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Hello anesthesiologists, I was hoping if you could share your story of how you became an anesthesiologist from which college you attended, what you majored in, any class recommendations, etc. Thanks for your help in my upcoming journey.


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Estelle’s Answer

I am a gynecologic surgeon and work closely with anesthesiologists.In the US, to apply to medical school, you need a bachelor's degree. Any 4-year university should suffice.

Pick a major that interests you so you don't mind devoting a majority of your hours to studying. 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

Try to find opportunities to pursue research.

Volunteer at your local hospital or low-income clinic. Ask physicians, PAs or other clinical providers if you can shadow them.


During college study for and complete the MCAT. Devote an entire summer to studying for the MCAT and consider paying for a prep course if you can afford it.

Medical school takes 4 years and you will have the opportunity to explore anesthesiology more closely there.
Anesthesia residency is also 4 years.

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Nicole’s Answer

Hi Samantha, I am not an anesthesiologist, but I am applying to medical school and familiar with anesthesia (I have been doing research for pediatric anesthesiologists for the past year). As long as you go to an accredited undergraduate university and medical school (MD or DO), you should be able to apply to an anesthesia residency. In undergrad, major in what interests you the most, but try to take additional science electives on top of the pre-requisites.

If you are interested in exploring anesthesia, I would consider looking for research opportunities in anesthesia or shadowing opportunities. Any physician shadowing is recommended prior to applying to medical school.

Other careers in anesthesia to consider: Certified anesthesiologist assistant and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist


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