Its been 18 months since my last anesthesia rotation… way back when I was just starting my fourth year of medical school… and this morning I had to take my anesthesia in-training exam (ITE). For us interns, it doesn’t “count”, per se, but there’s something unnerving about going into an exam knowing that you’re going to do horribly bad. I’ve tried prepping for it throughout internship, but there’s no substitute to actually working with an anesthesia machine, seeing our pharmacologic agents in action, and troubleshooting common problems encountered in intraoperative care.
Compared to the USMLE exams, the ITE’s format was much simpler: 225 multiple choice questions. 4 hours. Hit start and go. Take breaks at your leisure.
There were a lot of questions I knew from studying for shelf exams in med school and random tidbits I’ve picked up as an intern; however, there were countless dosing questions and other anesthesia-related concepts which I probably missed. A great deal of these must have been a breeze for the seasoned upper-level resident, but for this measly intern, 1 hour and 50 minutes was enough for me to finish and be on with my day off.
Now that I’ve at least been exposed to the exam and its content, I’m feeling much more confident about my prospect of doing well when it really DOES count. 🙂