STARTprep is an extension of the AIM Lab’s successful START program. START – Successful Transition to Anesthesia Residency Training, is a year-long program during internship designed to help incoming residents feel more prepared to begin anesthesia residency training. STARTprep, takes up where START ends. It is a one-year curriculum designed to provide CA-1 residents with competency for the ABA written basic examination at the end of their CA-1 training year.

The curriculum for STARTprep will be based on the official ABA basic written exam curriculum, as published on the ABA website.

The STARTprep course is built using open-source learning tools, including the Moodle learning management system, as well as multimedia and mobile learning tools.

STARTprep is a research project from the Stanford Anesthesia Informatics and Media (AIM) Lab, a non-profit research laboratory based in the Department of Anesthesia at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Where did the idea for STARTprep come from?

The idea for STARTprep was originally developed by Drs. Larry Chu and Kyle Harrison at the SEA Fall meeting in San Diego, California in 2010. The project was originally named STARTed, but recently renamed to make the purpose of the project as a board preparation course more obvious.

Who is leading STARTprep?

Dr. Larry Chu, Director of the Stanford Anesthesia Informatics and Media (AIM) lab leads the project and serves as the technical lead and is a co-leader of content development. Dr. Chu’s longtime educational collaborator, Dr. Andrea J. Fuller has signed on to co-lead the project’s content development.

Who are the partner institutions involved with developing and testing STARTprep?

As a partner institution and member of the STARTprep consortium, each member is responsible for developing and delivering course content on quarterly deliverable timetables to the Stanford Anesthesia Informatics and Media (AIM) lab. These institutions will also complete an IRB research arrangement with Stanford University to provide research data to the AIM lab for publication by the project leads, Larry Chu, MD, Andrea J. Fuller, MD, and Kyle Harrison, MD.

Consortium members are required to complete a copyright transfer of materials developed for STARTprep to the course leaders. In exchange, each partner institution gains access to the technology and content platform for its anesthesia residents in preparation for the ABA written examination. There is no fee or charge for partner institutions to use STARTprep.

The current partner institutions include:

  • STANFORD UNIVERSITY (Larry Chu, MD and Kyle Harrison, MD)
  • University of Colorado (Andrea J. Fuller, MD and Glenn Gravelee, MD)
  • George Washington (Jeffrey Berger, MD)
  • Harvard University – Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Rob Lekowski, MD)
  • Harvard University – Massachusetts General Hospital (Meredith Albrecht, MD)
  • Yale University (Viji Kurup, MD)
  • Tufts University (Iqbal Ahmed, MD)
  • University of Alabama (Susan Black, MD and Lee Ann Riesenberg, MD)
  • University of Rochester, New York (Carol Diachun, MD)
  • University of Massachusetts (Manisha Desai, MD)
  • Tulane University (Michael Yarborough, MD)
  • UC San Diego (Daniel E. Lee, MD)


How is STARTprep being funded?

The Stanford Anesthesia Informatics and Media (AIM) lab receives funding from the Stanford University School of Medicine Department of Anesthesia, as well as charitable donations from the San Antonio Foundation, award monies from the International Anesthesia Research Society, and income through project-based intiatives with organizations such as the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology. We use these income streams to pay for the technical platform development of STARTprep and teaching assistant staffing time to run the program.

How much does STARTprep cost?

Because STARTprep is currently a research project, the Stanford Anesthesia Informatics and Media (AIM) lab does not charge a fee to use the program. Only members of the consortium of anesthesia programs helping to develop content and test the program will have access to STARTprep.

When will STARTprep launch?

STARTprep is a year-long curriculum that will launch July 1, 2013-July 15, 2013.

  • Stanford AIM lab
  • July 1, 2014
  • Online learning
  • board exam preparation
  • ABA written basic exam

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