If you decide to become an anesthesiologist, your area of expertise will revolve around patients who are having surgery. Before the procedure, you will be asked to evaluate the patient. During the surgery, your job is administer the anesthetic and carefully monitor the patient’s vital signs (heart rate, respiration, temperature, etc.).
Not all the anesthesiologist’s duties take him or her into the operating theater, though.
You would also work outside the O.R., ordering pain medications for patients being cared for in the Intensive Care Unit and in Labor and Delivery. You might be asked to administer an epidural anesthetic to a woman in labor or be present to provide the necessary pain relief during a Cesarean section.
The decision about whether a patient can be transferred from one ward to another after surgery or whether a day surgery patient can go home is made by an anesthesiologist. These physicians also help to develop pain management programs for cancer patients.
Education and Training
To become an anesthesiologist, you will need to go to medical school for four years and then complete four years of internship and residency. One or two years of additional training may be completed if you want to specialize in one of these areas:
- Critically Ill Patients
- Pain Management
Some anesthesiologists choose not to treat patients, but decide to go into research instead. They may be employed by laboratories that are developing new anesthetics or trying to understand more about how they work. You would also need to be certified by the jurisdiction where you will be practicing medicine under this specialty.
Anesthesiologist Salary Information
Once you have completed all of these requirements, you will be well paid for your knowledge. The median salary of a fully-trained anesthesiologist is $192,780, not including bonuses and benefits.
Getting accepted into medical school is not an easy thing to do; there are many applicants trying to do the same. However, the job market for trained anesthesiologists is good, with employment expected to grow at a faster-than-average rate.