How Long Does It Take To Become An Anesthesiologist (And Why)?

How Long Does It Take To Become An Anesthesiologist (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 12-14 years

Becoming an Anesthesiologist is a long and difficult process that requires dedication, patience, and discipline. However, the reward of being able to help people through one of their most painful experiences in life is worth it. 

Anesthesiologists are medical professionals who specialize in drugs to relieve pain and other symptoms during surgery. The length of time it takes to become an anesthesiologist will depend on their education before entering this field.  

Someone with a college degree in science may take four years after graduation before applying for residency training. 

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How Long Does It Take To Become An Anesthesiologist?

Undergraduate Study4 Years
Medical School4 Years
Residency4 Years

The amount of time it takes to become an anesthesiologist varies by the institution attended but is over 12-14 years. Anesthesiologists must complete a four-year bachelor’s degree, a four-year medical education, and four years of residency. 

They must also complete a fellowship program or two years in private practice, receive certification, and pass a licensing examination before they can apply for registration.

Although many physicians can administer anesthesia procedures with the help of a nurse anesthetist, only medical doctors who have undergone surgical training can administer general anesthesia. 

The first two years are spent in pre-anesthesia coursework, followed by attending the anesthesia curriculum. Basic sciences are then followed by clinical courses leading to degree completion. 

Most American medical or osteopathic schools have four-year MD programs, which students may elect to pursue before moving on to these additional post-requisite programs. 

However, for schooling purposes, this can vary depending on one’s location and which job one takes. It takes 4 years of school before getting into medical school for MD. Most programs that lead to an Anesthesiologist degree will be either 12 or 14 years long – each year consisting of semesters. 

If one goes straight through without taking any breaks like summers or time off for other jobs, it should only take 6 total years of full-time schooling to get the degree. 

Also, suppose one already has a Master’s degree in another field when applying to become an anesthesiologist. In that case, the process could be shortened by one year or more depending on the qualifications.

Why Would Becoming An Anesthesiologist Take So Long?

Becoming an Anesthesiologist takes so long because the profession requires extensive schooling to acquire all of the necessary knowledge. 

Anesthesiologists begin their professional studies at an accredited institution with a bachelor’s degree in pre-med or science. They study biology, calculus, chemistry, and physics to prepare for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and medical school.

All anesthesiologists must complete continuing education courses to stay up to date and maintain their abilities after being licensed. 

One reason why becoming an anesthesiologist might take longer than most is because the applicant must demonstrate that they can make it through rigorous schedules in demanding environments.

Anesthesiologists administer anesthesia and monitor patients during surgical, obstetric, and dental procedures. They also diagnose and relieve pain that accompanies a variety of medical conditions. 

Anesthesiologists are trained in medicine, surgery, anesthesiology – the pharmacology of all types of anesthetic drugs – radiology, physiotherapy, intensive care medicine, cardiopulmonary diseases, and other related disciplines.

The following are some of the most important duties for an anesthesiologist:

  1. Assessing patient conditions before, during, and after surgery to determine anesthesia needs 
  2. Administering anesthesia techniques 
  3. Controlling oxygen supply or other emergency measures when necessary 
  4. Supervising recovery processes following surgery
  5. Anesthesiologists work closely with surgeons in making decisions – including whether or not to use certain types of anesthesia – that will affect how smoothly the operation proceeds.
  6. They also need to be prepared for any possible emergencies that might arise during the operation.

The length of the program might sound daunting – but there are benefits for professional development and improved patient outcomes. 


As with any walk in life, one has to work under pressure and stay focused when their peers are sleeping on their lunch breaks especially an anesthesiologist. 

Another reason, according to healthcare marketers, is technological obsolescence or shifts in the relevance of old skill sets. 


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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