Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine

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Q&A with Stanford Anesthesia's Residency Director

October 2008

A short interview with Stanford anesthesia resident Joyce Hairston

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Applicants know that residents in the program provide the best information about any residency. So Joyce Hairston, one of our CA2 residents, who came to Palo Alto from Harvard Medical School after having grown up in Maryland was nice enough to answer some questions!

Joyce, Please tell us what a typical day looks like for a Stanford anesthesia resident.

My typical work day requires getting up early, heading to Stanford to sneak a snack from the breakroom, stop by the pharmacy and get meds for my patients, set up my assigned room and go meet my first patient of the day and see how they're doing -- all the time making sure I troubleshoot any potential upcoming issues, like a difficult airway. (Then repeat setting up room and meeting patients x3-4) and then I try to figure out what patients are on the agenda for tomorrow. After work I can often get in a 45 min run. On an early day I can go for a bike ride. I often meet my boyfriend for dinner and/or reading time. Then I chat with my roommate about the latest crazy show on TV (she keeps me updated on Grey's Anatomy and other such shows); then I hit the hay.

What is your favorite part about residency?

Taking really good care of a challenging patient and making it look smooth– staying a step ahead of the surgeons, potential post-operative concerns, and keeping the patients as close to the comfort zone as possible–while making it all look easy.

What is your least favorite part about residency?

Not having a 9-5 job where it's easy to take a day off to attend to whatever important thing comes up or a job with flexibility such that you can come in at 10am and leave at 8pm if you happen to need some morning time for an appointment or to carpool.

What do you do for fun?

Fun includes going out dancing on the weekends, going running or cycling, traveling to and exploring a new part of the bay area, meeting up with and spending time with old friends in the area.

Why did you decide to come to Stanford for Anesthesia Residency?

Stanford was an easy decision for me because it offers so many things under one roof: tremendous case diversity to broaden our experiences in anesthesia and also offers challenging cases that deepen your understanding in a particular field--all the while being taught and guided by an accomplished faculty member. There are trips to other countries to do mission work which is both grueling and yet so very worthwhile and rewarding; there are tons of research labs to contribute to and advance the frontiers of science; and there are many expert faculty mentors and GME advisors to turn to who can help steer your career in the right direction. There are fellowships here which offer the opportunity to interact with other trainees a level above us as residents and that provides both insight and advice from people who have just gone through the process of securing an outstanding fellowship.

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