Efforts to improve operating room efficiency may threaten clinician training. Therefore, we designed a prospective, observational study to determine the actual time spent teaching anesthesiology residents during the interval from patient-on-table to skin incision and to determine whether anesthesia teaching in the peri-induction period increases the time to surgical incision. This study was conducted in an inpatient operating room suite of a tertiary academic medical center. Of 1558 cases examined, 75% had an element of teaching (mean percent teaching per case = 46.4). A 33% decrease in teaching occurs when the attending anesthesiologist concurrently directed care in 2 rooms (P < 0.001). The percent teaching significantly increased as a function of ASA physical status classification and time of day of surgical case (P = 0.001). Teaching accounted for a mean increase of time to incision of 4.5 ± 3.2 min, but represented only 3% of the mean surgical case length (207 ± 132 min). We conclude that teaching occurs in the majority of cases in the operating room and although it contributes to increased time to incision, this increase is insignificant compared with the time required to complete the surgical procedure.