If I am on the table of an operating room, one of the leading specialists I want to have is an anesthesiologist. I want them to use the best stuff to knock me out during surgery. As part of their professional training, they will also keep an eye on my breathing stats during the operation, they keep watch for any adverse reactions that could occur, and they plan with the operating physician on my recovery process.
An anesthesiologist must begin their career in medicine with a bachelor’s degree and four years of medical school training. Like a physician, following graduation from med school, the prospective anesthesiologist must perform his or her residency where they are under the leadership of a skilled medical school faculty to their more succinct lessons in anesthesiology.
Many anesthesiologists continue with fellowship training program for varying anesthesiology specialties like pediatrics, obstetrics, critical care, pediatrics, or neurosurgery. Many doctors follow their residency with a fellowship to further train in anesthesiology specialties like pain management, patient assessments, and pharmacology, etc.
However, there are 3 major credentials that your anesthesiologist should have. These include the following:
1. Following a residency program, potential anesthesiologists must sit for the oral and written examination called the Board of Certification in Anesthesiology credential. The Boards are administered through the American Board of Physician Specialties.
2. Each state has their own licensing specifications that work toward an anesthesiologist becoming credentialed. To become a licensed anesthesiologist, doctors must pass the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), which requires physicians to make an appointment to take the test. USMLE exams are multi-faceted with multiple-choice questions, computer-inspired case simulations, and much more. Two programs administer the USMLE exams: the Federation of State Medical Boards and the National Board of Medical Examiners.
3. Ongoing certification is required for anesthesiologists. Every six years, they must take and pass the Continuing Demonstration of Qualification Exam. Plus, anesthesiologists must complete 40 hours of a continued medical education course every 24 months. They must also register with the National Commission for the Certification of Anesthesiologist Assistants.
You may ask yourself, how do I verify all these professional credentials of my anesthesiologist? Very simply, you ask him or her at your scheduled pre-surgery interview involving your surgeon, the head nurse, and your anesthesiologist. One of the administrative functions of an anesthesiologist is to go over your medical history with you and to find out if you have any medical allergies.
Remember that an anesthesiologist is a highly trained and educated medical doctor who is very adept in minor, major, or general anesthesiology, as well as local anesthesia techniques. They also follow-up with patients to make sure that you are comfortable and that nothing is out of whack after your surgery.