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Definition of An Anesthesiologist

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Joined: 15 Feb 2011
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    Posted: 15 Feb 2011 at 12:23am
An anesthesiologist (US English) or anaesthetist (British English) is a physician trained in anesthesia and peri-operative medicine.

However, in the United Kingdom, the term anesthetist has a broader context, to include both  types of practitioners. The source further defines an anesthesiologist as a physician who completes an accredited residency program in anesthesiology, usually four years following medical school. A nurse anesthetist is a nurse who is trained in the administration of anesthesia after undergoing special training, usually 2–3 years after college, and who generally works under the supervision of a physician. Anesthesiologists may administer anesthesia directly or as part of an anesthesia team consisting of nurse anesthetists or anesthesiologist's assistants.

Role in Healthcare Delivery

Anesthesiologists are perioperative physicians ("peri-" meaning "all-around") who provide medical care to patients before, during, and after surgical procedures. Anesthesiologists are responsible for delivering (or ensuring the delivery of) anesthesia safely to patients in virtually all health care settings, including all major R medical and tertiary care facilities. This includes a preoperative medical evaluation of each patient before surgery, consultation with the surgical team, creating a plan for the anesthesia tailored to each individual patient, airway management, intraoperative life support and provision of pain control, intraoperative diagnostic stabilization, and proper post-operative management of patients. Preparation of patients for emergency surgery are mandatory, essential, and critical skills that anesthesiologists have been trained to employ. Because anesthesiologists are physicians, in contrast to other anesthesia providers, they are able to utilize their extensive knowledge of human physiology and diseases to guide their decision making.

Historically in the United States there has been a shortage of anesthesiologists. In order to better serve the population, residency positions in anesthesiology for physicians have been steadily increasing the past several years. In addition, physicians supervise ACTs, or Anesthesia Care Teams, which are composed of a supervising physician with several certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) or anesthesiology assistants (Anesthesiologist Assistants), working together to provide healthcare to the population. In other areas of the country, anesthesiologists work in what is deemed a "solo" or "MD/DO only" practice, during which they provide anesthesia in a "one on one" relationship with the patient.


Edited by admin - 15 Feb 2011 at 8:55am
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