Anesthesiologist - How to Become an Anesthesiologist

Anesthesiologist

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Anesthesiologist Job Description

 

Anesthesiologists are an important part of the surgical team. Without them, surgeries would be very interesting--and a lot more painful.  One of the biggest duties of an anesthesiologist is to administer anesthetics to people undergoing surgery.

It requires great knowledge and experience to deliver local or general anesthesia, and the anesthesiologist takes on great responsibility to ensure their tasks are done to the best of their ability. Anesthesiologists basically inject a mix of medicines into a patient which slows down the body system to a near-death level and blocks the pain signals from the brain.

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Responsibilities

 

Becoming an anesthesiologist involves a ton of practice and schooling. You can either become a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) to be an anesthesiologist. The two paths have different responsibilities;  a M.D. can administer anesthetic during operations while D.O.s specialize in holistic care and preventative medicine. 

An anesthesiologist with a M.D. is mostly involved in various surgical treatments. Their responsibilities include:

  • Making assessments of person’s response to an anesthetic. They must study a person's medical history and identify any allergies or intolerances to certain medications or chemicals. 

  • Monitoring patient’s condition during the operation. They must check vital signs and make sure the patient does well during and after anesthesia. 

  • Taking care of a patient during the post-surgery process.

An anesthesiologist with D.O. qualification involves quite different duties. Their responsibilities are related to the work outside the operating room, and include:

  • Taking care of the patients in the Intensive Care Unit

  • Treating patients with severe chronic diseases

  • Being present during labor and delivery

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Skills

 

Communication

Must be able to clearly convey thoughts and ideas about any issues that arise during surgery and be able to correspond with surgeons and doctors to ensure patient safety.

Assessing

Assesssing patient to make sure they are responding well to anesthesia and make improvements or take corrective action when necessary.

Critical Thinking

Must use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making

Needs to be able to act autonomously and make difficult decisions that would benefit the patient or make corrections. Must consider all benefits and repercussions of potential actions and choose the appropriate one. 

Complex Problem Solving

Must be able to identify complex problems and develop and evaluate corrective options and implement solutions. 

Stress Management

Must be able to endure intense situations and handle pressure that comes with extreme situations you may encounter.

Trustworthiness

Must be trustworthy because you have people's lives in your hands and what you do could help or hurt them. They are entrusted with a great responsibility and must live up to it. 

Operation Monitoring

Must be able to monitor gauges, dials, and other indicators to make sure machinery is working properly to ensure patient safety.

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Working Conditions 

 

The majority of anesthesiologists work in hospitals and outpatient surgical centers. Other opportunities may exist in private and group practices, urgent care centers, academic medical centers, and the military. As with most other physicians, anesthesiologists work long and hectic hours, with nearly one third working 60 hours a week or more.

They work in environments that can see trauma patients, critical care, and other uneasy situations. It is a demanding job with a lot on the line. Your work areas will mostly be filled with florescent lighting, cold floors, and sanitized medical equipment. You must stand for long hours and be able to fill demand as it arises. 

 


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How to Become an Anesthesiologist:

 

1. Earn a Bachelor's Degree (4 Years)

 

To become an anesthesiologist, you must first earn a bachelor's degree. You need to take a premed program course in college because you must go to medical school.

A course load for premed might look like the following: 

 

Grade Level

Example Courses

Freshman Year

 

  • General Chemistry I & Lab

  • General Chemistry II & Lab

  • Biology & Lab

  • Calculus I

  • English 101

  • English 102

  • Humanities Requirement

  • Physics I & Lab

  • Physics II & Lab

Sophomore Year

  • Organic Chemistry I & Lab

  • Organic Chemistry II & Lab

  • Fundamentals of Microbiology & Lab

  • Genetics

  • Physiology 

  • Humanities Requirement

  • Electives

Junior Year

 

  • Cell Structure & Function

  • General Virology & Lab

  • Microbial Genetics & Lab

  • Biochemistry I

  • Biochemistry II

  • Physics

  • Electives

Senior Year

  • Upper Level Biology

  • Upper Level Chemistry

  • Upper Level Physics

  • Upper Level Psychology

  • Upper Level Kinesiology 

  • Electives

 

Be sure to keep your grades high, as medical school admissions are very competitive you will need at least a 3.0. You need to start prepping for the MCAT as well, because you need to take it to advance.

 

2. Take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)

 

To be admitted into medical school, candidates must first take the MCAT, or Medical College Admission Test, a 7.5 hour, standardized, multiple choice exam used to assess the applicant's knowledge of science, reasoning, communication, and writing skills. 

 

The MCAT is divided into four sections:

 

Section/Category

 Section Breakdown

Biological & Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems

  • 59 multiple-choice questions

  • 95 minutes

  • Tests biology, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and biochemistry

Chemical & Physical Foundations of Biological Systems

  • 59 multiple-choice questions

  • 95 minutes

  • Tests biochemistry, biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics

Psychological, Social, & Biological Foundations of Behavior

  • 59 multiple-choice questions

  • 95 minutes

  • Tests introductory psychology, sociology, and biology

Critical Analysis & Reasoning Skills

  • 53 multiple-choice questions

  • 90 minutes

  • Tests reading comprehension, humanities, and social sciences

 

You can find study materials, MCAT registration, and your test scores on the AAMC website here.

 

3. Earn a Medical Degree (4 Years)

 

You have two program choices in medical school to become an anesthesiologist: a Doctor of Medicine (MD) program or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) program. Each degree focuses on the same methods of treatment, but a DO degree also focuses on osteopathic manipulative medicine. Whichever path you choose, you are facing 4-5 years in medical school.

Your first couple of years will focus on the following:

  • Basic pathology

  • Anatomy

  • Biology

  • Other life sciences

In the second half of the program, you will work with doctors and other healthcare professionals to advance your skills and focus in on anesthesia. You will also be taught to record medical histories, examine patients and diagnose illnesses and other necessary things for becoming an anesthesiologist.

 

4. Complete a Residency Program (4 Years)

 

After medical school, you have to complete an accredited residency. The program is focused on giving students hands-on experience in a clinical setting. During this time, you will be supervised by other healthcare professionals and get hands on training to build upon your skills and confidence, to allow you independent practice. During your residency, you can expect to work from two-to-three years in a clinical or hospital setting. It's here you can really hone in on your skills and build upon your knowledge. 

 

5. Take the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)

 

In order to practice medicine, aspiring geriatricians must pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). This exam is sponsored by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME).

The exam consists of three steps:

Step & Purpose

Format & Other Info

Step 1

Assesses the ability to apply scientific concepts, basic to practicing medicine, emphasizing mechanisms underlying health, disease, and therapy.

  • 310 multiple-choice questions

  • Divided into 7 60-minute blocks

  • Administered via computer

  • One day session

Step 2

Divided into 2 sub-steps: clinical knowledge (CK) & clinical skills (CS).

 The clinical knowledge section assesses the ability to apply medical knowledge, skills, and clinical science to patient care.

The clinical skills section assesses the ability to gather information from patients, perform physical exams, and communicate findings with colleagues.

  • Clinical Knowledge

    • 350 multiple-choice questions

    • Divided into 8 60-minute blocks

    • One day session

  • Clinical Skills

    • 12 patient cases

    • 15 minutes per patient case 

    • 10 minutes to record each patient note (PN)

    • Administered at 6 test centers in the US: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, & Philadelphia.

    • One day session

Step 3

Divided into 2 sub-steps: Foundations of Independent Practice(FIP) & Advanced Clinical Medicine (ACM)

 Foundations of Independent Practice assesses the knowledge and principles essential for effective health care.

Advanced Clinical Medicine assesses the ability to apply knowledge of health and disease to the context of patient management and an evolving disease.

  • Foundations of Independent Practice

    • 260 multiple-choice questions

    • Divided into 6 60-minute blocks, each w/ 44 questions

    • One day session

  • Advanced Clinical Medicine (ACM)

    • 200 multiple-choice questions

    • Divided into 6 45-minute blocks, each with 33 questions

    • 13 computer-based case simulations, each allotted 10 or 20 minutes

    • One day session

 

If you graduate from a DO program, you can take the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA)

 

5. Earn the Required Certification

 

Once you get your medical license, you can take the the examination for board certification through the American Board of Anesthesiology. The ABA is also the issuing body for certifications in subspecialties and the Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology Program (MOCA).

 

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Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
12.05.2016
Anesthesiologists are involved in the administration of anesthesia and related services in a single provider care model at CRMC. They provide direct patient care during the perioperative period. They confer with other physicians and healthcare...
12.05.2016
PHYSICIAN PRACTICE SPECIFICS Approximately 2,200 cases per month Includes Ortho, OB, and Peds cases Well-established group of 18 Anesthesiologists Medically Directed care model working with CRNAs Practice at: St. Marys Medical...
12.05.2016
Internal job applications/transfer requests must be completed through the Ascension Health Associate Portal in order to be processed. Assistance for the disabled If you have a disability and/or require assistance completing the online...
12.05.2016
The University of Iowa, Department of Anesthesia is actively recruiting faculty for its rapidly growing Pediatric Anesthesia group.
12.05.2016
The Department of Anesthesia is seeking Anesthesiologists with interest and expertise in several important clinical areas including: ambulatory, cardiovascular/thoracic, obstetrical, neurosurgical, pediatric, regional and/or transplant anesthesia.
12.06.2016
Department: Anesthesiology and Perioperative MedicineA Life-Changing CareerResponsibilities: The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, is seeking highly qualified anesthesiologists interested in joining the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative...
12.05.2016
Graduate of approved & certified school of anesthesia ACLS and PALS certification required. Position Summary The CRNA is directly responsible to the CRNA Manager or his/her Assistant Manager, and to the supervising Anesthesiologist for...
12.05.2016
The Certified Anesthesia Technician II works under the supervision of the Manager of Anesthesia Support. Certified Anes Tech II's assist Anesthesiologist and CRNA's in the preparation and Maintenance of patient monitoring devices and anesthesia...
12.05.2016
VCU Health System's Anesthesiology Administration is seeking a full time Anesthesia Technician Senior. The certified Anesthesia Technician Senior assists in the OR suites and off-floor sites in administering patient care as directed by the...
12.05.2016
The Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist has the responsibility to administer safe analgesia and anesthesia under the supervision of an anesthesiologist or physician. The CRNA will provide resuscitation services throughout the hospital. The...
12.05.2016
This position administers inhalation anesthesia along with intravenous, spinal, and other types of anesthetic agents. Evaluates the patient with the anesthesiologist and/or surgeon, determines the safest technique and agent for surgical...
12.05.2016
Job Summary: Provides direct patient care to pediatric through geriatric patient populations. Addresses the psychosocial, physical and general aspects of care related to the surgical environment. Communicates with surgeon and...
12.05.2016
PHYSICIAN-Pediatric Orthopaedic PRACTICE SPECIFICS Busy orthopedic practice composed of 14 orthopaedic surgeons and 10 NP/PAs. Sub-specialties include adult reconstructive, shoulder and elbow, pediatrics, hand, and trauma 10, non-operative,...
12.05.2016
Job Summary: Provides direct patient care to pediatric through geriatric patient populations. Addresses the psychosocial, physical and general aspects of care related to the surgical environment. Communicates with surgeon and anesthesiologist...
12.05.2016
A surgery technician provides assistance in the operating room. These individuals work under the supervision of surgeons, anesthesiologist and nurses. They care for patients during the surgical /procedure. Surgery technicians can work in...
  1. Anesthesiologist Crosby, MN Cuyuna Regional Medical Center
    Anesthesiologists are involved in the administration of anesthesia and related services in a single provider care model at CRMC. They provide direct patient care during the perioperative period. They confer with other physicians and healthcare...
  2. Physician - Anesthesiologist Duluth, MN Essentia Health
    PHYSICIAN PRACTICE SPECIFICS Approximately 2,200 cases per month Includes Ortho, OB, and Peds cases Well-established group of 18 Anesthesiologists Medically Directed care model working with CRNAs Practice at: St. Marys Medical...
  3. Anesthesiologist Assistant Tulsa, OK St. John Health System
    Internal job applications/transfer requests must be completed through the Ascension Health Associate Portal in order to be processed. Assistance for the disabled If you have a disability and/or require assistance completing the online...
  4. PEDIATRIC ANESTHESIOLOGIST Iowa City, IA University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
    The University of Iowa, Department of Anesthesia is actively recruiting faculty for its rapidly growing Pediatric Anesthesia group.
  5. STAFF ANESTHESIOLOGIST Iowa City, IA University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
    The Department of Anesthesia is seeking Anesthesiologists with interest and expertise in several important clinical areas including: ambulatory, cardiovascular/thoracic, obstetrical, neurosurgical, pediatric, regional and/or transplant anesthesia.
  6. Anesthesiologist Job Rochester, MN Mayo Clinic - Rochester
    Department: Anesthesiology and Perioperative MedicineA Life-Changing CareerResponsibilities: The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, is seeking highly qualified anesthesiologists interested in joining the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative...
  7. Certified Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Gallipolis, OH Holzer
    Graduate of approved & certified school of anesthesia ACLS and PALS certification required. Position Summary The CRNA is directly responsible to the CRNA Manager or his/her Assistant Manager, and to the supervising Anesthesiologist for...
  8. Anesthesia Technician II - Anesthesia Wilmington, NC New Hanover Regional Medical Center
    The Certified Anesthesia Technician II works under the supervision of the Manager of Anesthesia Support. Certified Anes Tech II's assist Anesthesiologist and CRNA's in the preparation and Maintenance of patient monitoring devices and anesthesia...
  9. Anesthesia Tech Sr Richmond, VA VCU Health System
    VCU Health System's Anesthesiology Administration is seeking a full time Anesthesia Technician Senior. The certified Anesthesia Technician Senior assists in the OR suites and off-floor sites in administering patient care as directed by the...
  10. CRNA St. Louis Park, MN Park Nicollet Health Services
    The Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist has the responsibility to administer safe analgesia and anesthesia under the supervision of an anesthesiologist or physician. The CRNA will provide resuscitation services throughout the hospital. The...
  11. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Rochester, MN Olmsted Medical Center
    This position administers inhalation anesthesia along with intravenous, spinal, and other types of anesthetic agents. Evaluates the patient with the anesthesiologist and/or surgeon, determines the safest technique and agent for surgical...
  12. Registered Nurse Washington, IN Daviess Community Hospital
    Job Summary: Provides direct patient care to pediatric through geriatric patient populations. Addresses the psychosocial, physical and general aspects of care related to the surgical environment. Communicates with surgeon and...
  13. PHYSICIAN-Orthopaedic Pediatric Surgeon, Duluth, MN Duluth, MN Essentia Health
    PHYSICIAN-Pediatric Orthopaedic PRACTICE SPECIFICS Busy orthopedic practice composed of 14 orthopaedic surgeons and 10 NP/PAs. Sub-specialties include adult reconstructive, shoulder and elbow, pediatrics, hand, and trauma 10, non-operative,...
  14. Registered Nurse Washington, IN Daviess Community Hospital
    Job Summary: Provides direct patient care to pediatric through geriatric patient populations. Addresses the psychosocial, physical and general aspects of care related to the surgical environment. Communicates with surgeon and anesthesiologist...
  15. Surgical First Asst./Scrub Technician-Amb - Surgery River View - Fulltime - Days Lancaster, OH Fairfield Medical Center
    A surgery technician provides assistance in the operating room. These individuals work under the supervision of surgeons, anesthesiologist and nurses. They care for patients during the surgical /procedure. Surgery technicians can work in...