Medical student exposure to anesthesiology through the Pre-clerkship Residency Exploration Program: impact on career interest and understanding of anesthesiology

  • Michael SmythEmail author
  • J. Thomas Toguri
  • Todd Dow
  • Thomas Sebastian Haupt
  • Alysha Roberts
  • Kavita Raju

To the Editor,

According to the Canadian Residency Matching Service (CaRMs), the number of medical students seeking a career in anesthesia increased from 106 students in 2008 to 151 students in 2019.1 Despite the increasing interest in anesthesiology, the number of residency positions has remained relatively unchanged, ranging between 99 and 111 spots, over the same time period.

Students begin to shape their career decisions early in medical school, often prior to clerkship.2 To assist students at Dalhousie University, we launched the inaugural Pre-clerkship Residency Exploration Program (PREP) in 2018. The PREP provided second-year medical students with a multi-faceted exposure to ten medical specialties, including anesthesiology. The course included participation in half-day electives, informal career discussions, speciality-specific workshops, procedural skills sessions, and simulations over a two-week period.3We surveyed PREP attendees to determine understanding and interest in...


Conflicts of interest

None declared.

Editorial responsibility

This submission was handled by Dr. Gregory L. Bryson, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Canadian Journal of Anesthesia.

Financial disclosures



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    The Canadian Residency Matching Service. R-1 match interactive data – CaRMS. Available from URL: (accessed May 2019).
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Copyright information

© Canadian Anesthesiologists' Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dalhousie Medical SchoolDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

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