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How to Become an Anesthesiologist

written by: Harry Sylvester•edited by: DaniellaNicole•updated: 1/17/2011

An anesthesiologist is a bright and promising career. Join the medical field in a highly paid profession. This profession will also enable you to help serve people. Read on how to become an anesthesiologist.

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    Who is an Anesthesiologist?

    An anesthesiologist is a physician who is responsible for administering anesthetics, which are medications to relieve patients from pain and sensations during surgical procedure. An anesthesiologist must first review the patient’s medical records and evaluate the options for pain-killing drugs and anesthetics. If the patient has medical conditions like heart disease or diabetes, an anesthesiologist should keep them in mind so the next treatments can properly be managed during surgery.

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    What Does an Anesthesiologist Do During Surgery?

    A few of the things an anesthesiologist does include:

    • Observing the vital signs of the patient such as blood pressure, heart rhythm, renal function and breathing

    • Helping surgeons do surgical procedure

    • Applying proper anesthetics

    • Running electronic equipment to observe the patient’s vital signs

    • Operating medications to make the patient regain consciousness

    • Supervising nurses in the surgery room

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    What Education and Training are Essential to Become an Anesthesiologist?

    This explanation will describe how to become an anesthesiologist. Those interested in this field need to have a strong background in biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics. In the United States, anesthesiologists must obtain a bachelor’s degree with pre-medicine course. After earning the undergraduate degree, they must take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) to obtain a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree. Medical school takes them four years to graduate. Admission to medical school is very competitive. It is recommended that they prepare it very well.

    Having graduated from medical school they have to attend a residency program for four years in Anesthesiology. The first year training is focused on rotations through some areas of general internship and the second year is focused on anesthesiology. In addition to learning anesthesiology, an anesthesiologist must study critical care medicine, cardiology, pharmacology, internal medicine and surgery.

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    Where Does an Anesthesiologist Have to Apply the Knowledge?

    An anesthesiologist is encouraged to do voluntary service at health clinics or local hospitals to gain first-hand experience. An anesthesiologist will find it easy to work with surgeons, nurses, patients and health care managers so the knowledge he or she has obtained might be put into practice.

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    What are the Licensing Requirements for an Anesthesiologist?

    Every state in the United States will require that an anesthesiologist be licensed. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, licensing requirements are:

    • A diploma from an accredited medical school

    • A completion of a four-year residency program

    • Passing a licensing examination

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also provides some information on how to become an anesthesiologist.

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    What are the Potential Earnings for an Anesthesiologist?

    According to PayScale.com, the median annual salary an anesthesiologist can earn is approximately $292,000. It is a highly paid profession and promises a bright future.

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    References:

    American Society of Anesthesiologists: Career Preparation - http://www.asahq.org/careerCenter/careerPreparation.html

    State University.com: Anesthesiologist Job Description - http://careers.stateuniversity.com/pages/467/Anesthesiologist.html

    CNN Money.com: Top-paying Jobs - http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2009/moneymag/0910/gallery.bestjobs_highestpaid.moneymag/index.html