How Long Does It Take To Get An Anesthesiologist Degree?
Anesthesiologists are medical doctors who are vital to any surgical procedure. In fact, surgical operations don’t proceed unless an anesthesiologist is present. First and foremost, they are needed to administer anesthesia so that patients will not feel anything when the surgeon starts to operate on them. Even when anesthesiologists do not play any role in the actual surgery, they are present for the entire duration of the operation since they are responsible for monitoring the patient’s vital signs and adjusting anesthesia doses as necessary.
As medical doctors, anesthesiologists spend a long time in school to prepare themselves for the demands of the job. It can take a minimum of eleven years for students who wish to become anesthesiologists.
The training typically starts with a four-year bachelor’s degree. Those aspiring to become medical doctors usually take a science degree such as biology, biochemistry and microbiology so that they already have fulfilled all the necessary pre-requisites to go into medical school. After graduating from college, aspiring anesthesiologists then spend another four years in medical school. The first two years are typically devoted towards studying the body’s organs and systems and other medical concepts.
In the third and fourth year, they are given actual exposure to hospital work. Under the supervision of their teachers, they are introduced to various areas in the hospital, such as pediatrics, surgery and internal medicine. They also observe and assist experienced doctors in various procedures.
Graduating from medical school does not mean the end of the line for doctors who wish to specialize in anesthesiology. They will then have to undergo more training through an anesthesiology residency for three more years. In most teaching hospitals, anesthesiologists will be moving around the general operating room for the duration of their residency. During this training, they are exposed to various anesthesiology cases in ascending order of complexity. On their first year as residents, they learn the basics of administering anesthesia in routine cases.
They are introduced to subspecialties in anesthesia administration in their second year. This includes critical care medicine, obstetric anesthesia and cardiovascular anesthesia, among others. On the third year, they get training in more advanced cases such as administering anesthesia for liver transplant procedures or giving anesthesia to women who are set to give birth. Anesthesiologists who want to focus on neurosurgical anesthesia or other specialties will need to undergo additional training through a fellowship which lasts for a year or two.
Before they can practice as anesthesiologists, they need to obtain their license by passing the U.S. Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE). They are given seven years to finish the USMLE which is composed of three steps. The first step has 325 multiple choice questions and the second has 355 multiple choice questions and an exam of 12 patient cases.
The third test is composed of 475 multiple choice questions which are given in two segments. They must also meet the state’s residency requirements before they are allowed to take the exam. Anesthesiologists can greatly enhance their chances of getting hired by getting a Board Certification in Anesthesiology since this is required by most hospitals.