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An Anesthesiologist works closely with the medical staff and health care professionals to ensure smooth surgical procedures. They typically administer anesthetics. The purpose of anesthetic medication is to limit the consciousness of patients so that they don’t feel excessive pain during the surgery. An incorrect dosage of anesthesia can possibly result in a patient’s death. Therefore, an anesthesiologist with the required education and experience is potentially capable of carrying out this task.

There are quite a few reasons for someone interested in becoming an Anesthesiologist

  • “A medical specialist who administers an anesthetic to a patient before he is treated”
  • “A physician who completes an accredited residency program in anesthesiology”
  • “Anesthesiologists may administer anesthesia directly or as part of an anesthesia team consisting of nurse anesthetists or anesthesiologist's assistants”

*Mosby's Medical Dictionary

  • Why become an Anesthesiologist?

  • There are quite a few reasons why a career as an Anesthesiologist might appeal to you
  • Some of the reasons might be:
    • Exciting Career
    • Patients Interactions
    • Variety of Jobs
    • Technological Advancement
    • Vacation Time
    • Salary

Exciting Career

  • Anesthesiologists are involved in Acute Patient Care
  • Doctors involved in acute care spend most of their time in the operating rooms and intensive care units which involve more stimulating and exciting patient care
  • They are directly responsible for saving lives and less occupied with office and clinic work

Patient Interactions

  • Interactions with patients are for a minimal time only
  • However, anesthesiologists’ jobs involve making the patient feel at ease and comfortable when administrating the anesthesia

Variety of Jobs

  • Involved in a wide variety of medical procedures
  • Anesthesiologists are essential for every type of surgery or intensive medical procedures

Technological Advancement

  • The field has advanced quite a lot over the years in terms of technology
  • Anesthesiologists handle advanced medical equipment and complex technologies to treat and monitor their patients
  • This makes the job relatively easier for the doctor and safer for the patient

Time Management

  • Demand for anesthesiologists is always high
  • However, individual patient care is not required, giving anesthesiologists more control over the management of their time


  • The median annual salary for Anesthesiologists in 2013 was more than $187,200
  • The job growth rate between 2012 and 2022 is predicted to be more than 22%

Educational Requirements

Basic medical knowledge in physics, chemistry and biology is not sufficient on it's own to qualify as an anesthesiologist. Students must clear a premedical program and then get enrolled into an accredited college for further education. To enter a medical college, you may need to take a Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). Once you have graduated from a medical college, you may be required to complete an anesthesiology residency program. Upon the completion of this program, you are awarded a certificate from the concerned authority like the American Board of Anesthesiology. The courses taught in anesthesiology programs may comprise of:

  • Critical Care Medicine
  • Obstetrical Anesthesia
  • Clinical Monitoring

Pharmacology for Anesthesia
  • Medical Terminology
  • Internal Medicine

Through these courses, students can learn about the technical and medical aspects of anesthesiology.

Career Prospects

Over the recent years, the role of anesthesiologists has evolved significantly. They are not only responsible for administering anesthetics but are also involved in monitoring patients during the initial recovery stages after the surgery. You must be able to monitor the patient’s pulse rate, blood pressure, temperature and heart rate to ensure that no complications occur during the surgical process.  Anesthesiologists mainly work in the following areas:

  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Rehab Centers
  • Medical Colleges
  • Urgent Care Centers

The practitioners in this field are expected to be very vigilant and sharp-eyed. They must be extremely patient and and be able to understand the patient’s requirements.Their salary is based on their degree level and nature of job. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the anesthesiologists earned a mean annual salary of $246,320 in May 2014.

States with the highest employment level in this occupation:



Employment per thousand jobs

Location quotient

Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage

California 1660 0.11 1.26 18.13 37720
Florida 1130 0.14 1.68 17.97 37370
Illinois 960 0.16 1.92 17.9 37240
Texas 760 0.07 0.78 16.62 34570
New York 650 0.07 0.85 20.12 41840


Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:Which courses are taught in Anesthesiologist degree programs?

A:Typically these programs boast the following courses: *Patient Care *Medical Terminology *Clinical Monitoring *Critical Care Medicine

Q:Is it possible to take up anesthesiologist online courses?

A:Yes. A wide number of universities are offering distance learning programs enable students to become anesthesia technologists. These programs help students get hands on courses such as anatomy, pharmacology, medical terminology and clinical monitoring. Also, after clearing the online courses students can appear for the national exam conducted by the American Society of Anesthesia Technologists and Technicians (ASATT). The clearance of this exam provides students with the certification to practice the profession.

Q:What is the advantage of online Anesthesiologist programs?

A:Anesthesiologist programs have several advantages when it comes to pursuing the degree online. These allow students time to pursue full time employment and take up classes in the later half of the day, or when ever they see fit. They schedule their own classes as well, meaning they study as much as they see fit. They do not have to rush through the concepts to match the pace of course mates. They study at their own pace.

Q:What certification exam must be taken after the nurse anesthetist program?

A:After completion of a nurse anesthetist program, a student cannot start practicing unless he/she clear the certifying exams. This exam is conducted by the Council on Certification of Nurse Anesthetists. Without acquiring licenses and certifications it is impossible to practice this profession legally in any state. The exam is designed to test the skills and knowledge of students in this field.

Q:What are the contents of the course on Introduction to Psychology in the Anesthesiologist degree program?

A:The Anesthesiologist Degree programs in the United States have dedicated course on Introduction to Psychology. This course usually is worth 2 credits in total. It is designed to provide students with strong understanding of the surveys of the different fields of psychology. This includes development of the human behavior and the different levels of human perception.

Q:If I enroll in an anesthesiologist online degree instead of a campus based degree, will there be any difference in the curriculum?

A:No, the curriculum for online programs in this field and campus based programs is usually the same. You will study the same subjects in the program. However, the major difference you will encounter is the amount of practical work involved. In online programs you will not be able to gain hands on experience. It is most likely that you will be required to take a few classes at the campus to polish your practical skills.

Q:An anesthesiologist degree online will cover what main areas of study?

A:An anesthesiologist degree online will cover a range of areas. If you enroll in this program, you will get to study the following topics: anesthesia clinical correlation, cardiac electrophysiology, anesthetic sciences, pharmacology for anesthesiologists, technical lab skills, ethics and law, and healthcare. However, for some of these courses you will be required to take campus based classes.

Q:Can you become an anesthesiologist online?

A:There are numerous schools that provide degree programs in this area. You can acquire all theory based knowledge anesthesiology and healthcare. However, the occupation requires you to be fully equipped with practical skills. You must therefore attend a few campus based classes in order to gain hands on experience. On the other hand, you will also have to get a license in order to practice professionally.

Q:What is the advantage of anesthesiologist degree online?

A:An anesthesiologist works closely with health care professionals and medical staff to ensure smooth administration of surgical procedures. Earning an anesthesiologist degree online offers benefits such as flexible scheduling. It also enables students to avoid time and costs related to commute to campuses. Also, online programs in anesthesiology are much less expensive compared to campus-based programs.

Q:How to become a anesthesiologist?

A:The first step to become an anesthesiologist is completing a four year bachelor degree in pre-medical studies. Next step is passing the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and enrolling in a medical school. You are required to complete a 4 year Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree. You will further spend four years of residency in anesthesiology before being eligible to sit for the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) examination. An additional year of fellowship may be spent if you want to specialize in fields such as pediatric or cardiac anesthesiology. The last step before beginning your career is to pass the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination for M.D.s or Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination for D.O.s. You may also opt to become a board-certified anesthesiologist after passing an exam conducted by the ABA or the American Osteopathic Board of Anesthesiology (AOBA). Certain states and employers may require this certification as compulsion before allowing you to practice. (Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics)

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