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An anesthesiologist or anaesthetist is a physician trained in anesthesia and perioperative medicine.
The title of the role varies between countries. In countries following the practice of North America, those specialising in the field are termed anesthesiologists, but in the United Kingdom and current or former member countries of the Commonwealth of Nations, such physicians use the title anaesthetist instead (in North America, "anesthetist" would refer to a non-physician who is involved in the provision of anesthesia).
The length and format of specialist anaesthesiologist training programmes varies from country to country, but can range from four to ten years, on top of initial medical school training to be awarded a medical degree. Anesthesiologists in training spend this time gaining experience in various different subspecialties of anesthesiology and undertake various advanced postgraduate examinations and skill assessments. These lead to the award of a specialist qualification at the end of their training indicating that they are an expert in the field and may be licensed to practice independently. Other healthcare professionals like nurses and dentists provide some anesthesia services, but they have other titles such as "certified registered nurse anesthetist,” “anesthesia assistant,” etc which also note their training path and are not eligible and do not take the expert anesthesiology examinations.
Anesthesiologists provide medical care to patients in many different ways. During preoperative evaluation, in consultation with the surgical team, they create an anesthetic plan tailored for each individual patient taking into consideration the patient’s medical history and the type of surgical procedure planned. This may include invasive monitoring (TEE, CVP, arterial pressure), neuraxial nerve blocks (spinal or epidural), peripheral nerve blocks (selectively anesthetizing a specific part of the body), and/or various levels of sedation including reversible unconsciousness known as “General Anesthesia.” Anesthesiologists are acute care physicians and as such often provide intensive care techniques as they are the experts of airway management, intraoperative life support and provision of pain control, intraoperative diagnostic stabilization, and proper postoperative management of patients. An anesthesiologist's scope of practice also involves in-hospital and pre-hospital emergencies, work within intensive care units, acute pain units, and chronic pain consultations.Read more...
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