Higher Education Guidance & Counselling

10 Steps to Become Licensed & Certified Anesthesiologist: Detailed Guide

Guide on Anesthesiology Scope, Salary, Career Options, Advanced Anesthesiology Studies

Choosing a career path for oneself can prove to be extremely difficult, especially with all the different options to choose from. However, you can simplify the process to some extent by shortening out the list of possible career options for yourself, and that too, those which are actually of your interest.

In this article, we will be discussing why you should become an anesthesiologist so that you don’t waste your time, money, and efforts in doing something that you don’t like. So stay tuned to know all about the 9 steps involved in becoming an anesthesiologist.

For example, if, say your list of career options towards which you are most inclined contain the profession of a teacher, you can recall a teacher’s conduct towards their occupation. This might help you in deciding whether or not you want to be affiliated with this career.

On one hand, a professional’s misconduct can lead you to drop the idea to pursue that particular profession while on the other, it can also determine what career you want to pursue out of all the others.

For example, if you are undergoing surgery and are deeply impressed by the surgeons’ behavior and the anesthesiologist’s conduct towards you, that will be the moment you realize that this is what you want to be!

However, choosing any career requires a proper understanding of what the career requirements are, including the schooling, degree, the scope of the profession, and the estimated salary margin of the particular profession.

Anesthesiology:-

When discussing the people associated with the field of medicine, we tend to discourse the major, frond- line professionals which include surgeons and dentists.

 But the fact that we tend to neglect is that the medicinal field is a vast one, which combines the joint efforts of many professionals, including those who are unappreciated but play a role as big as that of surgeons and dentists. 

One such undervalued profession in the field of medicine, which is no less important than surgery and dentistry, is anesthesiology. 

In fact, anesthesiology stands on the same footing as surgery in terms of importance, as one is impractical without the other. 

And since both these professionals join hands to work for the preservation of the human race, it would not be wrong to say that an anesthesiologist’s profession is no less significant than that of a general physician.

And to prove just that, we will be discussing, in this article, who an anesthesiologist is and what their job requirement is, as well as the level of education required to start a career as an anesthesiologist in a detailed fashion. Furthermore, by the end of this transcript, you will also have sufficient knowledge about the top 5 schools whose degrees in anesthesiology are valued, alongside their costs, and what the earning possibilities are as an anesthesiologist.

So, let’s jump on to the main topic without wasting further time.

Who is an Anesthesiologist?

An anesthesiologist can be defined as;

“A specialized medical practitioner who is responsible for administering special drugs (anesthesia) to control the pains of patients before, during and/ or after surgical procedures.”

The job requirements of an anesthesiologist include maximizing patients’ safety by prescribing drugs before and after surgery, in addition to observing the vital signs of patients during surgery. 

Thus, it can be said that an anesthesiologist is a person who reprieves a patient of his pains by giving them doses of anesthesia, which puts them in a state of oblivion right before surgical treatment.

Anesthesiologist Job Roles:-

  • Counseling and determining the pain points of patients before performing surgeries, with a view to prescribe the right type of anesthesia and to create a pain management plan prior to surgery.
  • Retaining the health of patients and supervising their recoveries during and after medical procedures.
  • Overseeing pain relief under different situations.
  • Assessing and superintending patient care.
  • Possessing intuition about the possible side effects of various anesthetics and making arrangements to lessen risks on patients’ health.
  • Overseeing the after-effects of surgeries.
  • Monitoring outpatients’ conditions.

10 Steps to Become an Anesthesiologist

Step 1: Get Familiar with Anesthesiologist’s Profession

The 1st step involves making a clear-cut decision as to whether you want to proceed towards becoming an anesthesiologist or not. 

Now, while making a career choice, a number of questions tend to come to our minds like is it a good career choice? Or does it pay well, etc? Worry not! As we will be answering all your questions in this very transcript.

Who is an Anesthesiologist?

First thing first. You need to know who an anesthesiologist actually is. Then only you can make a final decision regarding your career.

What do anesthesiologists do?

The job requirements of an anesthesiologist include maximizing patients’ safety by prescribing drugs before and after surgery. In addition to this, they are also in charge of observing the vital signs of patients during surgery. 

Simply put, it can be said that an anesthesiologist is a person who reprieves a patient of his pains by giving them doses of anesthesia, which puts them in a state of oblivion right before surgical treatment.

What are the career specializations of an anesthesiologist?

Just like other medical fields, anesthesiologists can also specialize in a range of sub-specialties. The most profitable and common specialties include:

  • Critical care anesthesia
  • Orthopedic anesthesia
  • Pediatric anesthesia
  • Cardiothoracic anesthesia
  • Neurosurgical anesthesia
  • Obstetric anesthesia
  • Hospice and palliative anesthesia.

Are anesthesiologists happy with their careers?

Another question that crosses the minds of many people choosing their career as an anesthesiologist is whether the job is satisfactory or not.

Satisfaction in any job depends upon a number of factors. These include the scope, work environment, and salary packages offered to the professionals. 

And to get the answers to your queries, jump to the next headings:

Scope of becoming an anesthesiologist:

Anesthesiology is one of the most flourishing careers at present times. A career as an anesthesiologist is considered to be a highly profitable one to such an extent that it is regarded as one of the highest paying jobs in the entire field of medicine.

In fact, Anesthesiology was observed to be the highest paying occupation in the United States of America in 2020, with an average annual income of $271,400; the list, proceeding with surgeons occupying second place. (source: research by the Statista Research Department – May 2020) 

And the field is expected to flourish even more in the future. The growth of anesthesiology as a career option is proposed to rise at a rate of 5.6% between 2018 to 2028.

The work environment of anesthesiologists:

Anesthesiologists are found in almost all those environments, where surgical treatments take place. Following are the most common work environments for anesthesiologists:

  • General medical and surgical hospitals
  • Offices of physicians
  • Outpatients Care Centers
  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Specialty Hospitals (except for Psychiatric and Substance Abuse)
  • Military Bases
  • Other offices (for example, dentists’ clinics).

The average salary of anesthesiologists:

The average salary of an anesthesiologist is pretty competitive and exceeds the wages of many of the celebrated professions in the medicinal field. Here is an overview of the average income of an anesthesiologist in 2021:

  • General medical and surgical hospitals – $209,260
  • Offices of physicians – $276,990
  • Outpatients Care Centers – $273,080
  • Specialty hospitals – $28,400
  • Other offices (for example, dentists’ clinics) – $195,350

By coming this far, you must have made up your mind as to whether you consider anesthesiology a good career choice for yourself or not. If you do, then continue reading to unveil the remaining steps required to become an anesthesiologist in 2021.

Step 2: Graduate from high school:-

Graduate from high school while paying due consideration to science subjects. These include biology, chemistry, physics, and physiology. Meanwhile, get familiar with the anesthesiology niche and make up your mind to go with it.

Step 3: Complete a bachelor’s degree program:-

The most inevitable academic requirement of becoming an anesthesiologist is to graduate from medical college. However, that would require an undergraduate degree. This implies that the next step is to complete 4 years in university. 

Despite the fact that medical colleges have compromising requirements as to which field one should initially graduate from, the subjects of biology, physics, mathematics, and chemistry are mandatory to be covered in the undergraduate degree program.

This brings in our recommendation, which is to graduate with a pre-medical degree.

Step 4: Give Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) Exams:-

Another requirement for enrolling in a medical college is to take the Medical College Admission Test Exams (MCAT). The score of these tests will determine the medical college that accepts you to get affiliated with them.

You can prepare for your MCAT exams by enrolling in preparatory courses offered by institutions, or by taking practice exams.

Step 5: Graduate from Medical College:-

The next step is to apply to a medical college. After your 4 years in university earning an undergrad degree, this would take another 4 years; after the completion of which you will be honored with the title of Doctor of Medicine (M.D) or Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O).

However, medical colleges have stern admission procedures, which amalgamate candidates’ GPAs, recommendation letters, and their MCAT scores. So it might take you a few attempts to clear these exams. These 4 years at medical college will be divided into two halves which will comprise both theoretical and practical subjects.

Upon graduation, you will be eligible to start working as an anesthesiologist. Even though graduating from medical college will be enough to start your career as an anesthesiologist, if you want to attract a more handsome salary package, follow the next steps:

Step 6: Complete a Residency Program in Anesthesiology:-

After completing a total of 8 years’ study; 6 of theoretical practices and 2 of practical experience, you will then have to spend another 4 years of clinical exposure after graduating from medical college as a Doctor of Medicine (M.D) or a Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O)

In this tenure, you will spend one year in untainted clinical rotations and internships, while the remaining three, in organized classrooms, getting more theoretical knowledge regarding anesthesiology.

Step 7: Consider a sub-specialty Anesthesiology fellowship:-

The next step to excel in your career as an anesthesiologist is to spend a year or two more in polishing your skills in a specialized field of your choice, by enrolling in a fellowship program.

The sole requirement for joining a fellowship program is to complete a 4-year residency program. Even though fellowship is not mandatory and you can still work as an anesthesiologist, it would lead to a more professional level job and a high-income package.

Step 8: Get Anesthesiology license:-

After completing your fellowship program, the next step is to get licensed; or, if you decide not to enroll in a fellowship program, you can jump on to this step right after step 4.

By getting a license, you will certify yourself as a registered medical practitioner after passing a two-part examination. However, you must get your license issued from the state that you are practicing in, after clearing the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX). 

Step 9: Get Board Certified:-

The last, but optional step to becoming an anesthesiologist in 2021 is to get board certified. 

Despite the fact that this step is completely non-compulsory, 90% of the anesthesiologist who gets their license apply for certification from either the American Board of Anesthesiologists (ABA) or the American Board of Physician Specialists (ABPS). The reason for this being indicated as a master of anesthesiology and the ability to use the title of “Board Certified Anesthesiologist” following the physician’s name.

Giving this one last exam before kick-starting one’s career as an anesthesiologist will indicate that they adhere to the ABPS Medical Code of Ethics and can practice individually at private clinics. 

Step 10: Start of Career as Certified & Licensed Anesthesiologist

Once all of the above 9 steps are completed, you’ll then become a certified and licensed Anesthesiologist. It will be your time at this stage to start your career as an anesthesiologist. You can also look for higher education opportunities in the anesthesiology niche.

Summary

This brings the end of this article. We hope that this transcript met with your requirements. If it did, make sure to let us know of it in the comments section below. 

With this said, this article has reached its conclusion. That’s a wrap!

Yousaf Saeed (Scholarship Winner)

Yousaf is one of our guest writers and the winner of 3 prestigious international scholarships abroad. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Engineering and enjoys writing on topics that guide young talent to explore foreign opportunities. Yousaf is also a successful entrepreneur, an independent mentor, educational, and academic researcher. His writing inspires and motivates students to pursue their academic dreams as he instills that motivation that helps students to fly abroad for further studies.

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