How to become an Anesthesiologist
Anesthesiologist Job Duties
Skills and Qualities to become an Anesthesiologist
Leading Organizations in this Field
Top Cities for Anesthesiologist Jobs
Other Careers of Interest
Anesthesiologists receive training in perioperative medicine. This includes pre-operative evaluation, life support during surgery, pain control, post-operative recovery, intensive care, and pain management.
Many anesthesiologists administer anesthesia to relieve pain during surgical procedures. They are responsible for the patient's care before, during and after surgery. Before surgery, the anesthesiologist evaluates the current medical condition of the patient, including an analysis of any pre-existing medical conditions.
The anesthesiologist is part of the surgical team, assisting in planning the surgery. During surgery, the anesthesiologist oversees vital life functions such as breathing, heart rhythm and blood pressure, the administration of pain control, and diagnostic evaluations during surgery if necessary.
After surgery, the anesthesiologist maintains patient comfort while managing life support and any possible complications that occurred during surgery. Anesthesiologists provide critical care medicine while the patient remains in the intensive care unit. Anesthesiologists are also responsible for the management of cardiac and pulmonary resuscitation, advanced life support, and stabilizing and preparing patients for emergency surgery.
Anesthesiologists encounter complicated and difficult medical and surgical situations where the patient's life in at stake. While they are trained to have the skills to meet these challenges, they must have the innate quality of being calm under pressure. An anesthesiologist must be able to be comfortable making decisions in the high-stress and fast-paced environments of hospital surgery.
Anyone wishing to become an anesthesiologist must value the intense doctor-patient relations that are required to perform the job well. Anesthesiologists meet with patients before surgery to discuss medical history, current medications, the risks and benefits of their anesthetic choices, answer questions and allay patient anxiety. The anesthesiologist also serves as the patient's advocate during the surgery. A long-term relationship can develop between doctor and patient during the treatment of chronic pain or in critical care units.
Even in solo practice, an anesthesiologist must work as part of a team. Anesthesiologists work continuously with a variety of medical professionals, no matter what their work environment or sub-specialty may be. Anesthesiologists must enjoy practicing during a variety of medical situations, since they work with all types of surgeries.
As of 2007, anesthesiologists made between $165,000 and $200,000 per year, depending on the sector. The sectors with the highest wages were physician's offices, hospitals, and universities. Offices of various health practitioners such as chiropractors and occupational therapists paid the lowest wages to anesthesiologists.
Some notable educators in the field are James L. Robotham, M.D., the Chair of Anesthesiology for the University of Rochester in New York and Ronald G. Pearl, M.D., Ph.D., a Professor and Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at Stanford University.
The American Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists (ASCCA) was founded to address the unique concerns of physicians certified in Critical Care Medicine. The goal of ASCCA's members is to promote a multidisciplinary approach to critical care medicine.
The Council on Surgical and Perioperative Safety (CSPS) is a coalition of professional organizations from various disciplines whose members are involved in the care of surgical patients.
The Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology (WLM) is located in the headquarters of the American Society of Anesthesiologists in Park Ridge, Illinois. This museum is one of the world's most prestigious collections devoted to anesthesia history. The Wood Library-Museum also serves as a specialized medical library.
Anesthesiologists can work almost anywhere. Anesthesiologists can practice individually, join a group practice, or become associated with a medical center or hospital. Anesthesiologists are also needed in hospital-affiliated ambulatory care clinics. The highest concentration of anesthesiologist jobs in 2007 were in Champaign-Urbana, IL, Sioux Falls, SD, and Burlington-South Burlington, VT. Wilmington, DE was one of the top paying cities in 2007.
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