Master's degree programs in anesthesiology are also called Anesthesiologist Assistant programs (A.A.) and prepare students to help physicians who specialize in anesthesiology. Lasting between two and four years, curriculum involves didactic and clinical instruction and covers areas like anatomy, equipment operation and patient monitoring. Admissions requires premedical coursework and proficiencies in biology, chemistry, mathematics and statistics, as well as the submission of standardized test scores, reference letters, a resume and personal statement and, in some cases, verification of shadowing experience.
These programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Educational Programs (CAAHEP) and enable graduates to sit for the anesthesiologist assistant certification exam administered by the National Commission for Certification of Anesthesiologist Assistants (NCCAA).
Anesthesiologist Assistant Master's Degree
Coursework commonly includes advanced instruction in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, physics and anesthetic science. Other courses to expect are:
- Anatomy for anesthesiology
- Patient monitoring
- Physiology simulation
Graduates typically gain employment as part of an anesthesiology team, helping physicians administer anesthesia in surgical and non-surgical procedures.
Career Outlook and Salary Information
O*Net Online reported in 2015 that anesthesiologist assistants, as part of the larger category of physician assistants, earned an annual median salary of $98,180. These workers are expected to have much faster than average growth (14%) for 2014 through 2024.
Some students who work in this field pursue medical degrees. If one wishes to practice as an anesthesiologist, the most common path is to attend medical school and complete a residency in anesthesiology.
Anesthesiologist assistants pursue master's level degree programs to be properly trained in this career field and have the knowledge needed to perform their duties. Upon graduation, these individuals are often found working with anesthesiologists to help them administer anesthesia to patients.