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Medical Student Programs

Anesthesiology Interest Group

The Anesthesiology Interest Group (AIG) provides medical students with opportunities for exploring anesthesiology by facilitating student-faculty networking, research, and clinical exposure. The AIG hosts annual events including an introductory meeting, a student-resident mixer, and workshops for residency applications and interviews. The AIG also assembles and distributes an updated list of departmental research faculty interested in working with medical students. 

Anesthesiology Electives for Medical Students

General Anesthesiology
The general anesthesiology elective, offered at multiple clinical sites, is intended for future anesthesiologists or those physicians for whom acquiring the knowledge and skills utilized by anesthesiologists will be important (i.e. anesthesiology, emergency medicine, critical care medicine, surgery). Curriculum Outline/Study Guide (PDF) 

Pain Medicine
This four-week rotation elective provides exposure to predominantly chronic and cancer pain patients. Medical students see pain patients predominantly at the UPMC St. Margaret Pain Medicine Center and the Pain Evaluation and Treatment Institute.

Subspecialties in Anesthesiology
This elective is offered for students who have completed a general anesthesiology elective and want to develop expertise in one or more of the anesthesiology subspecialties and those interested in non-anesthesia specialty areas such as internal medicine, family practice, pediatrics, cardiology, neurosurgery, otolaryngology, obstetrics, transplantation medicine, pain therapy or outpatient/preoperative consultation.

Anesthesiology research electives provide opportunities for medical students to learn basic research methodology, including conceiving hypotheses, experimental design, protocol development, data analysis, and statistical evaluation of research results.

Information about all the electives is available on the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine’s course catalog. Click on “MS-3 and MS-4” under “search the catalog”; on the next page, select “Anesthesiology” under the “Department” drop-down menu.

Medical Student Mentored Scholarly Project

At the University of Pittsburgh, all medical students engage in a mentored scholarly project; this program has been incorporated longitudinally throughout the curriculum as an indispensable component of their medical education and has been broadly defined to provide a wide range of opportunities to appeal to individual students' interests and aspirations.

The intent of this effort is to expose students to the mechanics of scientific investigation; teach them how to develop a hypothesis and how to collect, analyze, and interpret data to support it; encourage them to pursue research opportunities; and help them understand the structure of thought underlying the practice of medicine. This goal is achieved through course work leading up to a mentored scholarly project designed to enhance critical and analytical thinking skills along with the creative application of scientific principles.

Scholarly projects take a variety of forms. Some students select traditional laboratory-based or clinical research experiences, while others opt for less obvious choices, like developing and supporting a hypothesis concerning new and innovative ways to provide adequate health care for the uninsured/underinsured. Many students initiate their scholarly project by pursuing a summer research program while others might take a year off to pursue an intensive research program at Pitt or elsewhere. Students can select a project that complements their individual aspirations. Some might find the experience rewarding enough to consider a career as a physician-scientist. The goal in every case, however, is to enhance their ability to think independently, critically, and creatively and, thereby, become better equipped to practice medicine in the 21st century.

Medical Student Research Training

We offer several opportunities for medical student research training

Contact Information

William R. McIvor, MD, FASA
Director, Medical Student Programs

Cynthia DiBernardo
Medical Student Coordinator