Medical Students

Medical Student Simulation


The Department of Anesthesia introduces medical students to anesthesia as a specialty, enabling them to develop concepts and technical skills related to resuscitation, airway management, and care of the unconscious patient; as well as offering intensive study in the specialty through advanced anesthesia rotations.

Clinical Anesthesia Rotation

ANES: 8301

This introductory two week rotation in the Department of Anesthesia is for second, third or fourth year medical students, and will acquaint them with the perioperative management of patients.


Students will attend departmental Grand Rounds, Morbidity & Mortality conferences, and resident didactic lectures. Eight additional lectures designed specifically for medical students will also be presented, including basic facets of airway management and anesthesia basics; preoperative evaluation, intraoperative monitoring, and pharmacology I and II; fluid/blood management; and pain medicine. Students receive extensive one-on-one clinical instruction during daily operating room assignments with departmental anesthesia providers. Clinical opportunities are generally provided in the Main Operating Rooms, but experience may also include the Ambulatory Surgery Center, Electroconvulsive Therapy Suite,  Urology Suites, and other satellite locations.

The final grade for this rotation is based on clinical performance evaluations and a computerized examination. This course serves as a prerequisite for the Anesthesia Senior rotation (ANES:8401).

NOTE: The Department of Anesthesia offers an Externship program for Iowa medical students in their senior year. It is recommended that students interested in applying for this program complete the ANES:8301 two week Anesthesia rotation during their second or third year. To be eligible for the Anesthesia Externship, a student must have completed the two week rotation prior to start of the Externship in May. Anyone chosen for the Externship must also take the Anesthesia Senior Rotation (ANES:8401) rotation by early in their fourth year.

Senior Anesthesia Rotation


Students who participate in the four-week senior anesthesia rotation will have the opportunity to:

  • Participate in advanced clinical anesthesia management of surgical patients with co-existing medical problems
  • Gain clinical experience in various forms of anesthesia, including: general, cardiothoracic, neurosurgical, obstetric, pediatric, and regional/pain, (spinal, epidural, peripheral nerve block) 
  • Increase their practical experience in airway management, mask ventilation, endotracheal intubation, LMA placement, as well as other alternative airway techniques
  • Learn appropriate medical management of surgical patients under anesthesia, including pharmacology, cardiovascular and pulmonary physiology

SNICU Rotation


Students who participate in the four-week SNICU rotation will have the opportunity to participate in:

  • Evaluation and treatment of seriously ill patients in intensive care
  • Ventilator management
  • Evaluation of pulmonary function
  • Monitoring of cardiovascular status, fluid balance and acid based problems
  • Advanced monitoring techniques

Chronic Pain Rotation


This two-week elective clinical experience is designed for medical students in their third or fourth years, and is designed to increase understanding of multimodal pain management in the outpatient setting. Through readings, classroom discussions, and experiential activities, physicians-in-training will learn how to interview and assess patients with pain (including application of physical assessment and psychology fundamentals previously learned); work with a multidisciplinary team to determine the type of pain and/or diagnosis (including application of physiology and pathology fundamentals learned previously); and develop a multimodal treatment plan (applying and building on pharmacology and disease state management fundamentals previously learned).

Students will work with physician faculty members, pain fellows, residents, a pain pharmacist, and pain psychologists. Students will learn basic interventional approaches to treating pain and observe interventional pain procedures, and will subsequently document a clinic visit on at least two patients with coaching and feedback by faculty. Students will participate in all scheduled didactic sessions, and will also present one clinical case at morning didactic rounds.