Duties and responsibilities
An obstetric anesthesiologist is a specialist physician who provides peripartum (time directly preceding, during or following childbirth) pain relief. This pain relief may be analgesia for labor and anesthesia for cesarean deliveries.
- Following up and visiting all postnatal women who have had anaesthetic input
- Inputting all follow-up data onto the obstetric database
- Assessing whether a patient is fit enough to undertake an operation before the surgery takes place
- Providing perinatal analgesia through epidurals, combined spinal epidurals and patient controlled analgesia (PCAs)
- Provide anaesthesia for perinatal operative procedures through regional and general anaesthesia
- Provide critical care for the sick patient
- Monitoring patients while they’re under anaesthesia to make sure they remain in a stable condition
Like all physicians, obstetric anesthesiologist must complete a bachelor’s degree program before attending medical school. Medical schools are extremely selective, and prospective students must have excellent collegiate grades, get good scores on the Medical College Admission Test, and possess letters of recommendation from professors or other professionals. Once medical school is completed, obstetric anesthesiologist must complete a residency period that specializes in anesthesiology. After residency, all physicians must pass the national licensing exam and receive board certification in obstetric anesthesiologist.
Skills and relevant work experience
As well as completing all the relevant medical training, obstetric anesthesiologist will need skills such as:
- Written and verbal communication skills, as obstetric anesthesiologist will need to communicate with expecting mothers and with other medical professionals. They will need to do this in, what is often, a stressful environment
- Compassion, as obstetric anesthesiologist will work with women who are in a lot of pain and distress. They must show the utmost respect, understanding and compassion
- Problem solving skills, as obstetric anesthesiologist will need to work fast to find solutions to problems as they arise
- Dexterity, as obstetric anesthesiologist will use sharp needles to inject substances into the spinal cord. Therefore, they will need excellent hand-eye coordination
- Attention to detail, as obstetric anesthesiologist need to spot issues with patients during the follow up care and during procedures
Most obstetric anesthesiologist will work full time and may often work long shifts. They may also be on call, which means they will have to attend emergencies at any time of day!
There is no data as to how much obstetric anesthesiologist get paid. However, anaesthesiologists, as a whole, are the highest paid physicians they receive a median annual salary of $261,730 per year.
To further progress, obstetric anesthesiologist may learn more about their subdivision and become more specialized and superior.