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Anesthesiologists are a demanding profession that requires extensive education and training. It is worth the effort; anesthesiologists are highly-paid professionals who play a vital role in healthcare.
What is the average time it takes to become an anesthesiologist? It can take between 12 and 15 years to complete the required degrees and a residency before becoming a licensed and certified anesthesiologist.
What does an Anesthesiologist do?
An anesthesiologist, a doctor who specializes in anesthesia, is a physician that has specialized training. They are present often during hospital procedures.
An anesthesiologist is a member of the patient’s care team if they are scheduled for surgery. Anesthesiologists are responsible for administering anesthesia that minimizes pain and discomfort while maintaining the patient’s vitals. The anesthesiologist provides pain management and monitoring for the patient after the procedure is completed.
Anesthesiologists are often associated with surgery, but they can also help patients recover from injuries in chronic pain. Anesthesiologists often work in general physician offices and medical or surgical hospitals.
What is the average time it takes to become an anesthesiologist
Students must complete a lot of training and study to become anesthesiologists. Anesthesiologists can expect to take between 12 and 15 years to complete their training. Here is a brief overview of what it takes to become an anesthesiologist in this time frame.
Earning a Bachelor’s Degree is the first step. Although you don’t have to major in math or science, many students who become anesthesiologists opt for a pre-med track. A bachelor’s degree can be earned in just four years.
You will need to go to medical school after completing your undergraduate studies. It usually takes four years for medical school to complete.
A residency is required to complete a residency. An anesthesiology program, where medical school graduates are trained in a clinical setting, typically lasts four years.
License: An anesthesiologist must be licensed in the state where they work before they can practice medicine. Individuals must fulfill the requirements of their condition and be able to pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination to qualify for a license.
Secure a Fellowship: While fellowships are not mandatory, many students want to pursue them to become anesthesiologists. Companies may take up to two years and may require additional certification.
Earn your Certification: Although anesthesiologists don’t have to be certified to practice, many opt to become certified to prove to their parents that they uphold the highest care standards. Students must pass both written and oral exams to earn certification. Students must complete continuing education credits to earn certification and pay the required fees for recertification.
What affects the length of your training?
While you can complete the requirements for anesthesia in 12 years, some people may need to wait longer. These factors could impact your timeline.
Bachelor’s Degree Completion Date: While a bachelor’s degree can be completed in four years, some students require much longer. According to the Education Data Initiative, 41% of college students will complete their bachelor’s degree within four years. The amount of time you spend in school may be affected by changing majors, enrolling part-time, or other obstacles.
Combinations of Medical School Programs: Students typically complete a 4-year bachelor’s degree and then four years of medical school. Some hybrid programs combine bachelor’s and medical school degrees, allowing students to finish school in fewer years. The University of Florida’s Medical Honors Program, for example, is an accelerated combined program that allows students the opportunity to get a Bachelor’s of Science degree and a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) in seven years.
Fellowship: While fellowships are not mandatory, many anesthesiologists choose to pursue connections to become specialists in a specific area of anesthesiology. Depending on the specialty and program, Fellowships can add up to two years to your training.
There are other careers in anesthesiology.
What is the average time it takes to become an anesthesiologist? You may now be able to explore other options.
If 12-15 years of schooling and training seems too long for your goals, you may want to consider other career options. Many other careers take less time than anesthesiology if you are interested.
Anesthesia Technician: Technicians don’t have to be doctors or nurses. They are responsible for the maintenance and management of anesthesia equipment. You must complete a two-year associate degree program to become an anesthesia technician. Then, you will need to take the American Society of Anesthesia Technologists certification exam.
Certified Anesthesiologist assistants (CAA): A CAA is a master’s-level healthcare provider. These professionals are only allowed to provide anesthesia care under the guidance of an anesthesiologist and may only practice in certain areas. A bachelor’s, master’s, and certification are required to become a CAA. It usually takes six years.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA): CRNAs administer anesthesia and provide care for patients after and during medical procedures. CRNAs can get their credentials in 7-10 years and start working within that time. CRNAs must have bachelor’s and master’s degrees from an accredited nursing program.
Plan for a career in Anesthesiology
Anesthesiologists are vital in the care of patients. They help patients remain comfortable and safe while undergoing medical procedures or recovering from injuries. This can be a rewarding career, but it requires a lot of dedication to education and training.