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What do I have to do to get into Anesthesiology?

I am interest in medicine and I want to know how long it takes to go into certain fields of medicine. If you have anything else to add about Anesthesiology, let me know! Essie L.

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Rachel’s Answer

Anesthesia is also one of those fields where competitiveness varies from year to year. My first year of medical school you had to be at the top of the class, and by the time I graduated, most students in the class could obtain a spot if they chose. Pass your classes and shine on the rotation in med school.

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Judy’s Answer

To go into any medical specialty, you need to go to nursing or medical school. If nursing is your choice, you need to get some basic medical surgical experience and then try to get hired in ICU, surgery or anesthesiologist's office. Or you can go from ICU BSN prepared RN experience (ICU will usually not take a new RN-you need to have some experience first) to enter a Anesthesiology NP program. CRNA (certified registered nurse anesthetist) is now usually a masters program that is intense and full time for 2 years. Most people can only work part time while they are in the program due to heavy work load. The average pay is usually from about $150,000 to 200,000 a year once you are done but would depend on location and work load. My son is actually interested in pursuing this goal. I have tried to explain to him that becoming an NP in many specialties will lead you to make a similar salary. I was not sure he would be happy dealing with mostly unconscious patients and did not want him to pursue it for monetary reasons. There are also high liability issues specifically with anesthesiology and mid-wifery.

Your other choice is to go to medical school to become an Anesthesiologist and they make a lot of money with high liability. I know some anesthesiologist who also work in pain management. Good luck with your future!

Judy recommends the following next steps:

Look up medical school or advanced nursing programs that you would be interested in attending.
Do an online search for pre-requisites of programs you want to pursue. If already working in healthcare, get help from within your institution if available.

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Richard’s Answer

In the US, to apply to medical school, you need a bachelor's degree. Any 4-year university should suffice.

Pick a college that suits your personality and a major that interests you. You will need to get good grades in college in order to apply for medical school. At the medical school I attended, the average GPA is reported to be 3.85, so even one or two B's can hurt your chances of acceptance.

Aside from this, any major is acceptable as long as you complete the prerequisite courses.

Typical medical school prerequisites include:
Biology: Lecture – 4 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
General Chemistry: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Organic Chemistry: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Biochemistry: Lecture – 1 semester
General Physics: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Math: Statistics – 1 semester
English: Rhetoric (Composition) and Literature – 2 semesters

During college study for and complete the MCAT. Apply to medical schools during your last year of college. Aso try to participate in research or clinical shadowing during residency.

Medical school takes 4 years to complete.

After medical school anesthesiologists complete an internship and residency for additional training.

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Estelle’s Answer

The path to become an anesthesiologist:

College degree including the pre-med requirements & MCAT
4 years of medical school
4+ years of anesthesia residency

The higher you are in your medical school class, the better your chances of obtaining the residency you desire. Good luck!