Career Advice on How to Become an Anesthesiologist

General Career Information

Anesthesiologists may be paid the big bucks, but all that cash comes with pressure. If you screw up, somebody might very well die. Yes, we mean that quite literally. Surgeons might be able to hide a little bit better when they screw up, but if a guy is sent off into the “wild blue yonder” because you gave him too much happy gas, well, there isn’t really anywhere for an anesthesiologists to run and hide. In short as an anesthesiologist, the buck stops with you.
Anesthesiologists are a key part of a surgical team. If you don’t think this is the case, just try doing a surgery without your friendly neighborhood anesthesiologist. Its pretty touch to cut a guy open and pull part of his insides out when he is awake, just ask any Civil War era surgeon. It wasn’t pretty. 
The anesthesiologist performs a very valuable societal function, namely allowing us to have our guts worked on without with the mental, emotional and physical trauma that goes along with being awake. Anesthesiologists do more than administer various drugs; they also monitor vital patient functions such as heart rate and breathing. In short, while the surgeon is thinking about which nurse he is going to take home after the operation, the anesthesiologists is making sure that you don’t die.

Career Facts:

Anesthesiologists, on average, earn more than surgeons. The average pay for new anesthesiologists is about $260,000, whereas the average salary for more experienced anesthesiologists is about $322,000. Not too shabby. If you can keep from killing anyone for three to four years and you don’t blow every dime you make on “keeping up with the Joneses,” a young anesthesiologist could become a millionaire in no time. Just don’t let your cousin talk you into any real-estate investments.


Career Opportunities and Job Outlook-Good:

The rate of growth for anesthesiologists is expected to be about fourteen percent. However, this official number is likely low, as the influx of reckless Baby Boomers waddling towards “the Light” should cause a significant spike in the number of anesthesiologists and surgeons needed in the coming decades. As of 2006, there were 633,000 anesthesiologists employed in the United States. By 2016, this number is expected to rise to about 732,000. Your job search may be easy as well as lucrative.
Job Outlook is Good

A Day in The Life:

Anesthesiologists see their days much like airline pilots. Any day where no one “crashes” is a good one. If no one died and there were no major “oh my god they are going to realize that I have no idea what the hell I am doing!” moments, well then it’s a good day.
Anesthesiologists, hopefully, show up sober for work and help terrified patients drift off into what they hope is a temporary dream state. During surgery, they make sure that the patient’s vital signs don’t become “too scary” and that the doctor is sober enough for surgery. Afterwards, they make sure that their patients have enough drugs pumping through their systems to keep from freaking out and screaming at the top of their lungs as this freaks everyone out a lot.

Average Salary:

Anesthesiologists make, by most people’s standards, ridiculously large sums of money. The averaged experienced anesthesiologist (“experienced” means he or she has not killed anyone for a couple of years) can make an average of about $332,000 a year. This is roughly twice what most doctors earn in a year and slightly more than the average surgeon.

$315k - $340k


Career Training and Qualifications:

Anesthesiologists must graduate from medical school and undergo certification. Prepare for quite a bit of career planning.
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