Monday, October 01, 2012

spotlight on specialties: anesthesiology

Sorry, I'm a little bit in remiss in that I didn't post this link up earlier, but here's a link to the AAMC article on the field of anesthesiology, for which I was interviewed along with a number of much more distinguished and accomplished colleagues. If you're interested in the field of anesthesiology, either as a potential career or if you just want to know what exactly it is we do all day, check it out.

An excerpt:
“Anesthesia is hands-on, fast-paced, and has tremendous capability to make a positive impact on our patients’ lives as anything else we do in the hospital,” says Dr. Au. “In my opinion, it's one of the most interesting, most exciting fields in medicine, and I firmly believe I have the best job in the world.”

I've said it before and I'll say it again here because it's appropriate: it's a difficult juggle to balance work and family, but it's all the more difficult because I do indeed love my job.  If I didn't love what I did at the hospital as much as I love what I do at home, my choices would perhaps be easier, though maybe not as satisfying.  So really, in the end we should be grateful for the difficult choices, and the chances we have to make them.

(And on an unrelated note: the above photo panel is from pictures I took with my phone during residency--isn't it amazing to see how far cell phone photography has come?  Wow! The future! hovercrafts that fold up into briefcases! And etcetera!)


  1. Anonymous5:47 PM

    that's a really good summary. most people have no clue what i do everyday (i'm a ca-2, and a long time follower of your blog), so maybe this will help. love your blog!

  2. Great timing for me - have just made the switch from paed Surg to anaesthetics! Starting in Jan, v exciting!

  3. Thanks for sharing! I have an interest in anesthesiology, and a few others. (Though I am just a premed, trying not to think too hard on it.) i am wondering how much "awake" patient contact you get? The article spoke of having an amazing two minute speech. Is this realistically the interaction you get? What about follow up? Thanks. :0)

  4. "grateful for the difficult choices"

    Thank you for those words. You just put my entire life in perspective. To have the privilege of making difficult Thank you.

  5. Anonymous1:38 PM

    While I respect the work that anesthesiologists do, I don't think it's fair to all the family docs and general internists out there to call yourselves "the last true generalists" in medicine.

  6. Anonymous2:43 AM

    Tiffany, Any patient that's had surgery can answer your question and yes, 2 minutes interaction is about the right amt. of time between patient and Doctor. I have had 9 surgeries thanks to R.A. and cancer and I never have spent more than a cpl minutes with the anesthesiologist. Many times I never even saw them until I was actually on the OR table.

  7. Anonymous4:33 PM

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on your specialty, I definitely enjoyed reading them.

    I do have a question though regarding the future of the anesthesiology workforce --- what impact will the CRNA boom have on future job prospects? I only ask because Anes and Primary Care seem to be the specialties most impacted by mid-levels encroachment, and I'm just curious what your thoughts are on what the labor market will look like for anesthesiologists in the future.

    3rd yr Medical Student

  8. Anonymous8:00 PM

    On the note about how far we have come.....are you still using those anesthesia machines?

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