Day in the Life of a Resident

A Typical Day for Our Residents

A regular day in the operating rooms at Main Hospital, where most of CA-1 year is spent, involves: 

  • Reviewing the cases the night before with your attending 
  • 6 a.m.: Arrive and set up your operating room 
  • 6:30-7 a.m.: Morning teaching conference 
  • 7 a.m.: Meet your patient and complete your history and physical 
  • 7:30 a.m.: First case start 
  • 5 p.m.: Finish the day or get relieved (typically around 3 p.m. if pre-call) 
Paws for Patients dog Anna with U-M Anesthesia resident and faculty


At the Main Hospital, CA-1s generally take one to two 24-hour calls per month on Saturday or Sunday. CA-1s also get assigned to two to three holding room (preoperative area) days a month, where they perform preoperative IVs, arterial lines, and prepare for awake fiberoptic intubations to be performed in the OR. They may also accompany the CA-3 to floor airways. CA-1s perform 1-2 weeks of night float a year and this runs from Monday to Friday.

A typical week may comprise full OR days Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, a holding room day on Thursday, which typically runs from 6 a.m.-2 p.m., and then another OR day on Friday with pre-call relief at 3 p.m. prior to a 24-hr call on Saturday.

Beyond the Main Hospital ORs, CA-1s have cardiac anesthesia, neuroanesthesia, pediatric anesthesia, obstetric anesthesia, ambulatory anesthesia, ICU, preoperative clinic, PACU, VA hospital, and regional anesthesia rotations to maximize subspecialty and various practice setting exposure. 


CA-2 year consists largely of subspecialty rotations. Cardiac anesthesia, obstetric anesthesia, and the ICU all have independent rotating call schedules. Other rotations, such as vascular and thoracic anesthesia, share a call schedule with the Main Hospital with protected OR days to ensure excellent exposure to those subspecialties. These OR days are like those at the Main Hospital. The call schedule for CA-2s at the Main Hospital is called CA-2 back-up and comprises arriving at 3 p.m. during the week (6 a.m. on the weekends) to help end the workday until relieved for home call through 7 a.m. the next morning. 


CA-3s step into a more supervisory role as they transition to fellows and early career attendings. When on call at the Main Hospital, CA-3s arrive at 3 p.m., secure airways during codes, supervise CA-1s in the ORs, oversee the PACU, and manage the workflow of the ORs at the end of the day and overnight. After the call day, CA-3s are ensured a post-call day off followed by a day in the holding room helping with preoperative procedures and performing urgent and emergent airway management outside of the operating room throughout the hospital. 

Life in Ann Arbor and at Michigan Medicine

Our residents enjoy all that Ann Arbor and Michigan Medicine have to offer. Learn more

Kayak on the Huron River