Anesthesiologists are doctors specializing in the administration of anesthesia. Anesthesiologists are responsible for monitoring patient’s vital bodily functions, such as heart rate, blood pressure and respiration (breathing) during surgical procedures. Anesthesiologists must also carefully calculate the dosages of anesthesia and pain control medications for surgical patients.
Anesthesiologists may work in a variety of settings, including hospital operating rooms and outpatient surgery facilities, as well as private practices, academic medical centers and the military. Anesthesiologists also administer intravenous (IV) and spinal pain control, such as epidurals, during labor and delivery, in the intensive care unit (ICU) and for patients experiencing chronic pain.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that anesthesiologists generally work in well-lit, sterile environments in hospitals or outpatient surgery centers. The temperature in the surgical environment is usually kept low for increased sterility.
Physical and Mental Requirements
Anesthesiologists may be required to stand for long periods during surgical procedures. Because emergency procedures may require their services, anesthesiologists may be required to work long hours, weekends and holidays. The Mississippi Hospital Association (MHA) also lists attention to detail, the ability to remain calm under pressure and a sympathetic attitude toward patients’ anxiety as beneficial qualities for anesthesiologists.
2016 Salary Information for Physicians and Surgeons
Physicians and surgeons earned a median annual salary of $204,950 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, physicians and surgeons earned a 25th percentile salary of $131,980, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $261,170, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 713,800 people were employed in the U.S. as physicians and surgeons.