February 1, 2014 Volume 78, Number 2
Anesthesia STAT! Kevin A. Blackney, M.D.


Come young resident, and soon you will see,

How with study and experience, you’ll be confident like me.

No longer an intern, discharge summaries have passed,

Now for the real work, and it will come fast.

You’ll start with tutorial, and learn from the text,

While assuaging your anxiety for what will come next.

For soon you’ll be in the O.R., all on your own,

Heed this advice, its importance has shown.

When watching your monitors, if one should go flat,

Run through halls harking “Anesthesia STAT”!


Now you’re a first-year, still learning your trade,

Let’s sit and review all the mistakes you have made.

First you were found, cowering low on the floor,

All because the sats were reading ninety-four.

Then there was the time you paged “please help now!”

And I arrived to find the surgeon having a cow.

I helped you explain in a less frenetic pace,

“A liter of fluid isn’t too much for a six-hour case!”

But last week you calmed, you wore your big kid hat,

Until you panicked and called your tenth “Anesthesia STAT!”


Now you’re a senior resident, CA2 and CA3,

In your mind you’re becoming the best there could be.

Last week you intubated one-handed and blind,

Your program director thinks you’re truly a find.

All your cases are perfect, “Prop, Sux, tube,”

Your charting’s pristine, you could never get sued.

The finish line is near, you’ll soon be a grad,

And the last few months of residency aren’t all that bad.

But I am quite concerned when you said, “What is that?,”

When I reminded you the importance of “Anesthesia STAT!”


Alas you’re an attending, big, bold and true,

No surgeon will know that you’re still kind of new.

You command the O.R., amongst the anesthesia lords,

And people are still buzzing about your written boards.

Nothing can stop you, for you write the law,

You remember how you left the oral preceptors in awe.

Now here are two residents, each both a CA1,

(Snicker, snicker), I think you will find, it’s not always fun.

So come young attending, and I’ll explain herding cats,

You’ll understand the meaning when both residents cry …

“Anesthesia STAAAT!”



Kevin A. Blackney, M.D. is a CA-2 anesthesiology resident, Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.