"Matching in a competitive anesthesiology residency program such as the one at Mayo requires careful and dedicated preparation throughout medical school," writes the Mayo Clinic Department of Anesthesiology.
With so many highly qualified applicants to choose among, anesthesiology residency programs also look for involvement in extracurricular activities, community service, and research. According to the 2018 NRMP Program Director Survey:
Leadership qualities are cited by 71% of programs as a factor used to make interview decisions.
Demonstrated involvement or interest in research is cited by 29% as a factor used to make interview decisions.
Volunteer/extracurricular activities are cited by 50% of programs as a factor used to make interview decisions.
The preclinical years are an excellent time to build these credentials
3 ways to Build your Credentials in Anesthesiology as a Preclinical Student
The Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research (FAER) offers the Medical Student Anesthesia Research Fellowship (MSARF) to students interested in a career in anesthesiology research and perioperative medicine. This is a two-month research experience with the opportunity to present findings at the ASA Annual Meeting.
Joining your school's Anesthesiology Interest Group is an excellent way to learn more about the specialty, and may offer the chance to meet faculty. If your school doesn't have a group, a guide to help establish one is available at the website for the American Society of Anesthesiologists.
Anesthesiology residency programs value leadership, and we encourage you to consider such roles in organizations during the preclinical years. The American Society of Anesthesiologists has a Medical School Component, and you can take a more active role in this organization by running for one of six positions available in the Medical Student Governing Council.
For more information on how to stand out in Anesthesiology as a preclinical student, turn to our book Success in Medical School: Insider Advice for the Preclinical Years.