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How long does it take to become an anesthesiologist and what classes will I have to take to become one?

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Merlyn’s Answer

Hi Logan! Great question!

You would need to complete four years of college, four years of medical school, and four years of residency training in anesthesiology. Residency is where you are a doctor in training in your specialty of interest. For anesthesiology, you can have variations of your first year of residency focusing on Internal Medicine, Surgery, or a variety of electives that will help you be a great anesthesiologist depending on your program. Your 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year is where you would be training as an anesthesiologist.You can subspecialize even further for an extra year if you want to focus on a specific aspect of anesthesiology.

For classes in college, you would need to do the premed requirements for being able to apply to medical school. Otherwise, you can usually major and minor in whatever subject that interests you!

In medical school, you can take anesthesiology electives in your third and fourth year, as well taking the initiative to shadow and do research in the field at any point.

Merlyn recommends the following next steps:

Speak to a premed advisor about premed requirements + classes
Apply to medical school

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Julio’s Answer

Hey Logan,

Merlyn gave you a really good answer, but I want to touch a bit more on some topics in which they did not. It does take about 12-13 years to become a fully certified anesthesiologist, although you are working with patients for about 4-6 of those years under supervision (residency and last years of medical school).

The classes which you will take during your undergraduate years are dependent on your major, obviously the "best" topic to major in is Biology or something very closely related to it as it will prepare you for medical school, BUT you can definitely major in anything remotely similar to your future career such as Health, Psychology, etc. A Biology Bachelor's degree will consist of Biology, Microbiology, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Advanced Math Classes, and Physics as well. It is a difficult major that will require you study the most out of nearly any other major in college (regarding Physics, Engineering, and other more detailed majors).

The upside to majoring in an easier major is that you will not have to deal with some of the more advanced classes that many students struggle in. The downside is that Medical Schools put priority on graduates with a degree in a science such as Biology, Microbiology, or similar AND you will have a harder time acclimating to the Medical School courses that other students may be better prepared for with the majors I talked about.

Conclusion: You can major in anything and still get into medical School, but for the best chance into getting accepted, you want to major in Biology or something very similar and although it may be more difficult, It better prepares you for Medical School. Good Luck.