. USMLE Step 2 scores, if available, will be considered. While excellence on USMLE Step 2 can certainly enhance an application packet, we do not consider these scores to be an ultimate indicator for admission.

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Is there a minimum USMLE Step 2 CK score?

There are no minimum standards for these quantitative metrics. The further your USMLE score is below the average, the more difficult it will be for you to be considered for acceptance.

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Is there a minimum for USMLE Step 2 CS attempts?

We only consider passing first attempts and discourage applicants that have multiple attempts from applying.

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When does USMLE Step 3 need to be completed?

Most of our residents complete Step 3 early in their intern year. It is expected that a passing score will be obtained by January of the CA1 year.

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Education

What is intern year like?

A typical rotation schedule can be found on the Rotations page. Our intern year innovations include Intern Education Month in Block 8, and Basic Skills Boot Camp during the first anesthesia rotation in Block 13. Intern Education Month is a four-week nonclinical rotation filled with simulations, professional development and team-building sessions, while Basic Skills Boot Camp provides additional simulations and other teaching designed to prepare interns for their CA1 year.

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How does UF help students prepare for boards?

UF has several avenues for board prep:

  • CA1 Subspecialty Keyword Review – to prepare CA1s for both their BASIC Exam and subspecialty rotations, this weekly resident-led and faculty-moderated conference series covers keywords specific to our subspecialties of perioperative anesthesia, cardiothoracic anesthesia, vascular anesthesia, neuroanesthesia, pediatric anesthesia, acute pain, chronic pain, ambulatory anesthesia and more.
  • ITE Reviews – During November, December, and January, each division presents ITE keyword overviews as part of regular didactics.
  • Mock Oral Exams – The UF Department of Anesthesiology has seven ABA board examiners and several question-writers among its faculty. These faculty members contribute to regular organized mock oral exams in virtual or in-person formats. Many faculty members also conduct mock oral exams as part of their clinical teaching.
  • Mock OSCEs – To prepare senior residents for the ABA OSCE, the program conducts quarterly mock OSCEs using the Anaclerio Learning and Assessment Center in the UF College of Medicine’s Center for Experiential Learning & Simulation.

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Is simulation a part of the curriculum?

For interns, simulations are incorporated into Intern Education Month and Basic Skills Boot Camp, as well as regular rotation curricula. During the clinical anesthesia years, the department organizes regular subspecialty simulations, as well as oral board and OSCE simulations.

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Do you have a global health initiative?

The department sponsors *twice-yearly opportunities for qualifying residents to travel to the developing world to participate in patient care. Additionally, the program encourages qualifying residents to apply for opportunities such as the SEA-HVO Traveling Fellowship Rotation and the ASA Resident International Scholarship Program.

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How are didactics integrated into the program?

Residents have protected academic time from 6:30 – 7:30 AM, Monday through Thursday, and 6:30 – 8:00 AM on Fridays. This time is used for didactics, mock oral and mock OSCE exams, and other educational opportunities.

Do residents get exposed to sub-specialties early enough before applying for fellowships?

Yes. Rotation descriptions and a typical rotation schedule can be found on the Rotations webpage.

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Do residents take part in the most educational cases?

Residents who train at UF will experience a very complex and high-acuity case mix. The attending Anesthesiologist on Duty (AOD) ensures each day that residents are involved in cases that provide the greatest educational experience for each resident’s level of training.

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Is there training for residents to learn how to manage anesthesia care teams?

For senior residents, both the Anesthesiologist on Duty (AOD) rotation and the Transition to Practice (TTP) rotation provide these opportunities. The AOD rotation provides an opportunity for residents to work alongside the attending Anesthesiologist on Duty to evaluate the day’s cases and make OR staffing decisions. The TTP rotation is specifically designed to allow residents to lead a team of healthcare providers.

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Are there opportunities for formal mentorship with faculty or senior residents?

Each resident is assigned a faculty advisor for formal mentorship. The program also has a “big sibs/ little sibs” program where senior residents mentor incoming residents. Additionally, informal mentorship often takes place when faculty members and residents share interests, such as research and patient safety, or one of our wellness groups like the Racing Challengers (running club) or Chop It Like It’s Hot (cooking club).

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Rotation Schedules & Call

How much flexibility to residents have in their CA3 year to tailor their schedule to their interests?

Most of our residents meet their ACGME case log minimums toward the end of their CA2 year, providing flexibility for scheduling during the CA3 year.

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How much/what kind of trauma does UF see?

UF Health Shands Hospital is a Level 1 Trauma Center so residents who train with us will see traumas of all kinds.

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How often do residents take call?

Call while assigned to the Main OR is one Saturday per month, leaving 3 out of 4 weekends free from work commitments. Weeknights are covered by a night resident. Each resident completes two of these 2-week “mole shifts” per year.

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What is a typical OR day schedule?

Please go to our Residency Overview page and see the video “A Day in the Life.”

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How many hours do residents typically work per week?

While there are rotations and days that are particularly demanding, the 2019-2020 overall per-week work hour average was 50.92 hours, with interns averaging 43.85 hours, CA1s averaging 53.65 hours, CA2s averaging 54.04 hours, and CA3s averaging 50.89 hours.

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On what rotations do residents grow the most clinically?

There are opportunities for growth on all rotations; however, the Transition to Practice (TTP) rotation and “Mole” (night float) rotation stand out. TTP provides residents with the opportunity to manage patients in a direct MD-practice style as well as supervising an anesthesia care team of CRNAs and/or CAAs. This gives them a near real-life practice management experience. For the Mole rotation, while the hours can be long and cases difficult, residents can step out of their comfort zones to do cases that they might not be assigned during the day. Subspecialty rotations like pediatric anesthesia, hearts, neuroanesthesia, obstetric anesthesia, and the neonatal ICU elective also provide significant growth opportunities.

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How does the Transition to Practice rotation equip you to be an effective anesthesiologist?

On the TTP rotation, residents manage patients in a direct MD-practice style and supervise an anesthesia care team of CRNAs and/or CAAs. By the end of the rotation, residents will demonstrate significant proficiency with:

  • Managing perioperative care for all patients including preoperative evaluation, intraoperative management and postoperative follow up
  • Appropriately documenting all services provided for billing and coding
  • Using clinical, work flow, and time management skills to become an efficient and competent anesthesiologist
  • Managing a team of anesthesiology colleagues and anesthesia care providers
  • Interfacing with other health care personnel to ensure the most competent, caring, and efficient operating room possible

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Do you take all types of transplants?

The University of Florida Transplant Center’s Adult Transplant Program focuses on heart, lung, kidney, pancreas, and liver transplants. Pediatric transplants are primarily heart, kidney, and lung.

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How much exposure do first year residents have to trauma?

Anesthesiology interns typically have one four-week Emergency Medicine rotation during the year. Please see the typical four-year rotation schedule.

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How many ICU rotations do first year residents have?

Anesthesiology interns typically have two four-week rotations between the congenital hearts, surgical, and cardiac ICUs. Please see the typical four-year rotation schedule.

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Does anesthesia house any of the ICUs?

Anesthesiology faculty and residents staff the Surgical and Cardiac ICUs. There is also a senior Neonatal ICU elective.

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Are there moonlighting opportunities

There are several moonlighting opportunities for qualifying residents. Moonlighting is typically allowed a few months into the CA1 year.

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Resident/Family Life in Gainesville & Program Culture

What’s life like in Gainesville for both residents and their families?

Gainesville is a great place to live, work, play, and raise a family. Learn more on our About Gainesville page.

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Is housing affordable in Gainesville? Is it possible to own a home during residency?

Like all of Florida, Gainesville is very affordable. Many of our residents own homes here.

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What’s the area like around the hospital, and in Gainesville in general?

UF Health Shands Hospital is on the vibrant and beautiful campus of the University of Florida. You can take a virtual tour here.  Learn more on our About Gainesville page.

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How family friendly is your program?

A family-friendly culture for residents, fellows, faculty, and staff is a hallmark for the University of Florida Department of Anesthesiology.

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Is there a good support system for significant others/spouses and families?

Although we are a large program, our residents and their families are very close-knit and look out for each other. Faculty spouses are known to share in babysitting and other needs for each other. Residents and their families are also eligible to participate in all departmental and UF College of Medicine wellness activities, as well as the Employee Assistance Program.

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What do the residents do for fun?

Residents in the Department of Anesthesiology become like a second family. Residents enjoy University of Florida athletics, travel to nearby springs and beaches on both coasts, and enjoy Orlando theme parks. Residents also participate in our departmental Wellness Interest Groups, including Racing Challengers (running club), Chop It Like It’s Hot (cooking club), or Shelf Indulgence (book club). *The department sponsors several wellness events every year, including football tailgating, a post-ITE party, and a winter holiday party.

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Are there program-sponsored resident activities at the beginning of residency?

**The program holds a week-long pre-residency orientation, which includes simulation and other educational sessions, team-building exercises, and a welcome party.

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What are some of the ways that UF promotes resident wellness?

Led by the Assistant Director for Wellness, the program has established a wellness curriculum to ensure that residents have access to multiple resources focusing on the following: 1) Enhancing peer and social support networks through outdoor gatherings*, online discussions, and the establishment of a buddy system for regular check-ins between peers; 2) Addressing workload/work compression through regular meetings with residents and faculty to communicate and solicit feedback on staffing plans to ensure that residents’ voices are heard and concerns addressed; and 3) Promoting resilience by facilitating discussions on burnout, stress, academic and financial wellness, combating fatigue, and dealing with difficult times of year. For all faculty, residents, fellows, and staff, the Department of Anesthesiology has very active wellness program. The internal website includes links to resources to promote well-being during COVID-19, managing stress, gratitude, nutrition, and productivity. To promote peer networks and a healthy lifestyle, the department features interest groups such as a running club, cooking club, trivia club, exercise club and book club. Finally, UF Graduate Medical Education’s Wellness Committee’s website has resources to promote a culture of wellness, efficiency of practice/learning, and personal resilience.

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As a resident, where do you turn when something personal comes up?

Residents have several options for help with personal issues. The program director’s door is always open, as is that of the Assistant Director for Wellness or any of the other assistant program directors or the resident’s faculty advisor. Residents may also turn to their chief residents, coordinators, our department chair, or the director of housestaff affairs in the College of Medicine Office of Graduate Medical Education. Additionally, the University of Florida’s Employee Assistance Program is available to all residents and their families.

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*These items are currently on hold due to budgetary, travel, and/or social distancing restrictions resulting from COVID-19. We plan to re-activate them as soon as local, national, and global concerns subside.

**These items are currently being done virtually. We plan to resume them as soon as social distancing restrictions are lifted.