All physicians, no matter their field of special interest, will encounter patients with acute episodes of cardiovascular, respiratory or central nervous system depression or dysfunction. They must be able to recognize these problems and promptly institute the measures necessary to provide life support for them.
A multi-disciplinary teaching approach offers many advantages in preparing doctors to properly care for these individuals. Anesthesiologists can provide expert management and counsel across specialties, from daily contact with patients whose central nervous, respiratory and cardiovascular systems have been electively depressed.
As part of a care team, they can help students acquire the practical knowledge and clinical skills needed while on the obstetrical, surgical, medical and pediatric services. In addition, an anesthetized patient can provide a model for learning how to recognize and treat some of these associated problems.