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Last Updated: August 03, 2021

Anesthesiologist as a Career

Anesthesiology, in simple terms, is a discipline wherein one specializes in the utilization and the application of anesthetics or anesthesia. It involves the detailed study of human physiology, anatomy (essentially neuroanatomy), biochemistry, pharmacology, and medical physics.
An anesthesiologist is a physician (M.D. or D.O.) specializing in medicine relating to anesthesiology. An anesthesiologist is also known as a medical practitioner, who would administer anesthesia or injections throughout a surgical procedure. However, the job of an anesthesiologist requires them to not only provide the correct type of anesthesia carefully but also to pay attention to adequate pain relief, to monitor the patient closely for any kind of discomfort or change in vital signs, and to check and manage a patient till consciousness is regained. Doing so is of utmost importance as it impacts the condition of the patient before the surgery, during the surgery, and post-surgery.
The duty of an anesthesiologist can never be undermined. As much as a doctor is essential to perform and complete a surgical procedure, it is also the responsibility of the anesthesiologist to make sure that the process transpires smoothly and successfully, with no complications. Being an indispensable part of various medical procedures, there will always be a major requirement for an anesthesiologist in the healthcare industry, and choosing a career as an anesthesiologist can, therefore, be a fruitful and lucrative one.

Requirements to Become an Anesthesiologist

Educational Requirements

As any other practitioner in the medical field, an anesthesiologist has to go through an extensive educational process, which includes:

Qualitative Requirements

The job of an anesthesiologist is nerve-wracking and quite stressful. The condition of a patient may change at any moment or the situation may take a turn for the worse, but in the face of unpredictability, an anesthesiologist must stay calm and possess a presence of mind. To begin with, just like in any other profession, anesthesiologists must make a rough plan on how the procedure might go and be prepared to tackle all kinds of unpredictable and unwanted situations.

Furthermore, the anesthesiologist is required to monitor the patient's medical records and other health issues (if any), as that could eliminate any kind of complication for the patient, the anesthesiologist, as well as the surgeon. As mentioned above, some patients might have an allergic reaction to anesthesia. Hence, an aspiring anesthesiologist needs to know how to deal with such situations quickly and efficiently, without panicking or leaving room for a mistake to occur.
Many anesthesiologists choose to specialize in a particular category like pediatric, obstetric, or cardiac anesthesia by completing an additional year of fellowship which gives them the experience to practice medicine in that specific field.

Major Responsibilities of an Anesthesiologist

The duties of an anesthesiologist are commonly defined as dispensing anesthesia to the patient before the start of surgery, but there is so much more to this profession: Anesthesiologists administer one of the four main types of anesthesia:
  1. Local anesthesia- It may be either a topical ointment or an injection used to numb a small area of the body. Used for small procedures to numb the particular area only for the duration of a small procedure.
  2. Monitored anesthesia care- This is administered usually via an IV. It can cause the patient to lose consciousness but can be awakened easily.
  3. Regional anesthesia- This is used for anesthetizing an entire body part. Performed by blocking the associated nerves to prevent them from sending signals to the brain.
  4. General anesthesia- It is most commonly associated with the layman use of the term anesthesia. Administered to the patients via IV or breathing tubes.
The work of an anesthesiologist will primarily depend on the setting that they are working in. Anesthesiologists are needed not only in a hospital but in all settings where surgeries take place. This includes medical offices, surgical centers, emergency rooms, ICUs, and Urgent care centers. Anesthesiologists work depending upon the surgical schedule on a particular day, but they are expected to be on-call to assist in emergencies.

Anesthesiologist Specialties

An anesthesiologist may choose to specialize in a particular area by completing a year-long fellowship in that field. Some popular anesthesiologist specialties are:

Salary of an Anesthesiologist

Like any other medical professions, the income of an anesthesiologist depends upon a number of factors: Anesthesiologists easily earn a 6 figure income. According to the 2021 statistics, the average annual income of an anesthesiologist may vary from around $345,000 to $452,000, but based upon the factors above, an anesthesiologist can earn over $500,000 in a year.

Benefits of Being an Anesthesiologist

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