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What kind of major do you have to do during college to be an Anesthesiologist?

Hello, so I've been looking through questions that other people have asked about what it's like to be an Anesthesiologist or how to be an Anesthesiologist. I've seen some people say you only need to take classes like chemistry, biology, physics, calculus, and etc. and can major in something else. While others say you need to major in science. #doctor #college #majors #anesthesia #anesthesiologist #medical-school

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Sri’s Answer

In order to become an anesthesiologist you must first obtain an undergraduate degree and complete the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test). Afterwards you will apply to medical schools (DO or MD schools). After you have completed your 4 years of medical school you will apply to residency programs specifically for anesthesiology. Anesthesiology residency is a total of 3 years, after which you will be a licensed and board certified anesthesiologist.
In regards to your time completing an undergraduate degree, you may choose to major in anything. Medical school application committees tend to seek out a diverse group of people as their students. Therefore, people who may have decided to pursue a unique major in undergrad are sought after and are typically asked about their major during their medical school interview -- that is a bonus because it makes you memorable! If a student decides to major in a subject that is not a basic science (biology, chemistry, etc,) they must complete the pre-requisite courses that medical schools require in order to matriculate as a student. It is imperative that students complete those courses and DO WELL, as they are viewed as benchmarks for your success as a potential medical student.
Deciding to go into medicine is a long and often times difficult road. It requires tremendous amounts of dedication and sacrifice but it is, in my opinion, the most noble profession that someone may enter. You will treat patients and will change lives. Good luck on your journey!

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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi John ! So to be an anesthesiologist you need to go to medical school, that being said you have to go college first and obtain a Bachelor's. For medical you need prerequisites in science classes mostly with English and math as well. In college you are considered a premedical student (premed) because you are on the route to medical school and are affiliated with the coursework/extracurriculars required for medical school. Yes you can be any major and apply to medical school; I was a Psychology major and got a couple of weird stares as if why thats relates to medicine. However, besides psychology and sociology being huge aspects of the medical field and the MCAT exam, having diversity in medical school will be helpful as well. Most students who apply to medical school are traditional majors but it's not like if you are a traditional hard science major like biology or chemistry, that will make you a competitive applicant. It's about the classes you take, the GPA and MCAT score you obtain and the extracurriculars you participate in that will ultimately showcase your passion for the medical field. My sister was a Biochemistry major but she obtained her minor in Literature because she loves it; I got my minors in Chemistry and tutor in it as well. I love psychology, and I am so glad I majored in it so if you have a major that interests you do it! Just be sure to take the classes needed for medical school and show that you want to be a doctor and why exactly you want to be a doctor. In an interview the admissions committee can ask why you became a particular major and as long as you are honest about your answer then that's completely fine. There are premeds who became medical students and majored in different majors all around- one major I heard was History.

**Below are a couple of links for information about classes you must take in order to apply to medical school- some medical schools don't require Biochemistry and replace it with Organic Chemistry II but I highly recommend it for the MCAT and for preparation overall (one semester should suffice and you don't need lab like your other sciences). I attached one from Harvard Medical school to give a perspective of what some medical schools look for. Kaplan is a test prep company as you probably know and AAMC is the official site for all premed/medical things as well as registering for the MCAT and applying to medical school- so be sure to be affiliated with it if you intend on becoming a physician.

I hope this helps please let me know if you have more questions!

Best of luck!

Yasemin recommends the following next steps:


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Darcel’s Answer

Luckily for you we have outstanding medical schools and Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology in California. A Biology Pre-med major should do it. Pre-medical students take some of the same courses that Registered Nurses take: Biology, Anatomy, Physiology etc. What are the courses needed for an anesthesiologist?
Required Prerequisite (Courses your take before you enter the MD program or Pre-medical.
Required Prerequisite Courses Semester Hours
General Biology I with Lab and General B ... 8 semester hours
General Chemistry I with Lab and General ... 8 semester hours
Organic Chemistry with Lab 4 semester hours
Biochemistry 3 semester hours
What do you major in college to become an anesthesiologist?
To become an anesthesiologist, you will need four years of medical school and three to four years of residency ( on-the-job training ), in addition to a bachelor's degree.
B.A. or B.S.?
The ASA (Anesthesiologist Society of America) that nearly all accredited colleges and universities offer pre-med curriculum that can be taken as part of another degree, so while considering a major consider whether a B.A. or B.S. degree will give you the time and flexibility to get those pre-med course. The courses offered will vary from school to school, but a B.S. almost always has mandatory courses in biology, chemistry and calculus that could fulfill pre-med requirements at the same time. With a B.A., you’ll have the flexibility to take a lot of electives, and you could use those electives to pick up the requisite science courses. A B.S. offers a greater depth of scientific knowledge that you might find helpful in medical school, though.
Anesthesiologists must have strong attention to detail and must be observant. Working as a doctor is a high-stress job, too, and requires a lot of teamwork. Involving yourself in clubs and teams during your major can help build your teamwork skills.
University of Irvine UCI pre-med major would be Biological Sciences (BIO SCI)
AST is a guarantee Associate of Science Transfer Degree to CSU that have course agreements. Easier Transfer CSU transfer courses count.
*Citrus College Biology AS-T California State University, Dominguez Hills Biology Biology - General BA
*Cerritos College Biology AS-T CSU Long Beach Biology Organismal Biology BS Campus: the BS will give you more science classes for pre-med.
Review You-Tube interviews with Anesthesiologist, see if you can find one from California

Darcel recommends the following next steps:

Strive to get A's and B's in high school especially science and math classes, ask about Advance Placement Courses in high school
High School and College courses should include Chemistry, Anatomy, Physiology; definitely Chemistry.
GPA (Grade Point Average) is important for Pre-med programs! Best of Luck! UCLA Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine MD program.
Be patient, persistence, perseverance with at purpose during your educational preparation. USC has an Anesthesiology MD program
Continue to as more questions about the field! If you have your own doctor or family doctor see if he/her can introduce to an anesthesiologist

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Blake’s Answer

Hey John,

You do not have to major in a science, however, you do have to complete all of the pre-medical prerequisite classes required. With that being said, I was told once that it may actually help one stand out by having a degree that isn't science based because it makes one more well rounded. Hope this helps!


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Jane’s Answer

Hi John,

The short answer is that you can choose to major in anything, just make sure you complete ALL the medical school prereqs (chem, bio, ochem, physics, biochem). Major in something you will truly enjoy and do well in because it will show in your grades. Don't let anyone convince you to major in something you do not like. I recommend watching some youtube videos of medical students, talking to a pre-med advisor, and looking up some medical schools to see their course requirements.

Good Luck!