Jessica Yeh, M.B.B.S.
Thank you for your interest in the UAMS Anesthesia Residency program!
We understand how important it is to choose a residency program that feels like the right fit for you. It can be a difficult decision especially without having the benefit of being able to visit in person. As someone who chose to come to UAMS solely based on my interview experience with very little prior knowledge of Arkansas, I can empathize with how daunting it can be.
The aspect that drew me to UAMS first was the people. Residents in this program develop strong bonds with each other right from the start of intern year. Frequent social activities organized by our Wellness Committee as well as a class retreat prior to the start of CA-1 year have been memorable moments for us. Residents are not only close to those within their own class but across classes as well. Although the practice of anesthesia is a very independent activity within the operating room, anesthesia residency actually relies quite heavily on close cooperation and teamwork. When a Level 1 trauma rolls in at 3 a.m., I have confidence that the other residents on call with me are clinically dependable during the case. But we are also likely to grab a post call drink at the end of the shift.
We have both a culturally and clinically diverse faculty with a unique range of experiences and skill sets. Attendings and residents at UAMS develop a great rapport with each other and that relationship lends itself to trust within the operating room as well as friendship outside of it. CA-1s are all assigned a faculty mentor at the start of the year but have plenty of opportunity to seek out another mentor if they develop an interest in a specific area such as regional anesthesia, cardiac, pediatric anesthesia, research, etc.
Although you will meet your minimum ACGME case numbers at any anesthesia residency, you will absolutely exceed your case numbers at UAMS easily and early on. Residents become comfortable with complex cases especially with ASA 3’s and 4’s being the majority of our patient population. The benefit of not having to worry about our case numbers is that we are subsequently able to choose the cases we want to do based on our preference and not out of necessity and can also step into the supervisory role of an attending anesthesiologist during our CA-3 year.
Living in Little Rock has been a unique experience for me. I grew up in a suburb of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and moved to Melbourne, Australia at age 19 where I also went to medical school. Although there are aspects that I miss from living in a big city, I definitely appreciate how easy it has been to live in Little Rock. The cost of living is relatively low, there is no commute and very little traffic, and it is extremely dog friendly! My partner and I adopted 2 dogs here during residency and often take them on one of the many hiking trails that are just a 20 minute drive away. We were also pleasantly surprised by the number and quality of breweries here. Next year, I will be pursuing a pediatric anesthesia fellowship (location TBD pending the Match!).
We hope we can provide some insight into the experience you might have as a future Anesthesia Resident at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and encourage you to use us as a resource to help guide your decision making. We look forward to meeting you!
Mikayla Troughton, M.D.
Welcome to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Anesthesiology Residency program! Coming from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, I was starting a brand new adventure in Arkansas. From the day of my interview, I felt a great sense of camaraderie and family, and coming to Little Rock continues to be the best decision I could have made. I look forward to welcoming you virtually to our outstanding program!
The clinical opportunities at UAMS are unparalleled, as we are the only Level 1 trauma center in the state of Arkansas, with almost 3,000 trauma admissions each year, approximately 19,000 surgical cases and a multi-state catchment area. Additionally, UAMS is the main high-risk obstetrics center in Arkansas, and last year the Division of Obstetric Anesthesia was designated a Center of Excellence by the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (SOAP). This status is awarded to institutions who demonstrate excellence in obstetric care, setting benchmarks for optimal care to improve standards nationally. Arkansas Children’s Hospital is our free-standing Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center offering 18,000 anesthetics per year, giving you a wide complement of cases within pediatrics. All of this to say that you will be introduced to complex surgical patients, with multiple comorbidities early in your CA-1 year, and consequently far exceed ACGME case minimums in all areas. Whether you decide to stay within general anesthesia or pursue a fellowship, our residents perform exceptionally and match nationally at competitive fellowship programs.
In addition to clinical experience, UAMS is dedicated to residents educational experience. We have significantly expanded our didactic schedule, and have 24/7 access to a state of the art simulation center, which is also one of the nationwide MOCA (Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology) centers. There are several opportunities to get involved with resident council, teaching medical students or co-residents, and volunteering for events such as the Gift of Sight, which was held at UAMS on April 24, 2021. We have ongoing research opportunities within obstetrics, regional, chronic pain and neuro – just to name a few.
The city of Little Rock offers an awesome food and brewery scene, lots of festivals (such as fall Harvest Fest) and many outdoor activities. Living here is incredibly affordable on a resident salary, with about half of our residents becoming homeowners during their four years. Little Rock is very family oriented and pet friendly, and there’s even a bar downtown dedicated to the pups, called Bark Bar. In our CA-3 class alone, eleven of our residents have at least one dog and we will often head to one of the several dog parks together! Little Rock is large enough to have your favorite shopping spots, but small enough to get across within 20 minutes driving, which is incredibly convenient for those early morning starts!
From the moment I set foot in Little Rock, I was warmly welcomed from the Great White North and the fantastic people continue to shape my experience here. Our residents are very close knit, our support staff and coordinators are always here for us at any time of day (take it from someone on a visa!), and our faculty are not only mentors, but become friends as well. Within this academic year, I expect our anesthesiologist led CV ICU to take shape, therefore bringing more complex cardiovascular patients through UAMS. As for myself, I have developed an interest in both Obstetric and Pediatric Anesthesiology and will be heading back to the Windy City to complete my Obstetric Anesthesiology fellowship at Northwestern University. Thank you for considering UAMS for your anesthesiology journey, and I look forward to welcoming you to one of our several virtual interviews!