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How to Become an Anesthesiologist

Majors Overview January 10, 2013

Medical physicians are known as Anesthesiologist who specialized in pain relief and a patient’s life functions during surgery. They work in partnership with other doctors in monitoring and assessing a patient’s breathing, heart rate and temperature during and after a surgical operation. In this article, we will discuss what an aspiring anesthesiologist needs to do in order to pursue their career.

Patients depend on anesthesiologists to administer pain relief drugs before a surgical operation as well as during and after it. These professionals have to perform the calculation of proper drug dosages, administration of anesthesia and monitoring vital signs of patients during the surgical operation.

Wage Potential

Most anesthesiologists seek jobs in private physician’s offices, outpatient care centers and hospitals (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS); ( In May 2009, anesthesiologists earned an average annual salary of $115,470.

Education Requirement

Prospective anesthesiologists are required to fulfill formal medical education requirements of other physicians. While no single major at the undergraduate level points to a career as an anesthesiologist, aspiring students would do well if they have considered completing an undergraduate program in natural science; alternatively, they could target a pre-medical program as preparation for medical school. Candidates who aspire for a career in medicine often choose biology as a major at the undergraduate degree level; however, a major in nutritional science, neuroscience, chemistry or microbiology could also serve as preparation for a career in anesthesiology.

Students that choose to major in biology could choose to be trained in parasitology, horticulture, developmental biology, comparative anatomy, physiology, microbiology, anatomy and human biology. Students joining undergraduate pre-medical courses could choose to major in sciences such as psychology or chemistry, but could alternatively choose an elective that prepares them for medical school including calculus, physics, biology, organic chemistry, and chemistry.

Medical school coursework would require a student to learn via classroom lectures for the first two years from topics such as medical ethics, pathology, pharmacology, physiology, and biochemistry among several other subjects. During the next two years, a student would learn anesthesiology — a medical specialty — via hands on experience in a clinical setting. Once they have completed medical school; a student can seek admission to an anesthesiology residency program in which a student can receive a significant portion of their professional training and preparation for a career as a licensed anesthesiologist.

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