Department of Anesthesiology

Day in the Life of a PGY-1 in Mentor Mode


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By Chris Huynh, M.D.

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Mentor mode is a unique rotation that allows you to experience anesthesia during your intern year, giving you a foundation to work from so that you aren’t completely lost when starting your clinical anesthesia training. During the first week or so, you’ll work under another resident so that you can quickly learn the ropes and get more comfortable with the OR environment. As you progress and become more proficient, you can act more independently, to the point where you’re functionally an early CA-1 towards the end of the month.

A typical day starts around 6:15-6:30 – you’ll arrive to your OR to set up the machine and room for your first case. Afterwards, you’ll move into the pre-op area to introduce yourself to your patient, consent them for anesthesia, and establish IV access. The first case usually starts at 7:30 and can last anywhere from half an hour to all day. Once your case has finished, you’ll bring the patient into the post-op monitoring area, sign out to the resident in charge there, and get started preparing for your next case.

This process repeats throughout the day, with break periods in the morning and for lunch, until 2:30-3:30, when your last case finishes or you’re relieved by the call team. Afterwards, you can chart review your patients for the next day, formulate an anesthetic plan for each case, and discuss them with your attending. If it’s a Monday or Wednesday, you’ll have lecture from 4-6; otherwise, your day is over!

Occasionally on mentor mode, you may spend some time working with the regional resident in performing nerve blocks, working in the pre-op clinic, or assessing patients in the post-op area to ensure they’re stable and ready for discharge or transfer back to the floor. At the end of your rotation, you will come out more confident and prepared to start your CA-1 year!