It's a rare job where you'll get paid top dollar for your knack at putting clients to sleep.
But if you've ever contemplated or undergone surgery, you'll understand the value of a good anesthesiologist. Many modern surgical techniques would be impossible without anesthesia. Patients and doctors alike rely on the anesthesiologist to make the call about which kind of anesthesia and at which dosage will be safest and most effective at ensuring the surgery and recover go off without a hitch.
Because their expertise is needed in the treatment of a large variety of ailments and conditions, anesthesiologists can work in many different areas of medicine. In addition to assisting with surgery, anesthesiologists are often called in to help with pain management and certain kinds of therapy. They tend to work with patients for a very short but intense period of time, calming, reassuring, and informing patients just before an operation and monitoring them during their initial recovery.
A typical anesthesiologist works ten to twelve hour days with a night call every four to five days. The work can be stressful but tends to be well paid and secure.
Students who are interested in becoming anesthesiologists may wish to pursue a specialized internship or observation program to see what the practice looks like from the inside. If you decide that anesthesiology is right for you, you'll need to pursue four years of medical school after college, followed by four more years of a specialized residency program.
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