So today, we kick off our Medical Specialty series by talking about Anesthesiology. Long word for a fun specialty, but what’s it all about?
The dictionary says that it’s the branch of medicine that is concerned with the study and practice of anesthesia (duh). It is a specialty requiring competency in general medicine, a broad understanding of surgical procedures, and a comprehensive knowledge of clinical obstetrics, chest medicine, neurology, pediatrics, pharmacology, biochemistry, cardiology, and cardiac and respiratory physiology. It is concerned with the pharmacological, physiological, and clinical basis of anesthesia, including resuscitation, intensive respiratory care, and pain management.
WHOA – bet you didn’t know it was that involved, huh? You thought we just put patients to sleep for surgery and read newspapers until they wake up, right? Well there’s a lot more to it, and modern medicine WOULD NOT be possible without the work of good anesthesiologists!
We KEEP PATIENTS ALIVE while they undergo surgery (the most traumatic and dangerous thing a person can put their body through), have babies, are confined to the critical care unit, or have chronic, painful conditions that can’t be helped by normal measures. We have to know about everything and be on our toes in order to face whatever situation comes up…
But you wanna know the basics. An anesthesiology residency program lasts 4 years after medical school. Then, one can remain in general practice, or do MORE training (called a Fellowship) in cardiac, neurologic, pediatric, obstetric, or pain anesthesia. They are one of the highest paid doctors – definitely something to look into!
For an entire chapter all about my personal experiences as an anesthesia resident, read ‘So You Wanna Be A Doctor?? The Untold Stories Of Medical, Dental, and Veterinary Residents’, available at http://www.WagnerWolf.com!!