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How to Become an Anesthesiologist

How to Become an Anesthesiologist

Anesthesiology is interesting and challenging field of study. No surgical operation will be conducted without anesthesiologist's control. However, to become an anesthesiologist you will spend much time and efforts. If you are not afraid of difficulties, then you are welcome to find out how to become an anesthesiologist.

Undergraduate Degree

Undergraduate education is a requirement for every student considering to enter a medical school. There is no specific pre-medical degree, however, your undergraduate program should include several courses. Medical schools require strong knowledge in anatomy, biology, biochemistry, physics, math. Take these courses during your Bachelor's degree program, and you will be well-prepared for MCAT. All in all undergraduate program will take you four years.

Medical School

Every anesthesiologist must become a Doctor of Medicine first. Graduate program in medical school will take you another four years. M.D. is a general degree for all students choosing a particular specialization in future. Medical schools are multiple (126 schools accredited in the USA, to be more specific), so you won't have problems with a place to pursue a Doctoral degree.

Your curriculum will include pharmacology, neuroscience, behavioral science, biochemistry and so on. In addition to theoretical courses, you will have practicum. Medical schools cooperate with a number of medical centers and hospitals where students get experience in diagnosing and treating patients. You will work under the supervision of professionals in various medical specialties.

Residency in Anesthesiology

Your anesthesiologist career starts only after graduation from medical school with M.D. degree. To become an anesthesiologist you will spend four more years. As you can see, anesthesiologist education takes 12 years in general. However, the time spent for studying pays back in future: anesthesiologists receive one of the highest salaries in medical field. Resident training for anesthesiologists includes one year of medical or surgical internship and three years of anesthesiologist education itself.

Some anesthesiologists want to specialize in a specific field, like pediatrics or neurology, for instance. If you are among those people, be ready to spend one more year for studying. You can work for several years as a generalist, and then choose a specialty to your taste.


To become a licensed anesthesiologist you will have to undergo several certification stages. The first step is the US Medical and Licensing Examination (UMLE). You will have to pass this exam after the graduation from medical school. It makes you eligible for practicing medicine. Next exam will test your readiness to become an anesthesiologist. It should be passed during your residency training. It includes oral and written parts and is administered by the American Board of Anesthesiology. Successful completion of this stage gives you a title of Board Certified Anesthesiologist. However, if you specialize in a particular field of anesthesiology, you will have to take one more test in your specialty.

As you may guess, becoming an anesthesiologist is not a piece of cake. You will be responsible for people's lives, so you must be well-educated and perfectly trained. Don't spare your efforts, and you will get both interesting and highly-paid job in future.

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