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Career Profile: Anesthesiologist

Why is Anesthesiology a Job of Tomorrow?
Anesthesiologists will remain at the forefront of the health care industry. Their intense medical knowledge makes them a valuable asset to hospitals, as they are trained and educated to handle patients before, during and after treatments. In addition, medical advances are allowing more conditions to be addressed, and as a result, anesthesiologists will be working more with other doctors on these treatments. The average annual salary for anesthesiologists is $197,570, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What Does an Anesthesiologist Do?
Anesthesiologists administer medicine to block pain while a patient is undergoing a procedure. For example, anesthesia is used in dental offices to numb the mouth. It is also used in surgery to render patients unconscious for the operation. In addition, anesthesia is useful in keeping patients motionless, allowing for the doctor's delicate labor to be performed without possible patient interference. Anesthesiologists consult with patients before surgery and explain the procedure to them. Anesthesiologists also plan the operation with the surgical team, considering life support, pain control and patient stabilization.

What Kind of Training Do I Need to Become an Anesthesiologist?
Anesthesiologists are physicians who choose to specialize in anesthesiology. Therefore, they must go through the schooling that physicians undertake as well as additional courses in anesthesiology. Typically, anesthesiologists complete about 12 years of schooling. First, students must earn a four-year bachelor's degree, then go on to earn a four-year degree in medicine. After earning either an M.D. or D.O. degree, graduates must fulfill a four-year anesthesiology residency program. Those who wish to specialize further in a specific area of anesthesiology, such as critical care medicine or education, need to complete an additional year of study. To become a board certified anesthesiologist, anesthesiologists must complete the education and residency requirements, then pass the American Board of Anesthesiology examination.