When I first wrote “What I Love about Being an Anesthesiologist” for KevinMD in 2014, it was shared over 14,000 times!
Nearly 4 years later, I still love what I do – in fact, I think I love it even more now! My wife and I were at a party recently attended by healthcare and non-healthcare people. Of course, I was asked the inevitable questions, “What do you do?” and “What is it like?”
Here is how I answered:
Being a physician anesthesiologist is the honor of a lifetime, and it comes with a tremendous amount of responsibility. My patients rely on me to be their personal physician during surgery. Under general anesthesia, they need me to be their voice because they can’t speak. They need me to act because they cannot protect themselves.
- I have to understand my patients’ medical conditions.
- I adapt my anesthetic plans to their needs.
- I anticipate challenges that may take place during an operation.
- I recognize problems early and prevent them when possible.
- I react quickly and appropriately to make sure my patients make it through surgery safely with the best possible outcomes.
In the operating room, I cannot write an order and expect someone else to carry it out. I have to know how everything in my environment works, from top to bottom, so I can take the best care of my patients. I set up my own anesthetic equipment and supplies in preparation for surgery. I prepare all of the medications that I will personally administer to my patients.
I will admit that a big reason I chose this specialty was the people in it. Now my fellow physician anesthesiologists are my colleagues and mentors who continually challenge and inspire me.
I have the best job in the world: helping patients through the stressful experience of surgery, relieving pain, and making new discoveries through research that will hopefully benefit future patients.