Does the thought of having a general anesthesiologist career intrigue you? If so, you are not alone, as careers in anesthesiology are often viewed as lucrative and respected. However, anesthesiologists assume a lot of responsibility, and asking yourself a few questions will help you know if it is a good career choice to pursue.
Am I willing to pursue the necessary education?
Becoming an anesthesiologist is not an easy or fast journey. It will require years of dedication and hard work to enter the field due to the nature of the work. Being able to persevere and be patient while you complete your training is essential.
Can I maintain control in emergencies?
Anesthesiologists have to maintain their composure in emergencies and they need to be prepared to administer medications at a moment's notice. You must be able to think clearly when making decisions that could mean life or death for the patient you are caring for during a surgical or medical procedure. You will be trained to manage these urgent situations, but having the ability to remain focused and calm in the face of an emergency will make you better equipped for the job.
Do I like regular work hours?
When you become a general anesthesiologist, you will likely have an erratic schedule at times, which would not make it a good fit for someone who wants to clock in and out at the same time each day. For instance, you never can predict exactly how long a surgical procedure may take or if complications will arise. Each case is unique, and you may not always have a consistent start and stop time for your workday.
Do I have good communication skills?
You may have heard plenty of jokes about anesthesiologists not needing good communication skills because their patients are mostly asleep. While there is some truth to that statement, you will need to speak with your patient prior to a procedure to explain the risks and benefits. Since you will only be spending a brief amount of time with your patient prior to them going to sleep, being able to communicate well is even more important.
Being a general anesthesiologist can be a rewarding career for those who are the right fit for the profession. You will always be learning new things and you can work across a variety of medical specialties. If you love the challenge of working in a fast-paced environment and can handle emergency situations well, you are probably a good fit for the profession.