A letter from the Chief Resident

Welcome to the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care at the University of New Mexico! Thank you for your interest in our program. As a chief resident, I am familiar with the program's many strengths, and I would like to share some of my insights with you.

Being the only Anesthesiology residency program and the only level 1 trauma center for adults and children in New Mexico, the UNM residency program provides exceptional clinical training. Our clinical experience is through the main UNM hospital, VA hospital, OSIS (Outpatient Surgery and Imaging Services), SRMC (Sandoval Regional Medical Center), and other affiliated hospitals for elective rotations; this prepares us for any type of practice setting independently.

We are exposed to a high volume of complex cases that UNMH offers. During our OSIS and SRMC months, we have more than enough regional anesthesia experience, including peripheral nerve blocks and neuraxial blocks. Our chronic pain rotation provides unique and complex pain management experience, and we perform a wide range of procedures from the fluoro-guided steroid injections to more complex ones like kyphoplasty. Pediatric and OB anesthesia rotations are done mainly at the Pavilion building where you will be exposed to interesting and challenging cases. Apart from the abundance of cardiac and thoracic experience available at our main operating rooms, interested residents also can opt for elective away rotations in UCSD, Houston Methodist, and Arizona for Cardiac and ICU experience where we can learn different ways of doing cases and providing patient care. Our department provides housing and travel expenses for away rotations.

In addition to the diverse clinical experience, our residency strongly values resident autonomy and independence that gradually training us through the years to be more confident and capable, while providing us with readily available back up whenever we need. Through a structured system, we ensure every resident feels supported, either by a senior resident or by our friendly and approachable faculty member. We also have a one-on-one mentorship system that allows seniors and faculty to guide juniors through residency, research opportunities, and planning for the future.

Lastly, let me tell you about Albuquerque. You will find that New Mexico, the “Land of enchantment,” has a lot to offer with more than 300 clear, sunny days throughout the year. Albuquerque has well organized bike trails and protected cycling paths that allow for biking anywhere at any time. A short drive will take you to the Taos Ski Valley which is a large resort offering a world-class terrain. New Mexico offers numerous outdoor activities, including camping, many parks for hiking, and well-maintained free tennis courts, just to name a few.

In summary, if you are looking for excellent clinical training in a highly supportive and familial environment with affordable living costs in great weather, UNMH is the right place for you.

Please feel free to contact me; I am excited to answer any questions you may have about our program or living in or moving to Albuquerque.

Seong-Wook, Seo, MD
Chief Resident
SSeo@salud.unm.edu