Perceived Benefits and Barriers to a Career in Neuroanesthesiology: A Pilot Survey of Anesthesiology Clinicians

Shobana Rajan, Marie A. Theard, Jane Easdown, Keshav Goyal, Jeffrey J. Pasternak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Despite advances in perioperative neuroscience, there is low interest among anesthesiology trainees to pursue subspecialty training in neuroanesthesiology. We conducted a pilot survey to assess attitudes about neuroanesthesiology fellowship training. Materials and Methods: A confidential survey was distributed to an international cohort of anesthesiology attendings and trainees between January 15, 2017 and February 26, 2017. Results: A total of 463 responses were received. Overall, 309 (67%), 30 (6%), 116 (25%), and 8 (2%) of respondents identified themselves as attendings, fellows, residents, and "other," respectively. In total, 390 (84%) of respondents were from the United States. Individuals typically pursue anesthesiology fellowship training because of interest in the subspecialty, acquisition of a special skill set, and the role of fellowship training in career planning and advancement. Overall, 64% of attendings, 56% of fellows, and 55% of residents favored accreditation of neuroanesthesiology fellowships, although opinion was divided regarding the role of accreditation in increasing interest in the specialty. Respondents believe that increased opportunities for research and greater exposure to neurocritical care and neurological monitoring methods would increase interest in neuroanesthesiology fellowship training. Perceived barriers to neuroanesthesiology fellowship training were perceptions that residency provides adequate training in neuroanesthesiology, that a unique skill set is not acquired, and that there are limited job opportunities available to those with neuroanesthesiology fellowship training. Conclusions: In this pilot survey, we identified several factors that trainees consider when deciding to undertake subspecialty training and barriers that might limit interest in pursuing neuroanesthesiology subspecialty training. Our findings may be used to guide curricular development and identify factors that might increase interest among trainees in pursuing neuroanesthesiology fellowship training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-171
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • career choice
  • fellowship
  • medical education
  • neuroanesthesiology
  • neuroscience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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