Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine

Five Questions for Tom Kyler, MD

Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Medical School: University of Arizona
Third Year/Anesthesia Chief Resident

Question 1: Describe a typical day as a resident.
5:30 am wake up. Dodge traffic as I ride my bike to Stanford. The day is variable, but includes doing several cases, the all important food breaks, and checking the preops for tomorrow’s schedule. In the afternoon we may have a lecture and maybe journal club. Frequently I have meetings with fellow Chief Residents or Program Director. We discuss schedules, education issues, and solve conflicts that arise. I get home anywhere from 5:30 pm to 8 pm unless I’m on call.

Question 2: What is your favorite part about residency?
Who would have thought that work could be so much fun? I think one of Stanford’s best attributes is the people. Our attendings, fellow residents and department staff are outstanding. We even get along with the surgeons!

Question 3: What is your least favorite part of residency?
It is always disheartening to see poor outcomes in patients. I remember vividly a patient who died in the ICU soon after an uncomplicated bypass surgery. How can you feel good after something like that? Fortunately it’s a rare experience and knowing that everyone worked hard and did their best helps. Ultimately, it’s humbling. Sometimes we think we have so much control over physiology and outcomes and just then a random event changes everything.

Question 4: What do you do for fun?
I always joke that when I get free time I enjoy sleeping, eating, doing laundry, and cleaning my apartment. These things are at a premium in residency! In reality, I like (and have the time) to hike, visit the City and beaches, and try new restaurants.

Question 5: Why did you decide to come to Stanford for Anesthesia Residency?
That’s easy. I wanted the best training available to me. I wanted a supportive atmosphere to work in that was conducive to learning. Stanford has lived up to my expectation and I’m honored to train here.

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