≡ Menu

How to Become an Anesthesiologist

How to Become an Anesthesiologist

Have you thought about becoming an anesthesiologist? Anesthesiologists provide pain relief and monitor patient’s vital signs during surgeries. This is a lucrative field but requires a lot of education and of course expertise. To get yourself acquainted, read some anesthesiology journals to learn more about the profession to see if this is right for you. You might try to volunteer your services at a hospital when your in high school and/or working on your undergraduate degree. This will give you some hands-on experience and help you determine if you are right for this position. The work experience will help you to get into med school later. Yes, you will have to go to med school. Try to get as much experience as you can.

How to Become an AnesthesiologistYou’ll need to have a high school diploma or GED and have passed the college entrance exam (ACT/SAT). Hopefully, you’ve taken some science classes in high school such as biology, physics, chemistry and physiology. You’ll be seeing more science courses throughout your undergraduate degree as well as in med school. If you’ve had trouble with science coursework, it’s a good idea to get a tutor and get serious. If this doesn’t help, you’ll need to consider another career path. Medical school is grueling.

You’ll need to get a four year bachelor’s degree and pass it in order to enter med school. Your best bet is to take pre-med your first two years and biology coursework in your 3rd and 4th years. Pre-med involves taking calculus I and II, two physics courses, one course in inorganic chemistry and two terms of organic chemistry plus English composition, English literature and a few other courses.

When you finish your bachelor’s degree, you’ll need to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) for admission to med school. Make sure you study for this exam (or take a class in it) because it is important that you do well on it. Medical school is highly competitive so you need a high MCAT score and high grades (3.5 to 4.0 GPA). If the med school is interested in you, they will call you in for an interview. The interview is all important because it can make or break you. You could have high grades and not pass the interview which means no med school for you.

If you have been accepted into med school which takes 4 years, you’ll get a doctor of medicine (MD) or a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) degree. Your first two years will concentrate on physiology, pathology, microbiology, neuroscience and much more. Your 3rd and 4th years will provide for hands-on training by way of rotations done in clinics and hospitals.

Since you’re interested in anesthesiology, you will do an anesthesiology residency for 4 years. Then you will become eligible to take the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) exam. You will be working with patients under supervision. You’ll have assistance in establishing a residency by the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP). Quite often, anesthesiologist add one more year to their residency to tack on a specialty area such as pediatric anesthesiology.

Now you need to get a license so you can practice medicine. You’ll need to take the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLW) and/or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMPLEX) to get your license.

You might want to consider getting board certified. Not all anesthesiologists are board certified, however most are. Board certification is offered by the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) and the American Osteopathic Board of Anesthesiology (AOBA). Board certification has both oral and written components.

Now you can seek employment. You have a number of venues to choose from including outpatient surgical centers, hospitals, private practice, urgent care centers and the military.


This file is a work of a sailor or employee of the U.S. Navy, taken or made as part of that person’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.

Susan Ardizzoni

Susan Ardizzoni

Professor Susan Ardizzoni

Susan has studied at the University of Texas Medical Branch Marine Biomedical Institute in Galveston, Texas and the University of South Florida in Tampa and received a Ph.D. in Biology with a major in Neuroscience and minors in physics and mathematics. Area of research is in brain transplantation and behavior testing with twenty years of teaching experience. Fields of interest include the physical basis of memory and learning, brain repair and regeneration as well as neuro-development. As an educator, has taught thousands of students at the college level in anatomy and physiology, biology, microbiology, marinebiology, nutrition, communications, radiography, ultrasound, mathematics and physics. She enjoys reading current scientific literature and simplifying the material making it readily available to the public.
Susan Ardizzoni

Latest posts by Susan Ardizzoni (see all)

{ 0 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment