Clinical & Academic Resources

 A plethora of clinical, academic, and mentoring resources is essential to supporting & enhancing the obstetric anesthesiology fellow's professional development at Vanderbilt. 

  • Ample Clinical Experience:  The annual delivery rate at VUMC continues to rise (4,576 in 2013; > 4,600 in 2014), with a high percentage (>85%) of anesthesia/analgesia involvement.This program's abundant, high quality case exposure is a centerpiece of fellow learning.Case Volume
  • Vast Diversity of Clinical Cases:
    • Uncomplicated, low-risk care; 
    • High-risk tertiary referrals with full spectrum of obstetrical & medical complications;
    • Several perinatal care models (traditional-individual obstetrician, Maternal Fetal Medicine referral, CenteringPregnancy®, two midwifery practices, family-centered cesarean birth).
  • Consultations: Fellows conduct 45-50 formal consultations annually for complicated obstetric cases, which represents a great source of high-yield learning. Many problems for which management has become famliar or routinized (e.g. super-morbid obesity, buprenorphine/methadone maintenance, etc.), or which may be handled via phone call, do not demand in-person advanced consultation. The fellow coordinates this decision process through communication with referring obstetrician, patients, and core faculty.
  • Inter-professional Collaborative Care:  The Division of Obstetric Anesthesiology enjoys an excellent collaborative relationship with the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology faculty & residents, Maternal-Fetal Medicine faculty, obstetrics nursing staff, midwives, neonatologists, and a host of consultants.
  • Focus on Quality:  The disciplines participating in women’s health are highly oriented to quality care and improvement. Fellows participate in and lead the multi-faceted program which includes:
    • daily collaborative team practice,
    • twice daily inter-professional briefing sessions,
    • monthly Perinatal Quality Improvement Committee meetings,
    • Dept. of Obstetrics & Gynecology MM&I conferences,
    • and the Obstetric Anesthesiology quality improvement program.
  • Fetal Surgery:  Vanderbilt was one of 3 trial sites in the original NICHD Management of Myelomeningocele Study (MOMS trial).  Vanderbilt's inter-disciplinary fetal surgery program continues to be very active, with approximately 50 fetal surgery cases performed annually.
  • Cultural Diversity:  There are ample opportunities for developing cultural & linguistic competence, owing to Nashville’s large and diverse immigrant population, with over 40 languages represented. The increasingly important skills needed to recognize & address unique culture, language, and health literacy of diverse patients and communities are emphasized & promoted by faculty and interpreter services staff with extensive expertise and interest in this area.
  • Emphasis on Education:  The division’s education program is well-developed & comprehensive, including a protected daily 1-hour morning didactic conference, unique & innovative assessment tools, and a purposeful supervision & feedback structure. Fellows participate actively, including daily teaching, supervision, and assessment of the many learners rotating in the division (anesthesiology residents, student nurse anesthetists, medical students). By year's end, fellows have acquired vast experience and a large repertoire of education/assessment tools, which they may readily apply in their subsequent leadership roles. Of note, fellows spend most of their time learning & mastering through actively practicing & assuming the roles of subspecialty consultant, teacher, team leader, and supervisor, under the close guidance & mentorship of the core faculty. The wealth of clinical learning opportunities during weekday hours far exceeds that which is needed for an outstanding training, making weekend & night duties largely unnecessary.
  • Simulation: The division participates actively in inter-professional team training, crisis management training, and individual & procedural simulated practice (Center for Experiential Learning & Assessment; Noelle®, Laerdal Patient Simulator Mannequins).
  • Procedural Expertise:  The full complement of analgesia & anesthesia procedures are performed: labor analgesia (neuraxial, inhalation nitrous oxide), cesarean anesthesia (neuraxial, general), post-partum anesthesia (e.g., hemorrhage, retained placenta), antenatal anesthesia (e.g., cerclage), ultrasound guided techniques (e.g., neuraxial block, transversus abdominus plane block), etc.
  • Research & Scholarly Opportunities are abundant in a variety of areas, including chapters/reviews (all faculty), placental perfusion lab (JD, CB, RP), inhalation nitrous oxide analgesia (SS), fetal surgery (RP), simulation (JB), inter-professional practice & education (MR, JB), qualitative research approaches to parturient perspectives, quality assessment & education (MR), database research (excellent clinical & research informatics resources & support), and numerous collaborations with faculty in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology. The Department of Anesthesiology and Vanderbilt University offer a wide variety of resources that support & promote effective, high quality research & scholarly productivity.
  • Fellow's are provided with protected time to actively participate in several additional learning activities: 
  • Professional Societies:  The faculty are active participants & leaders in state, national, & international professional associations (SOAP; ASA; OAA; AMEE, Tennessee Society of Anesthesiologists), and eagerly support fellows’ membership & participation in these organizations, as well as their contributions & attendance to annual meetings.

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