Anesthesiologists are medical doctors who treat and prevent pain. They administer appropriate anesthesia during surgical procedures and monitor patients for reactions and complications. Anesthesiologists are healers and leaders who care for the well-being of their patients. Besides having extensive medical knowledge and being able to use specialized medical equipment and computer software, they must have excellent problem-solving skills and be prepared for all kinds of adverse events. Anesthesiologists also need to have a combination of both physical stamina and dexterity, as well as empathy and strong communication skills.
An anesthesiologist meets with the patient prior to the procedure to assess their condition and review their medical history, as well as explain the process so the patient knows what to expect. They monitor the patient’s vital signs and make the appropriate adjustments during the procedure, and may be involved in the management of pain directly following. They become intimately involved in patient care and are key to relieving pain and restoring health.
No lie: there is a lot of education needed after undergrad, including medical school, residency, & post-residency training for specializations like pediatric anesthesiology. However, the investment seems worth it to most anesthesiologists, who generally express a lot of satisfaction with their jobs. Today, anesthesiologists are not just limited to a traditional surgical setting in a hospital or medical center, but can also work in dental offices, outpatient surgical centers, labor and delivery units, critical and intensive care units, as well as go into teaching or research. As the baby boomer population ages, the health care industry is expected to continue surging in growth, with job prospects for anesthesiologists projected to increase by 4% by 2028.