Medical professionals can be difficult, both physically and emotionally. Doctors do work that can be wonderful and rewarding, but their careers can also be marked by long and unpredictable hours, plus the emotional drain that comes with treating people who may or may not get better. Some specialties, however, offer a more stable life than most physicians get along with the ability to make a very good living. One of the best paid specialties in medicine, and one that also offers a lot of satisfaction, is the anesthesiologist.
As the name would imply, the anesthesiologist is someone who specializes in administering safe and effective anesthesia so that patients aren’t in pain during surgery. He has to have the knowledge that is common to all doctors, so that he can properly make decisions about dosage and also monitor the vitals of a patient during procedures to be sure that all is going well. In addition, he has to go through extra training to make him qualified to practice within the specialty. At the end of a training program, he is capable of monitoring patients during procedures and adjusting medications as needed to ensure that the patient remains asleep without administering so much of a drug that it becomes dangerous.
The biggest factors that make this specialty attractive to people who are going into medicine is the excellent pay and relatively stable lifestyle. They’re among the best paid of all medical professionals, the typical anesthesiologist salary having been rated as the fourth highest paid in the Medscape survey for 2012. Because their work involves monitoring patients during surgery, it is mainly according to a set and fairly predictable schedule. Unlike doctors who serve as the primary point of contact for a patient’s health problems, they don’t usually have to worry about emergency calls. Of course, they can’t leave while a surgery is in progress and may sometimes have to stay late when procedures and recovery take longer than anticipated.
Becoming an anesthesiologist is a good option for students who have a strong interest in medicine, but want a relatively predictable work schedule compared to other medical professionals. It’s also an excellent choice for people who are highly interested in a surgical setting, but don’t feel a strong need to follow a single patient all the way through the treatment and care process.