An anesthesiologist is a physician who sedates patients safely during surgery to design and implement plans.
Before surgery, an anesthesiologist will consult with you to assess your safety and preparation, administer anesthesia to mitigate or remove pain, monitor your vital signs and change anesthesia during surgery, and monitor pain management and healthy recovery after surgery.
A patient must consult the anesthesiologist for an examination before an operation. The anesthesiologist will draw up an operation plan that will take into account the patient’s individual needs. The anesthesiologist supervises drug administration on the day of the procedure to stop the patient from experiencing pain.
Training to Become an Anesthesiologist
You must begin with a bachelor’s degree to become an anesthesiologist. Your target is medical school, so your undergraduate studies must provide you with strong science and liberal arts knowledge base, and you should take the MCAT before graduating.
Earning a high MCAT score and volunteering or completing health care internships could improve your chances of being accepted by your chosen medical school. It typically takes four years to complete medical school.
Prospective anesthesiologists complete a four-year internship in anesthesiology following medical school. Residents train to learn how to practice their preferred specialty alongside highly skilled medical school staff. Some physicians pursue their course to further specialize in anesthesiology specialties.
Specialties as an Anesthesiologist
Each anesthesiologist is qualified to support surgery, but many are also skilled in specific areas. An anesthesiologist can specialize in the following fields.
- Cardiac anesthesia – For heart surgery
- Pediatric anesthesia– For pain management and anesthetics in children
- Neuroanesthesia – Related to surgery for the nervous system, brain, and spinal cord
- Obstetrics – Offering pain relief during labor and delivery
Average Salary of an Anesthesiologist
According to CareerExplorer, the average salary for an anesthesiologist in the United States is around $267,020 per year. Moreover, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average yearly pay for anesthesiologists in the United States was $232,830 in 2010. The median yearly pay was $407,292 in that year.
Job Prospects for an Anesthesiologist
Job growth for anesthesiologists is expected to rise by 24 percent between 2010 and 2020, faster than the average for all occupations over that period.
To meet the needs of the aging baby boomer generation and work in underserved low-income and rural areas, more doctors, including anesthesiologists, will be needed. Through gaining board certification and seeking advanced specializations through fellowships, anesthesiologists will improve their job prospects.
Anesthesiologists study and obtain additional board certifications in specialties such as critical care medicine, pain medicine, hospice, palliative medicine, sleep medicine, and pediatric anesthesiology. Afterward, they can continue to learn about specialized topics in their profession.
Another career option is branching out into higher education and research for anesthesiologists. You can seek research grants that will bring new knowledge to your profession.
Anesthesiologists make several professional contacts during their training years and through their network can learn about job opportunities. Anesthesiologists can also find jobs by getting in touch with physician recruiters, who are often used to fill vacancies by hospitals and practices.
Registered journals and associations such as the American Medical Association Journal and the American Anesthesiologist Society are providing job boards and other professional resources.
Overall, an anesthesiologist helps patients relieve the pain in every surgery and operation. If you are interested in starting a career in anesthesiology, start it with a bachelor’s degree in science. For more science-related careers, click here.