At Mass General, each resident begins with a unique month of tutorial, designed to make the introduction to anesthesia smooth and successful.
During the tutorial month, two staff members are assigned to each resident. Each staff member works one-on-one with the resident for two weeks. This format provides a continuity of learning that allows the resident to grow quickly without having to repeat steps. New residents who are being tutored are given first choice of cases from the entire operating room schedule. This choice ensures that the residents get cases that match their ability level and present specific management issues for the resident to work on.
We also start residents in small groups, usually four at a time. This format, in conjunction with giving the tutorial staff first choice of cases, allows the tutor/tutee to be in OR cases that are appropriate to teach the elementary skills of anesthesia. If everyone started at once, there probably would not be 25 rooms each day presenting straightforward cases suitable for new residents.
During the tutorial month, residents are also provided with a basic lecture each afternoon, a weeklong machine course, and a day at the Harvard Center for Medical Simulation. Tutorial provides a gentle introduction to the field of anesthesia for new residents at the Mass General and prepares them to provide a simple anesthetic in a healthy patient in a safe manner. This tutorial is the foundation on which the resident will build on for the next three years.