In 1968, Dr. Henrik Bendixen was recruited from Harvard to be the Chief of Anesthesia in the then embryonic school. A cosmopolitan and highly sophisticated physician, Bendixen's perspective was that full engagement in basic research and teaching within the School of Medicine was essential for the acceptance and growth of the departmentand that superior clinical performance was a prerequisite. The foundation of excellence he laid for the department has served us well.
We have identified resident education as the most important of our activities in a formal rank-ordering of our department goals. This is an unusual priority in a modern teaching hospital, since most are struggling to balance budgets, and it has profound implications.
The faculty believes that medicine is a blend of art and science, a learned profession comprising both skill and knowledge. The goal of the resident education program is to produce anesthesiologists who can practice the specialty with the authority that comes from mastery of both the knowledge base and the artfulness that the specialty requires. The role of the consultant physician in medicine today embodies the practice and the teaching of a specialty, a synthesis of the Greek word physician (healer) and the Roman word doctor (teacher). While the Romans no doubt had it in mind that the doctor would teach the patient, today's consultants teach both the patient and other physicians. For anesthesiologists, the latter often proves more challenging.