Anesthesiology Schools and Training Programs

Find out about an anesthesiologist's responsibilities during and after surgery. Get information about degree and licensure requirements along with typical work duties. Schools offering Anesthesia Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Anesthesiologists are licensed medical doctors who provide care for patients before and after surgery. To become an anesthesiologist, you must first complete medical school before applying to an anesthesiology training program.

Program Options Medical Student Anesthesiology Rotation, Anesthesiology Residency Program, Cardiac Anesthesiology Fellowship, Pain Management Anesthesiology Fellowship, Regional Anesthesiology Fellowship, Neuroanesthesiology Fellowship
Courses Obstetric anesthesia, preanesthetic assessment clinic, cardiac anesthesia, neurosurgical anesthesia, pediatric anesthesia, regional anesthesia
Training Usually a 1-year internship and 3 to 4 years of residency training required to become an anesthesiologist

What Does An Anesthesiologist Do?

As an anesthesiologist, you would administer medication that relaxes patients or numbs some of their body parts while they're in the hospital. You'd also monitor a patient's blood pressure, heart rate and breathing while he or she is under anesthesia. Due to the different types of patients you may encounter and to troubleshoot any problems, the areas of obstetrics, pediatrics, surgery, radiology, airway management, pharmacology and anatomy are commonly addressed in training.

What Are the Education Prerequisites?

A bachelor's degree in any given major is necessary before applying to medical school; however, having an academic background in the sciences or liberal arts may be helpful in your medical studies. It is helpful to have completed courses in anatomy, biology, chemistry and physics. Medical school is required to become an anesthesiologist, and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) states that certain prerequisites must be met before you enter a medical program. An undergraduate education with one academic year of English, physics and biology is required, as well as two years of chemistry. Successful completion of the AAMC entrance exam, the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and the academic prerequisites allows you to enter into accredited medical schools (www.aamc.org).

Are Online Courses Accepted as Prerequisites?

If you've completed an undergraduate degree program or series of courses online, they probably won't be accepted as academic credit for medical school admission, because most medical programs seek transcripts from on-campus programs mainly due to lab completion requirements. Additionally, medical school programs don't generally offer any distance education because of the intensive training needed.

What Medical Schools Offer Anethesiology Programs?

Many medical schools at major colleges and universities throughout the U.S. offer residencies and fellowships in anethesiology. Most of these take one year to complete. Some schools that provide programs for future anethesiologists include:

  • Wake Forest University
  • Yale University
  • University of California, San Francisco
  • Duke University
  • Vanderbilt University
  • University of Virginia
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Florida
  • University of Michigan

How Do I Obtain a License?

Successful completion of medical school awards you with a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree, which qualifies you to take the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). The USMLE requires graduation from a Liaison Committee on Medical Education-accredited medical school. Additional licensing requirements may be necessary according to your state's medical board.

What Postgraduate Training Do I Need to Complete?

You can begin a postgraduate residency program at hospital or medical school after earning your M.D. license. The training period includes a 1-year internship and approximately 3 to 4 years of residency. While the breakdown of study during residency may vary by school, the first year of an anesthesiology residency is typically dedicated to general clinical training, while the latter years focus on anesthesiology. This training period allows you to become accustomed to the day-to-day operations of an anesthesiologist and how the skills you learned in medical school are used on the job.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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