Anesthesiologists are physicians of peri-operative medicine. When people talk of “going under” for surgery, they are referring to an anesthesiologists job.
These physicians administer drugs that deprive you of feeling and awareness so that surgery can be performed. Therefore, anesthesiologists are with you before surgery to assure that you will tolerate the medications, during surgery to maintain your state of anesthesia, and afterwards to bring you back to awareness.
Just how much do anesthesiologists make? A LOT.
The national average starting salary for an anesthesiologist is $207,000. After a few years of experience, you can make over $300k. In fact, the median average salary is $370,500.
Majority of anesthesiology physicians reported making $286,509 and $379,458 annually. However, the maximum reporting salary is $448,000. If you sub-specialize after a fellowship, you can earn even more.
Anesthesiologists require 4 years of residency. The first year is often a preliminary or transitional year affording the resident physician a broad education in clinical knowledge. Afterwards, the residency is 3 years of specializing in anesthesia medicine.
After 4 years of training, you have the option to further sub-specialize in fields such as acupuncture, critical care, pain management, neurosurgical, obstetrical, or pediatric anesthesiology. These fellowships are typically 1 or 2 years long.
The field is quite competitive to get into and currently there are only 131 residency programs in anesthesiology. For more information about anesthesiology and an insiders perspective, read Operating Room Confidential: What Really Goes On When You Go Under.
Anesthesiologists are masters of awareness and sensation. Their expertise is in medications that effectively place you in a state of unconsciousness and no pain. It’s a highly important position vital to the success of all surgical procedures. Is it any wonder their salaries are so high? If you enjoy procedural medicine such as intubating patients, being in the operating room but not necessarily doing the operating, and helping patients with pain, consider anesthesiology as a profession.