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Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2006 Oct;19(5):526-30.

How to teach regional anesthesia.

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Klinik und Poliklinik für Anästhesiologie und operative Intensivmedizin, University of Münster, Münster, Germany.



The demand for peripheral nerve blocks and neuroaxial blocks from both patients and surgeons has increased over the last few years. This change in attitude towards regional anesthesia is prompted by the insight that adequate perioperative pain management leads to earlier ambulation, shorter hospital stay, reduced cost and increased patient satisfaction. To avoid serious complications of these techniques structured residency programs need to be available.


Until 2004, the Residency Review Committee for Anesthesiology in the United States required a minimum of 50 epidurals, 40 spinals and 40 peripheral nerve blocks during residency. Similarly, the German Society for Anesthesia and Intensive Care required 100 neuroaxial blocks and 50 peripheral nerve blocks. In 2004 the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine endorsed standardized guidelines for regional anesthesia fellowships which regulate the administrative, equipment and educational demands.


This review introduces the reader to the different teaching methods available, including cadaver workshops, three-dimensional videoclips, video filming, ultrasound guidance and acoustic assist devices as well as demonstrating their advantages and disadvantages. Moreover, an overview is given of future residency training programs, which integrate administrative, material and educative demands as well as the teaching means into the daily clinical routine.

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