ANESTHESIOLOGISTS are specially trained physicians who have completed advanced hospital training as postgraduates in anesthesiology. They administer various forms of anesthetic drugs to patients so they do not feel pain during surgical and medical procedures. Anesthesiologists examine patients to determine the degree of surgical risks and type of anesthetic and/or sedation drugs to administer. They discuss their findings with the attending physician and reach consensus regarding a treatment plan. Anesthesiologists keep records of anesthetics given and the condition of the patient before, during, and after anesthesia. They may instruct medical students and other personnel in the characteristics and methods of administering various types of anesthetics.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $305,500 average per year ($147.00 per hour)
- A medium occupation (34,800 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow rapidly (2.2% per year)
Educational requirements for ANESTHESIOLOGISTS include four years of undergraduate school, four years of medical school, and six to eight years of internship and residency. Immediately following medical school, physicians who will become anesthesiologists enter a multi-year, hospital-based, post-graduate medical education (residency) program. In the residency they gain substantial supervised and increasingly independent experience first with general patient care and then with specific anesthesiological practices. All states and the District of Columbia require physicians to be licensed.