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From student to specialist: The path to becoming an anesthesiologist

January 30, 2023 · 2 min read

An anesthesiologist is a medical doctor who specializes in administering anesthesia and managing pain during surgical procedures, childbirth, and other medical procedures. They are responsible for ensuring patient safety and comfort during these procedures.

Becoming an anesthesiologist is a time-consuming process that requires a great  deal of education and training. The work can be worthwhile, as anesthesiologists play a crucial role in the healthcare system and are some of the highest-paid health professionals. Here is a general insight into what is involved in this process.

  • The first step is obtaining a bachelor's degree which typically takes 4 years.
  • Take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT): The MCAT is a standardized test that assesses your knowledge of the natural, behavioral and social sciences, and your problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
  • After that, an individual must attend and graduate from an accredited medical school, which typically takes 4 years. 
  • After medical school, an individual must complete a four-year residency program in anesthesiology. This program will provide you with in-depth training and experience in administering anesthesia and managing pain during surgical procedures and other medical procedures.
  • Pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA) and obtain a medical license
  • Pass the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) certification exam

So, in total, it takes around 11-15 years of schooling to become an anesthesiologist, depending on various factors such as the individual's prior education, the type of medical school, and the length of the residency program. It's worth mentioning that the time to complete these steps may vary for each individual, and some may take more or less time than the average mentioned.

by Yevheniia Osmakova

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