Fellowship Training

As stated in the SHANA Education Board Consensus Statement, increased complexity of head and neck anesthesia cases have created new, unique challenges for the anesthesiologist. The anesthesiologist must be proficient with different intraoperative ventilation strategies (e.g. high frequency jet ventilation, apneic intermittent ventilation, etc.), with complex airway management on induction and emergence from anesthesia, possess expert ability to safely share the patient’s airway with the surgeon, and be thoroughly familiar with all steps of the surgical procedure for devising a rationale and safe anesthetic plan.

The SHANA Education Board anticipates that increased demand for unique anesthesia skill set in head and neck anesthesia will foster advanced training in this field. It is the opinion of the Education Board that advanced fellowship training in head and neck anesthesia and airway management should be offered in the institutions with established head and neck anesthesia programs, and high and diverse surgical volume.

Currently, in the U.S. such fellowship is offered at Stanford University, University of Michigan, and Montefiore Medical Center.

The Education Board agrees that head and neck anesthesia fellowships should integrate didactic, clinical, research, and difficult airway simulation components.  It is the opinion of the Education Board that participation in clinical research should be an integral part of the fellowship training.

The Education Board recommends that advanced training of the future leaders in the field of head and neck anesthesia should last at least a year, although shorter duration may be acceptable in selected cases. Flexibility in the fellow’s curriculum should be allowed. For advanced learners, the complexity of the teaching and learning objectives can be increased early. Due to prolonged duration of the advanced training, more complex and reliable assessment tools should be developed to assess the newly acquired cognitive and psychomotor skills by the trainees.

The Education Board is happy to offer specific guidance and advice regarding the content of the fellowship training in head and neck anesthesia to the interested programs and academic centers.