The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast

Exploring Anesthesia

Erkeda DeRouen talks to Dr. Claudia Sotillo who is the Associate Program Director for the Tufts Medical Center anesthesiology residency program. Today, Dr. Sotillo shares her experience exploring and pursuing the field of anesthesia and how you can do the same.

[01:10] Introducing Dr. Claudia Sotillo

[08:09] Why Anesthesiology?

[14:52] Qualities of a Great Anesthesiology Applicant

[17:34] How to Get Exposure to Anesthesiology 

[24:44] What Dr. Sotillo Would Change About Healthcare

[27:02] Dr. Sotillo’s Advice to Pre-meds and Medical Students 

Why Anesthesia?

At the start, Dr. Sotillo was interested in surgery but eventually grew curious about anesthesia. After taking an introductory class, she found the wide scope of the field appealing. She also liked that anesthesiologists have to establish good rapport with patients in a short amount of time. It’s their job to comfort, guide, and reassure patients before an operation. Anesthesiologists are always planning ahead to anticipate what may be needed in surgery. 

The Ideal Anesthesiology Candidate

Anything can happen during surgery, a good candidate should be adaptable to change. Anesthesiologists often work with others so they need to be a team player. Taking ownership of mistakes is also invaluable. There will be inevitable mistakes along the way, a physician should remain humble and learn to move forward. Creativity is another great skill to have.

Exploring Anesthesia

If your school has an anesthesia rotation or elective, sign up for it. If your school doesn’t have an opportunity for you, sign up for an external rotation through the Visiting Student Application System (VSAS) or through your nearest academic center. You can also get involved with the 

American Association of Anesthesiologists (ASA). They have research programs and an annual conference every October. 

Reach out to Dr. Claudia Sotillo through Twitter. Got questions, feedback, or suggestions? Send a message to Dr. Erkeda DeRouen’s Instagram or MedSchoolCoach’s Instagram

Erkeda DeRouen

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen is a graduate of Hampton University with a B.S. in Biological Sciences, followed by completing medical school at the Boston University School of Medicine. She then completed residency at The University of Maryland Family and Community Medicine Program. After that, she worked at an underserved community health center, and currently is an Associate Medical Director of a telemedicine company. She recently became one of the first 1,000 lifestyle medicine certified physicians in the world! Her areas of interest include: health equity and eliminating health disparities, service of underserved populations, HIV management, transgender care, mentorship, and lifestyle medicine.

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