Behind the Mask

Anesthesiology is the practice of medicine dedicated to the relief of pain and total care of the surgical patient before, during and after surgery.

The education of today's anesthesiologists has kept pace with their expanding role in offering the highest quality health care available anywhere in the world. After completing a four-year college program and four years of medical school, they enter a four-year anesthesiology residency training program. Fellowships in an anesthesia subspecialty and in education or research may also be taken for an additional year.

More than 85 percent of the active membership of the American Society of Anesthesiologists have been certified as diplomates of the American Board of Anesthesiology.

Anesthesiologists are physicians who, after college, have graduated from an accredited medical school and have successfully completed an approved residency in anesthesiology.

Anesthesiologists' responsibilities to patients include:

  1. Preanesthetic evaluation and treatment;
  2. Medical management of patients and their anesthetic procedures;
  3. Postanesthetic evaluation and treatment;
  4. On-site medical direction of any nonphysician who assists in the technical aspects of anesthesia care to the patient.