How to Become an Anesthesiologist

The future is bright for anesthesiologists. Because there will always be patients, the need for pain management, hospitals and surgical procedures, there will constantly be healthy career opportunities for anesthesiologists. The average anesthesiologist’s income is approximately $410,000.

Because an anesthesiologist is a bona fide physician, he or she carries the same credentials, schooling and training as an M.D. or D.O. This article contains the steps you need to plan for your career as an anesthesiologist.

Keep in mind, with the exception of voluntary efforts and high school electives, each step contains an associated cost. Depending on your state, costs will differ.

Here are some suggestions for pre-college preparation for the aspiring anesthesiologist:

High School:

Study advanced sciences like chemistry, anatomy, trigonometry, humanities, physiology, algebra, biology, geometry, and physics. Volunteer at a hospital in order to gain exposure to the healthcare industry.

College schooling requirements for a medical degree in anesthesiology are as follows:

1. Obtain an Undergraduate Degree (Bachelor’s Degree).

Four years of college. Includes inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics, English and biology.

2. Be accepted into a university of medicine.

Includes completion of a rigorous premedical program at an accredited university. Premed students subsequently have to pass the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). This also involves personal interviews, applications, and additional qualifications testing.

3. Obtain a Medical Degree.

Four years of graduate school. Includes advanced classes in mathematics, chemistry, physics, healthcare practice, patient care laws and more.

4. Complete Residency Training

Four years of postgraduate training. Includes on-the-job training toward the American Board of Anesthesiology or the American Society of Anesthesiologists certification. Residency training is modeled to prepare residents as preoperative physicians who are totally responsible and accountable for patients who are scheduled for different types of surgical procedures.

An anesthesiologist must also accomplish the following requirements before being able to practice:

1. Pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) exam.

A thorough and all-inclusive examination for practicing medicine in the United States. This exam takes place in three steps. Preparation for this examination is paramount to a college course in itself.

2. Secure a medical license in desired state of practice.

Involves collecting and submitting verifiable credentials and completing application forms applicable to the particular state.

3. Pass the Primary Certification in Anesthesiology upheld by the American Board of Anesthesiology.

A two-part exam that also contains a training component designed to acquaint M.D.’s with the contents of the exam. Each certification examination consists of 350 questions. The answers are multiple choice.

4. Keep a clean background, including no record of drug abuse, criminal history or malpractice.

This is the area where all your hard work can sink your opportunity for a great career and a lucrative lifestyle. Without fail, employers perform extensive background checks. Your background follows you everywhere.

International Stipulations:

It is important to note if the medical degree is an international degree, the aspiring anesthesiologist must pass the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) exam.

Find out about, “Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

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