Journey Through the Specialities


Anaesthetists are the largest group of hospital-based specialists and as such, they do not just facilitate pain free procedures. Instead, they can be found in all areas of the hospital including leading intensive care units, monitoring a patient’s wellbeing during an operation and supervising their recovery providing further medical support if needed.

Anaesthetist’s main role is based in operating theatres where they have a very active and involved job to ensure that the patient is safe throughout the procedure which may include a hands-on role in resuscitating patients and administering medication. 


Speciality Breakdown

The training pathway takes seven years in total after gaining foundation competencies and is an uncoupled training programme consisting of two years core training, two years specialist intermediate training followed by three years of specialist advanced level training. While in the first few years doctors will learn the basics of anaesthetics, much of the specialist training will involve them developing a particular expertise in a specific area.

– A massive part of an anaesthetist’s job is working in a multidisciplinary team whether this be in an operating theatre or in another unit with acutely unwell patients. In scenarios like these, the MDT is essential in order to get the most effective outcome for patients.

– The speciality can be quite intense at times and it is a job which holds a lot of responsibility with the stakes being heightened as you are often dealing with seriously ill patients, but this is the aspect which makes anaesthetics such a rewarding job to so many people especially as you are contributing to a cure and effects of the treatment can be seen immediately. 

– Anaesthetists are doctors with an understanding of not only medicine and surgery but also physics and underlying chemical processes. This is to ensure favourable working environments for surgeons. It is a tremendously stimulating yet challenging  career.

– A major art of an anaesthetists’ work is putting patients to sleep or intubating them prior to a procedure. This therefore reduces the patient contact element that exists in other specialities.

– Sometimes, the work of the anaesthetist can be overlooked despite the integral role they play in the operating theatre with surgeons often getting most of the focus. There is work being done to change these attitudes.

– On-call shifts can be stressful, busy and require the doctor to be able to think quickly and methodically under pressure while maintaining meticulous attention to detail.