Perioperative fellowship curricula in anesthesiology: a systematic review

Can J Anaesth. 2015 Apr;62(4):403-12. doi: 10.1007/s12630-014-0299-2. Epub 2014 Dec 17.


Purpose: Perioperative medicine is emerging as a unique area of medical practice. Anesthesiology graduates are particularly well suited for this role given their training. The purpose of this systematic review is to summarize the various fellowships being offered in perioperative medicine and the scope of clinical perioperative practice that currently exists. The common areas of competency covered in these perioperative medicine fellowships are also identified.

Source: On July 28, 2014, we conducted a search of the literature from January 1, 1946, to July 28, 2014 through MEDLINE®, EMBASE™ and the World Wide Web for definitions of perioperative medicine and for curricula for fellowships in perioperative care throughout the world.

Principal findings: Currently, seven institutions offer postgraduate fellowships in perioperative medicine, including two Canadian universities (University of Manitoba and University of Toronto), two American universities (Stanford University and University of California, Irvine), two Australian institutions (University of Western Australia, and the Alfred Hospital), and one New Zealand site (North Shore Hospital). Apart from fellowships, we also identified other postgraduate training routes. Graduate master's programs in perioperative medicine were identified in the United Kingdom and in Australia. A new intensive five-day perioperative medicine course was also identified. The scope of the curricula of the fellowships, the main focus of our review, is not uniform, although common elements emerged, including a research component and exposure to pain medicine.

Conclusions: There is a paucity of published literature on what perioperative care entails as well as what perioperative fellowship curricula should include. While we suggest certain areas of focus to include, the subspecialty of perioperative medicine would benefit from a cohesive and consensus-based curriculum to which academic fellowships could adhere.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesiology / education*
  • Curriculum
  • Fellowships and Scholarships*
  • Humans
  • Perioperative Care / education*