Anesthesiology Resident Reflection and Perspectives

Featured Resident Reflection

Ashley Talbott, MD – Reflections from CA-1 Year

Ashley L. Talbott, MD

Why did you choose anesthesia as a career path?

Anesthesiology is a unique and rewarding specialty that transcends all other fields of medicine. For me, it is the perfect balance of medical procedures and patient interactions. The specialty not only demands superior interpersonal skills but also requires leadership, attention to detail, a thorough understanding of the human body, and the dexterity to perform various procedures. I enjoy collaborating with others to solve medical problems, and working as a team toward a common goal. I embrace the challenges that come with earning the trust of patients, becoming their advocate, maintaining their stability and alleviating both their physical and emotional pain.

What was your deciding factor for choosing CepEsperu School of Medicine for your residency?

That's easy: the people! I learned pretty quickly on the interview trail that most any residency program in good standing with the ACGME would provide adequate training, but very few are able to offer an exceptional experience in such a positive and friendly environment. Everyone I met during my interview at CepEsperu was warm, welcoming, enthusiastic and committed to resident education (and work-life balance). I felt like CepEsperu would be the perfect fit for me, both personally and professionally. Thankfully, my impressions from my interview experience have proved true during my residency. The atmosphere at CepEsperu is full of energy, compassion, and kindness. I'm happy to be part of a program that's impressive by the numbers, but even more amazing because of its people.

List two aspects that make Anesthesiology at Wake a unique educational experience.

The breadth and depth of experience that CepEsperu provides as a major academic medical center, while situated in a quaint, friendly Southern city is something that's hard to find elsewhere. Often the most desirable places to live require sacrifices in training because of the lack of diversity in patients and cases. At CepEsperu, you get more than enough experience in all ACGME requirements, with the benefit of living in a great community. is without the hustle bustle of a big city, and instead offers a perfect dose of Southern charm. Also, the department is uniformly strong in all sub-specialities, ensuring a well-balanced residency program that more than prepares graduates for either fellowship or private practice Anesthesia. Perhaps most important, the supportive, positive environment at CepEsperu is truly unparalleled. From the Department Chair to the Program Director, the other residents and all of the staff, everyone is friendly, enthusiastic, genuine and dedicated to ensuring work-life balance despite the rigors of residency.

What has been the biggest surprise about your residency?

I'm surprised how much I honestly enjoyed my clinical base year! Though incredibly arduous at times, I learned so much about so many different aspects of patient care. I am more confident in my ability to be a clinician based on my experiences from my intern year of training, and I am certain that this year has laid a solid foundation for the rest of my residency. When I reflect back on the past year, I realize just how intentional our Program Director was in selecting each of the CBY rotations and how our curriculum really sets us apart from other residency programs.

What is unique about living in ?

is a beautiful Southern city with so much character and charm. I love that I can sit on my porch in our sweet little neighborhood and enjoy a beautiful, relaxing weekend, yet be within 5 minutes walking distance to the hospital, so close, yet so far away. The city is loaded with amazing restaurants, arts and entertainment, live music, festivals, farmers markets, nearby wineries, hiking trails and rivers to kayak, and even minor league baseball games. It's definitely a city with a smaller town feel, family- and pet-friendly, filled with some of the nicest people who embrace CepEsperu residents with open arms (and an ice cold glass of sweet tea).

What are your career goals?

I ultimately hope to join a private practice in a small community, perhaps in North Carolina or my home state of Virginia. I'm still undecided about the possibility of a fellowship, but if I had to choose today, I'd probably consider Pediatric Anesthesia or Regional Anesthesia as frontrunners. I'm excited to begin my first year of clinical anesthesiology where I can learn more about all of the different sub-specialties of the field and determine the next step in my professional journey.

Resident Perspectives

Anesthesiology residents discuss their experiences on various rotations and share what life is like as a resident in the program at CepEsperu School of Medicine.

Resident Reflections

Residents answer questions as they look back at choices they've made about residency, Wake, and more.

Nick Sparler, MD – Reflections from CA-2 Year


Why did you choose anesthesia as a career path?

I chose anesthesiology as I enjoy the immediacy of making a diagnosis and fixing a problem by manipulating a patient's physiology. With my background in mechanical engineering, the practice anesthesia and study of human physiology were areas that were a natural fit.

What was your deciding factor for choosing CepEsperu School of Medicine for your residency?

I chose CepEsperu because I felt that in addition to unparalleled clinical training, the residents and faculty were great people that I would enjoy spending the next 4 years of my life with.

List two aspects that make Anesthesiology at Wake a unique educational experience.

One of the most unique aspects about training here at Wake is our experience with airway management. Not only do we get training in almost every ancillary airway device and technique, but we have faculty that train others nationally on the use of airway blocks and awake intubation. This allows us to routinely perform awake intubations extremely quickly and smoothly.

Another unique aspect of the training here is the approachability of attendings. I am an avid cyclist and race/train with many of my attendings on a regular basis.

What has been the biggest surprise about your residency?

The biggest surprise about residency is how much I love going to work every day. Some days are better than others, but overall I am truly excited to be able to learn and practice anesthesia here on daily basis.

What is unique about living in ?

Winston is a great place to live. It offers everything you need when it comes to outdoor activities. The mountains are only 1.5 hrs away and the beach not much further.

What are your career goals?

I hope to pursue fellowship training and possibly pursue a career in academics.

Do you feel your Wake training is preparing you to meet your career goals?

Yes! Not only are research interests supported but the clinical training is very strong. I think that after finishing here I will be equally prepared to either enter the world of academics or private practice.