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What Major Should I Pursue in Order to Become an Anesthesiologist?

Higher Education Articles June 26, 2013

Anesthesiologists are medical physicians who concentrate on a patient’s life functions and pain relief during surgery. Anesthesiologists work with other doctors in order to assess and monitor patients’ breathing, heart rate, and body temperature after, during, and before surgery.

Overview of Anesthesiologist

Pain relief drugs are dispensed by anesthesiologists after, during, and before surgery. These professionals calculate proper drug dosages for patients, monitor patients’ vital signs through surgical procedures, and administer anesthesia. Most anesthesiologists are employed by outpatient care centers, hospitals, and physician’s offices, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS – www.bls.gov). According to the BLS, anesthesiologists’ annual earnings vary by state and employer, but in May 2009, the average annual salary was $115,470.

Majoring in Anesthesiologist

Since anesthesiologists are physicians, aspiring students will have to receive formal medical education that is required of all physicians and doctors. At the bachelor degree level, while there is no one major required for an anesthesiology career, it is recommended that aspiring candidates select majors in natural science or enroll into a pre-medical program to prepare for medical school. Candidates who are interested in medicine usually choose to major in biology, but majors in nutritional science, neuroscience, chemistry, or microbiology will also prepare students to become an anesthesiologist.

Individuals who chose to major in biology will take classes in parasitology, horticulture, developmental biology, comparative anatomy, physiology, microbiology, anatomy, and human biology. Undergraduate pre-medical programs will allow students to major in psychology, chemistry, and other sciences, but also include electives that specifically prepare students for medical school. The program course topics might include calculus, physics, biology, organic chemistry, and chemistry.

Once students are enrolled into medical school, they spend the first two years in a classroom environment, studying medical ethics, pathology, pharmacology, physiology, biochemistry, and several other topics. Anesthesiology is a medical specialty that students can obtain clinical experience within their second two years. Upon completion of medical school, individuals can apply for anesthesiology residency programs that offer most of the professional training and prepare students to become a licensed anesthesiologist.

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