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Anesthesiology Residency International Elective

International Electives and One Week Missions

The Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital values the participation of staff and residents in international electives and missions. The department has a long history of “giving back” by supporting staff and residents to provide anesthesia in various countries and continents around the world on a regular basis.

March 2012 Boston Globe article: Mission of healing is a joint effort.

Anesthesiology Residency Program International Electives

For more information on overseas anesthesia opportunities, including trip reports from former residents, funding opportunities and literature, please visit

General Information

  • International electives/missions must take place during CA-3 year (but not the last three months of CA-3 year, unless away elective is at another ACGME-accredited anesthesiology program).
  • International electives/missions are dependent on fulfilling all case minimum requirements. Residents are expected to be in good academic standing, and the resident's application will be reviewed by the Chair of the Clinical Competency Committee.
  • Approval from the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) must be obtained to recognize the elective/mission as part of your residency training.

Application Timeline for One-Month International Electives and One-Week Missions

Departmental Requirements

  • Must be submitted along with CA-3 schedule requests.
  • Submission of application to Dr. Sascha Beutler (brief description of elective/mission and statement of reason/interest in participating).
  • Include the International Elective/Mission in your CA-3 requests (of note: week long missions do NOT count toward the total number of electives as a CA-3).

ABA and RRC requirements

  • Submission of application To the ABA must be at least FOUR MONTHS before the start of the elective. E-mail Cynthia O'Donnell for an example ABA application; the draft will then be reviewed by Dr. Beutler and edited before submission. Please refer to the ABA approval checklist for more details.

Currently Established Rotations

  • Team Heart: Residents travel to Kigali, Rwanda along with a multidisciplinary team including cardiac anesthesiologists, surgeons, perfusionists and nurses, in order to provide anesthesia for valve repairs for rheumatic heart disease. Rotation lasts 1-2 weeks.
  • Abu Dhabi: In partnership with the Cleveland Clinic, residents spend 1 month rotating through the anesthesia department at their Abu Dhabi site.
  • Operation Smile/Global Smile Foundation: 1 week mission trip working with these organizations to provide anesthesia care for cleft lip and palate surgeries - various sites.

Here is one of our residents Amy (far right) from the class of 2020 during her trip to Peru with Global Smile Foundation. Amy (far right) from the class of 2020 during her trip to Peru with Global Smile Foundation.


Erin (2nd from left) and Warren (3rd from left), both class of 2020, spent 2 weeks in Guayaquil, Ecuador with Global Smile Foundation during their CA-3 year. Erin (2nd from left) and Warren (3rd from left), both class of 2020, spent 2 weeks in Guayaquil, Ecuador with Global Smile Foundation during their CA-3 year.


Residents are also encouraged to apply for opportunities through the American Society of Anesthesiologists and the Society for Education in Anesthesia.

Descriptions of Past Rotations

All residents returning from the international elective are required to complete the Resident Experience Form. Overall, residents learned how anesthesia is delivered overseas, oftentimes with limited resources and with high case acuity. Residents uniformly found their experiences to be immensely valuable.

  • Dominican Republic - Residents provided anesthesia for orthopedic surgery in an urban hospital in Santo Domingo.
  • Ecuador - Residents performed preoperative evaluation and anesthesia for cleft lip and cleft palate repairs, in conjunction with the Global Smile Foundation.
  • India - Residents provided anesthesia for general and orthopedic surgery in an urban hospital in Punjab.
  • Mali - Residents provided anesthesia for cleft palate repairs and dental surgery in an urban hospital.
  • Peru - Residents provided anesthesia in Lima and Cusco with Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO).
  • Rwanda - Residents provided anesthesia for aortic/mitral valve repairs for rheumatic heart disease in an urban hospital in Kigali.
  • Tanzania - Residents gave lectures to nurse anesthetists and volunteered in an 800 bed urban hospital in Mwanza.


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