Chief Resident’s Letter

Welcome to the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care at the University of New Mexico! Thank you for your interest in our program. As chief residents, we are familiar with the program's many strengths, and we would like to share some of our insights with you.

UNM Hospital is home to the state’s only Level 1 Trauma Center with busy trauma services in Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, and Acute Care Surgery.  We are exposed to a high volume of complex cases including advanced laparoscopic surgery, pediatric and neonatal surgery, vascular surgery, burn and plastic surgery as well as thoracic and cardiac surgery. In addition, we are a tertiary referral center for high risk obstetric patients with complex maternal-fetal comorbidities. We rotate through multiple locations including UNM hospital, the VA hospital, OSIS (Outpatient Surgery and Imaging Services), and other affiliated hospitals for elective rotations.

During the OSIS rotations, residents quickly become proficient in peripheral and neuraxial blocks for outpatient surgical procedures. Our Acute Pain Service provides regional anesthesia for thoracic, abdominal, obstetric, orthopedic and vascular cases as well as providing consultation for perioperative cases. Our chronic pain rotation provides interdisciplinary training in all aspects of Pain Medicine, including interventional, medical, and multimodal approaches.

Your anesthesia education will begin with one-on-one guidance from senior residents and faculty with increasing amounts of autonomy as you progress through your training, thereby preparing you to become a confident and independent consulting anesthesiologist. Through a structured system, we ensure every resident feels supported, either by a senior resident or by our friendly and approachable faculty. We have a one-on-one mentorship system that allows seniors and faculty to guide juniors through residency, research opportunities, and planning for the future.

Lastly, let us tell you about Albuquerque. You will find that New Mexico, the “Land of enchantment,” has a lot to offer with more than 300 clear, sunny days throughout the year. Albuquerque has miles of well-organized mountain and road biking trails throughout the city. Northern New Mexico is home to beautiful high alpine lakes, fly fishing, white water rafting, and world class skiing at Taos Ski Valley to name a few. Take a hike up to Wheeler Peak, New Mexico’s highest peak at 13,161 feet, or drive south to our state’s largest lake, Elephant Butte. Whatever you choose, you’ll discover New Mexico offers some of the best outdoor recreation in the Southwest.

In summary, if you are looking for comprehensive clinical training in a highly supportive and familial environment with affordable living, endless outdoor activities and great year-round weather, UNMH is the right place for you.

Please feel free to contact us; we are delighted to answer any questions you may have about our program.

Ivette Perez Munoz, MD and Kanwal Merchant, MD
Chief Residents
iperezmunoz@salud.unm.edu and kmerchant@salud.unm.edu