The Best Medical Schools for Anesthesiology

October 23, 2023
6 min read


Reviewed by:

Jonathan Preminger

Former Admissions Committee Member, Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine

Reviewed: 10/17/23

Thinking about becoming an anesthesiologist? Below we’ll cover what are the best medical schools for anesthesiology. 

Doctors administering anesthesia

The field of anesthesiology plays a critical role in modern medicine, ensuring the safe and comfortable delivery of healthcare services during surgical procedures. Anesthesiologists possess unique expertise in patient care, pain management, and life-saving interventions. 

Aspiring anesthesiologists must receive training from medical institutions to embark on this specialized career path. Choosing the right medical school is a pivotal decision for any aspiring physician, and it becomes even more crucial when pursuing a specialization as demanding as anesthesiology.

In this article, we’ll delve into the best medical schools for anesthesiology, considering academic reputation, faculty expertise, clinical opportunities, research initiatives, and overall program comprehensiveness. 

Let’s get started!

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Top 10 Medical Schools for Anesthesiology

Here are the top 10 medical schools for anesthesiology. 

Johns Hopkins University

Ranking: #1 in Anesthesiology

Location: Baltimore, Maryland  

Average GPA:  3.92

Average MCAT: 521

Acceptance rate: 6.3%

In-state tuition: $62,850 per year 

The anesthesiology program at Johns Hopkins is known for its commitment to excellence in all aspects of education, clinical practice, and research. The program combines a strong basic and clinical sciences foundation with extensive hands-on training in anesthesia techniques, patient management, and perioperative care. 

Clinical rotations are crucial in the program, exposing students to various surgical specialties and patient populations. Under the guidance of experienced faculty preceptors, students gain practical experience in administering anesthesia, monitoring patients' vital signs, managing pain, and handling potential complications. 

The program places a strong emphasis on patient safety and the development of critical decision-making skills.

Students benefit from a collaborative and supportive learning environment, where they work alongside renowned faculty members who are experts in their respective fields.

The Johns Hopkins anesthesiology program graduates are well-prepared to pursue careers in academic medicine, private practice, research, or leadership roles. They are equipped with the necessary knowledge, technical skills, and critical thinking abilities to navigate the complex and rapidly evolving field of anesthesiology.

Harvard University

Ranking: #2 in Anesthesiology

Location: Boston, Massachusetts   

Average GPA: 3.90

Average MCAT: 520

Acceptance rate: 3.4%

In-state tuition: $66,284 per year 

Harvard University School of Medicine offers a fellowship program in anesthesiology. This fellowship collaborates with Massachusetts General Hospital and offers aspiring anesthesiologists the opportunity to train for two to three years. 

Participants in the program would have the option to join a research group at:

  • Mass General
  • Harvard University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Harvard School of Public Health

The program provides participants with experience in various scientific disciplines in anesthesiology. This includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Comparative outcomes
  • Endocrinology
  • Epidemiology
  • Genetics
  • Metabolism
  • Neurobiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology
  • Toxicology

This program prepares anesthesiologists to contribute meaningfully to advancing knowledge and become leaders in academic medicine, research, and innovation.

Duke University

Ranking: #5 in Anesthesiology

Location: Durham, North Carolina  

Average GPA: 3.83

Average MCAT: 517.6

Acceptance rate: 2.9%

In-state tuition: $63,310 per year

Duke University School of Medicine’s anesthesiology residency program is highly regarded for its commitment to exceptional clinical training, research opportunities, and academic excellence. 

As one of the top-ranking anesthesiology residency programs in the United States, it offers aspiring anesthesiologists a comprehensive and immersive educational experience.

Duke Medical School has esteemed faculty known for their leadership in practice and research. They prioritize resident education and career development, enhancing the nationally-acclaimed Duke Anesthesiology Residency Program. 

Interns gain experience across different services, while CA-1 and CA-2 residents build knowledge and receive subspecialty training. CA-3 residents customize their training and engage in research. The program offers comprehensive didactic sessions organized by faculty leaders, ensuring up-to-date content. 

The University of California-San Francisco

Ranking: #4 in Anesthesiology

Location: San Francisco, California

Average GPA: 3.87

Average MCAT: 517

Acceptance rate: 2.8%

In-state tuition: $38,073 per year 

Over the past 50 years, the University of California San Francisco’s anesthesia residency program has been a leading provider of exceptional clinical training, shaping influential leaders in the field. 

The program allows residents to learn and deliver patient care across six medical centers. The school prioritizes residents who excel academically, embrace challenges and opportunities, demonstrate enthusiasm, and exhibit strong teamwork skills. 

Residents are encouraged to engage in scholarly activities and pursue additional fellowship training. The anesthesia residency program also offers innovative pathways for critical care and research training enabling residents to be fully equipped to enter the medical field.  

The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Ranking: #5 in Anesthesiology

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Average GPA: 3.78

Average MCAT: 515

Acceptance rate: 18%

In-state tuition: $50,265 per year 

The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor anesthesiology residency program offers a comprehensive and rigorous curriculum that prepares residents to provide exceptional patient care in various clinical settings.

The anesthesiology residency program also strongly emphasizes teaching, with dedicated faculty members committed to resident education. Didactic sessions, simulations, and case conferences are organized to enhance knowledge and foster critical thinking skills.

Research is encouraged and supported within the program, allowing residents to engage in scholarly activities and contribute to advancements in anesthesiology. The program has a strong research infrastructure and collaborations with other departments and institutions.

The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor anesthesiology residency program equips residents with the skills, knowledge, and confidence needed to excel as competent anesthesiologists and leaders.

The University of Pennsylvania (Perelman)

Ranking: #5 in Anesthesiology

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

Average GPA: 3.95

Average MCAT: 521

Acceptance rate: 6%

In-state tuition: $61,586 per year 

Robert Dunning Dripps founded the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care at UPenn over 75 years ago. It offers an anesthesiology residency program with a robust didactic curriculum, lectures, case discussions, and simulations. 

Residents have access to cutting-edge resources and technology to enhance their learning experience. Collaboration and interdisciplinary interactions are also emphasized at Perelman, with opportunities to work alongside healthcare professionals from various specialties. This fosters a well-rounded approach to patient care and interprofessional teamwork.

Perelman's program also provides residents with opportunities for leadership development, teaching experiences, and involvement in quality improvement initiatives. Residents can access various career guidance resources and support to help them navigate their professional journey.

Stanford University

Ranking: #7 in Anesthesiology

Location: Stanford, California  

Average GPA: 3.89

Average MCAT: 518

Acceptance rate: 4.3%

In-state tuition: $63,747 per year 

The anesthesia residency program at Stanford Medicine is a prestigious and highly sought-after program known for its excellence in training future anesthesiologists.

The residency program at Stanford University is dedicated to training exceptional anesthesiologists. In the initial year, residents acquire fundamental anesthesia skills in routine cases, closely supervised by faculty, primarily at:

  • Stanford University-Packard Children's Hospital
  • Veterans Administration (VA) Palo Alto Health Care System
  • Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC)

Residents take on night and weekend calls with faculty supervision as they advance in training. In the second half of the first year, all residents receive two months of specialized training in subspecialties. The program incorporates training in the Preop Clinic and Anesthesia Simulator Center from the outset of residency.

The second year provides residents with expanded exposure to various subspecialties within anesthesiology, enabling them to gain extensive experience in those areas.

Overall, the Stanford University anesthesiology residency program prepares residents to become highly skilled anesthesiologists with the knowledge, technical expertise, and leadership skills necessary to excel in their careers.

New York University (Grossman)

New York University

Ranking: #8 in Anesthesiology

Location: New York, New York 

Average GPA: 3.92

Average MCAT: 522

Acceptance rate: 2.1%

In-state tuition: $61,811 per year (full scholarship also available)

The Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative Care, and Pain Medicine at NYU offers a highly regarded three-year residency program. The program emphasizes clinical experience, independent thought, and scholarship.

Residents receive comprehensive didactic education and have opportunities to engage in research across various areas of anesthesiology. The program emphasizes the relationship between research and clinical practice, resulting in a strong performance on certification examinations. 

Graduates of the program have secured positions in prestigious institutions, and several have become department chairs and clinical leaders.

The first year focuses on general and subspecialty rotations, while the second year allows residents to refine their skills and explore career interests. The third year involves complex patient cases and elective rotations catered to personal interests. 

The NYU anesthesiology residency program offers a comprehensive education, preparing residents to become skilled clinicians and researchers.

The University of California-Los Angeles

Ranking: #9 in Anesthesiology

Location: Los Angeles, California 

Average GPA: 3.8

Average MCAT: 516

Acceptance rate: 8.8%

In-state tuition: $40,562 per year

The University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) anesthesiology residency program is dedicated to training anesthesiologists through a comprehensive curriculum that combines clinical excellence, research opportunities, and academic development.

Residents in the program gain extensive experience in various clinical settings, including renowned UCLA hospitals and affiliated medical centers. They work closely with faculty members who provide mentorship and guidance throughout their training.

Residents are encouraged to pursue research opportunities and have access to cutting-edge resources and support to pursue these interests, present at conferences, and publish their work in medical journals.

Furthermore, the program offers a comprehensive didactic curriculum, including lectures, case discussions, simulation-based training, and interdisciplinary conferences. This ensures residents acquire the necessary knowledge and critical thinking skills to excel in their practice.

The UCLA anesthesiology residency program also emphasizes resident well-being and provides a supportive learning environment. There are mentorship programs, wellness initiatives, and opportunities for networking and social activities to promote a healthy work-life balance.

Moreover, UCLA’s anesthesiology residency program equips residents with the skills, expertise, and leadership qualities necessary for successful anesthesiologist careers. 

Columbia University 

Columbia University

Ranking: #10 in Anesthesiology

Location: New York, New York

Average GPA: 3.90

Average MCAT: 522

Acceptance rate: 3.9%

In-state tuition: $66,816 per year

The anesthesiology residency program at Columbia University offers residents a comprehensive curriculum that prepares them to become skilled and knowledgeable anesthesiologists. 

Residents receive training across various clinical specialties, including general surgery, cardiovascular surgery, neurosurgery, obstetrics, pediatrics, and critical care medicine. 

Columbia's anesthesiology residency program provides residents with a strong foundation in clinical anesthesia, critical thinking skills, and patient care. Residents gain hands-on experience in various anesthesia techniques, perioperative management, pain management, and intensive care medicine.

The program also emphasizes interprofessional collaboration and teamwork. Residents can work alongside other healthcare professionals, fostering a comprehensive and patient-centered approach to care.

Columbia University Medical School is committed to resident education, well-being, and professional growth. The program offers a supportive and stimulating learning environment, with dedicated faculty and resources to support residents throughout their training.

How to Discover More Medical Schools for Anesthesiology

If finding good medical schools for anesthesiology is tricky for you, don’t worry. Our med school selection tool will make the process easy. You can even search for schools based on your interest in anesthesiology to get the most accurate results possible! 

FAQs: Best Anesthesiologist Schools

If you still have questions about the best anesthesiologist schools, check out these frequently asked questions. 

1. What Is the Best School to Become an Anesthesiologist?

The best school to become an anesthesiologist is Johns Hopkins University, followed by Harvard and Duke University

2. What GPA Do You Need to Be an Anesthesiologist?

Medical school is quite competitive, and applicants must ensure they exceed the application process. Medical school applicants must aim for a GPA of 3.5 or higher to be deemed competitive. 

3. What Is the Best Med School for Anesthesiology in Texas?

For anesthesiology, the best med schools in Texas are the University of Texas at Austin, followed by Texas A&M University and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. 

Final Thoughts

Becoming a fantastic anesthesiologist begins with selecting the right medical school. The institutions highlighted in this article represent the pinnacle of excellence in anesthesiology education, offering exceptional programs that shape the field's future leaders. 

However, it is important to note that the best medical school for anesthesiology ultimately depends on individual preferences, goals, and circumstances. Prospective students should consider their aspirations, learning styles, and long-term career objectives when making this decision. 

It is advisable to research and visit potential schools thoroughly, speak with current students and faculty members, and carefully evaluate the offered programs before making a final choice.

Good luck with your future endeavors!

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