Career Advising

Specialty Choice: Anesthesiology

anesthesiologyPhysician anesthesiologists are primarily responsible for the safety and well-being of patients before, during and after surgery. This may include placing them in the state of controlled unconsciousness called “general anesthesia,” the provision of “regional anesthetics” where only a portion of the body is made numb or administering sedation when indicated for the relief of pain or anxiety. These anesthetics provide continuous pain relief and sustain patients’ critical life functions as they are affected throughout surgical, obstetrical or other medical procedures. (Source: American Society of Anesthesiologists)

Associated Societies

Quick Facts

The following information comes from the National Resident Matching Program’s Charting Outcomes in the Match 2014 (PDF) based on matched applicants in the United States.

Similar Specialties to Consider

Residency Programs

Available Fellowships

Looking into the Future/Changes in Health Care

Many anesthesiologists are expanding their footprint outside the operating room and becoming more involved with patient care before and after surgery. Others are active in operating room and hospital leadership and are going back to school for M.B.A. or M.H.A. degrees. You may want to take a look at information about the expanding role of anesthesiologists in the perioperative surgical home initiative, led by the American Society of Anesthesiologists. (Sibert MD, 2015)

Additional Information

See the Career Essentials Pilot Page regarding specialty specific advice in Anesthesiology for more detailed information or resources.


Fellowship Opportunities. (2016) American Society of Anesthesiologists.

Should I become an anesthesiologist? Read this first before you decide. (2015) Sibert, K.S.

Updated Anesthesiology FAQ for Med Students & Residency Applicants (2008-2009). SDN Physician Features,

Last edited on 03/11/2020.