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An Anesthesiologist is a doctor or physician whose main job is to administer anesthesia. They must finish college, finish medical school, then an internship that lasts about one year, and then have a residency in anesthesia for about three years. Anesthesiologists must be very dependable and trustworthy, this is why the training takes so long to complete. The main job of the anesthesiologist is to help the patient to not feel any pain, whether this be through a general or local anesthetic. Without the anesthesiologist the surgery would not be able to take place because there would be so much pain for the patient that they could go into shock and in some cases death would occur.[1] Anesthesiologists have many different professions from which they can choose from. For instance, rather than just being an anesthesiologist, one can be an anesthesiologist assistant, an anesthesiologist technician, or an anesthesiologist technologist. [2]

What is Anesthesia?

Anesthesia can be summed up as "the loss of feeling or sensation." Anesthesiologists administer anesthesia to patients that are about to undergo surgeries or operations that would be far to painful for the patient to withstand without the administration of anesthesia. Anesthesia can be given with the loss of consciousness to the patient, or it can be given to just a certain body part of a patient such as limbs like the arm of leg. The term for the total loss of conciseness of the human would be called general anesthesia. While the term for just a certain body part losing feeling and sensation would be called local anesthesia.

General Anesthesia

Let it be noted that there are three general phases that must be administered in general anesthesia. The first of which is called induction. This is the induction of the state of unconsciousness that begins the anesthesia. A normally used drug for quickly inducing a state of unconsciousness would be thiopentone sodium. Thiopentone sodium is a barbiturate that after it is injected into the veins can produce unconsciousness in about thirty seconds. Thiopentone sodium does not actually reduce pain, but what it does is it lowers the threshold of pain and induces the patient into the state of unconsciousness. After the drug is used, Anesthesiologists will then use different drugs to maintain the anesthesia such as nitrous oxide, halothane, enflurane, methoxyflurane and cyclopropane. This maintaining process would be labeled as maintenance in the three phases. The third and final step is called emergence. This is when the patient emerges from the anesthesia with the surgery performed.

Local Anesthesia

Local Anesthesia blocks the pain from a certain part of the body. Local anesthesia can be preform in order to proceed with medical examinations, minor surgeries, and along with this dental procedures. The list of drugs that are used as local anesthetics goes on and on but some of the more widely used ones would be benzocaine, bupivacaine, cocaine, lidocaine, procaine, and tetracaine. [3]

History of Anesthesiology

Anestesia being practiced in foriegn countries

Anesthetic like items have always been given to patients for the longest time. It has been recorded that people have had been using methods for the lessoning of pain or sensation to ancient times. Some types of methods were to give the patient alcohol before the procedure, or to get the patient doped up on opium in order for them not to feel pain. Along with this, back then a group of strong men would sometimes have to hold the patient down in order for them to proceed with the procedure. Sometimes the opium or the alcohol's effect would wear off and then the patient would die from the sheer shock of the pain that they were going through. [4] Gasses such as nitrous oxide, ether, and chloroform were first used sometime around the 19th century. English chemist Humphrey Davy discovered the use of nitrous oxide, otherwise known as laughing gas in 1799. Along with this Scottish obstetrician James Young Simpson, in 1847, first used chloroform as a anesthetic in surgery. But because of the bad side effect chloroform is no longer used as an anesthetic today. The American Society of Anesthetics was put together in 1931. After that another group was formed called the American Board of Anesthesiology in 1937. The board made it so that doctors could be certified as anesthesiologists. Over the course of the next 50 years or so, over 13,000 doctors have been certified as official Anesthesiologists. [5]


So you want to be an Anesthesiologist?


  1. Unknown Author. What is an Anesthesiologist? Hospital for Special Surgery. Web. Date of access 11/13/13.
  2. Author Unknown. Types of Careers in Anesthesiology American Society of Anesthesiologists. Web. Date-of-publication or last-update or access (specify which).
  3. Unknown Author. Anesthesia - History Of Anesthesia, Nitrous Oxide, Chloroform, Emergence Of Anesthesiology, Types Of Anesthesia, Theory Of The Mechanism Of Anesthesia - Ether Net Industries. Web. Date of access 11/12/2013.
  4. Unknown Author. Anesthesia Scienceclarified. Web. Date of access 11/13/13.
  5. Unknown Author. History of Anesthesia Weebly. Web. Date of access 11/13/14.