The anesthesiologist is a vital member of the medical team during surgery. They’re responsible for administering anesthetic drugs, keeping patients safe and comfortable, and monitoring their vital signs. The stakes are high, but anesthesiologists are well-equipped to handle the challenge due to years of intense education and hands-on training.
Complete a Bachelor’s Degree
An aspiring anesthesiologist’s first step is to obtain a bachelor’s degree. Most medical schools don’t require that a student earn a specific degree. However, there are a few courses that they need to take to meet the prerequisite requirements. These typically include biology, chemistry, and mathematics classes.
Take the MCAT and Apply to Medical School
Those who wish to continue into the medical field need to take the Medical College Admissions Test, or MCAT, during their junior year of undergraduate school. The MCAT tests a student’s ability to exercise critical thinking to solve problems, as well as their knowledge of science concepts.
In order to apply for a four-year medical school to earn a doctor of medicine, or M.D., a student will need to submit their MCAT scores and letters of recommendation. Schools also consider a student’s GPA. The application process to get into medical school is highly competitive.
Earn a Doctor of Medicine
To become an anesthesiologist, a graduate needs to learn their M.D. Most students usually spend the first half of their time at medical school studying microbiology, biochemistry, pathology, medical ethics, and much more. After the first two years, students shift towards more hands-on learning. They begin helping care for patients in hospitals or clinics and learning about areas of specialty such as pediatrics, cardiology, and more.
Complete an Anesthesiology Residency
Once physicians graduate from medical school, they need to go through four years of specialized training. This training includes a year of rotations or an internship in either general medicine or general surgery, followed by three years of anesthesiology education.
Complete a Specialized Fellowship
Post-residency fellowship programs aren’t required, but they allow physicians to get another one to two years of experience focusing on a specific area of anesthesiology. Possible specializations include Critical Care (ICU), Cardiac anesthesia, Neuroanesthesia , Pediatric Anesthesia, Pain Managment, and Regional Anesthesia among others.
Finally, to work as an anesthesiologist, the physician must become licensed in the state in which they work. To do so, they take a two-part examination and meet any state-set requirements.
Becoming an Anesthesiologist demands years of effort to ensure the knowledge and skill set required to keep patients safe before, during and after Surgery. The operating theatre wouldn’t be able to function without this tremendously valuable and rewarding specialty.