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Anesthesiologist Licensure and Certification
Anesthesiologists are medical doctors and therefore need to be licensed. States may have additional license requirements, but typically medical doctors must pass the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). To be eligible to take this test, individuals must first complete four years of medical school and go through a residency program to gain specific training in their area of specialty. Those who wish to become anesthesiologists would go into an anesthesiology residency program, which can take up to four additional years. Some anesthesiologists complete an additional year of fellowship training to earn sub-specialty certification.
Beyond standard physician licensing, anesthesiologists may receive board certification through the American Board of Anesthesiology after completing a residency program and a two-part exam. Additional sub-specialty certifications in critical care medicine, pain medicine, hospice and palliative medicine, pediatric anesthesiology and sleep medicine are available as well. Anesthesiologists must complete a re-certification exam once every 10 years in order to maintain standard board certification.
Anesthesiologist: Career Overview
Anesthesiologists provide pain relief for patients. They monitor patients' vitals during and after surgery, as well as helping others who suffer from chronic pain in their everyday lives. They not only apply anesthetics for this purpose, but also decide which pain relievers patients likely need.