All physicians, no matter what their field of special interest, will encounter patients with acute episodes of cardiovascular, respiratory, or central nervous system depression or dysfunction. Therefore, all physicians must be able to recognize these problems and promptly institute the measures necessary to provide life support for these patients.
Since the expert management of these problems lies within the purview of many specialists, a multi-disciplinary teaching approach offers many advantages in preparing you to properly care for these patients.
Anesthesiologists, by virtue of their interest in, and daily contact with patients whose central nervous, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems have been electively depressed, are well-qualified to contribute to this joint effort. They, along with other specialists, can help students acquire that practical knowledge and the clinical skills needed while on the obstetrical, surgical, medical and pediatric services. In addition, the anesthetized patient provides a model for you to learn how to recognize and treat some of these problems.