27 JanThe Job Description, Career Future, and Qualifications needed to become an Anesthesiologist

Anesthesiologists are responsible for administering anesthesia while a patient is undergoing a surgery or medical procedure as well as for supervising the nurse anesthetists. Their job also includes tasks, such as consulting with other doctors, evaluating patient’s health, managing the anesthesia doses as well as choosing the right type of anesthesia for a particular patient.

Where do Anesthesiologists work?

Anesthesiologists are required in many settings, from hospital surgical units, labor and delivery unit to intensive care, dental offices, and outpatient surgical centers.  Furthermore, for those who prefer university settings, there are many research and teaching positions opened. The number of employed anesthesiologists in the USA in 2010 was 34,820, which is going to increase by 22% in the next ten years as predicted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics

What are the Academic Qualifications?

If you want to work as an anesthesiologist, you will have to devote 12 years of your life, four years for an undergraduate program and a minimum of eight years for the post-graduate studies. As an undergraduate, you can major in chemistry, biology, or medicine, so that you will be better prepared for the post-graduate program. As a post-graduate, you will spend four years at a medical school, a year as an anesthesiologist intern and a minimum of three years finishing a residency program, although for most, it takes four years for a residency program to be finished. Many anesthesiologists opt to finish a fellowship program as well, which will last an additional year.

During the first year of your residency, you will gain experience in performing fundamental anesthesia under a trained eye of an experienced anesthesiologist. Next, you will start working in the broaden anesthesia sub-specialties range, which will include critical care, neuroanesthesia, obstetric, and cardiovascular, while the third year will prepare you for how to deal with the most difficult cases. This will give you a fair idea of what you want your subspecialty to be. In case you want to work as a researcher or a teacher, you will need to join the research-intensive academic track program during your third year as well.

Fellowship programs will give you an opportunity to concentrate on a subspecialty that you find interesting. During these programs, you will develop technical knowledge and deep intuition regarding the human physique related to the subspecialty as well as be faced with the most difficult cases regarding anesthesia. Subspecialties included in the programs are pediatric, trauma, obstetric anesthesiology, and cardiothoracic.

How to get a Certificate?

After you have finished your internship and residency programs, you can pass an exam that will certify you as an anesthesiologist. The certification can be issued by the American Board of Physician Specialties. Alternatively, you can opt for the one from the American Board of Anesthesiology. Both of these exams have an oral and written part as of April 2011, with the written part consisting of 250 for the ABA’s test and 200 for the ABPS’s test. The questions are not the open type ones, but rather multiple-choice ones, which means that the answers are provided; you just need to circle the right one, or the right 250 for that matter.