7 Reasons Why You Should Be an Anaesthetist (or Anesthesiologist, if you don’t speak proper English)

WARNING: This post, like the rest of my blogposts, is best enjoyed with a glass of wine and a good sense of humour. THIS IS NOT A SERIOUS BLOGPOST! I love anaesthetists and have family members who are anaesthetists. We laugh at and with each other. So please have a read of my other blogposts and catch the humorous flavour in all of my posts before throwing egg at this one. If you still didn’t like it, feel free to leave your comments.

 

As surgeons, we work closely with anaesthetists every day. We get to love them, laugh with them and sometimes even look at them. They truly are the quiet heroes behind most of our surgeries. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to do what we surgeons do. Always undisturbed, and unfazed by the happenings, they hide behind their masks and machines. Often I wonder what goes through their mind (I found out it was always food or the stock market).

So, why does one want to become an anesthetist? After an exhaustive research involving multiple sessions of pondering about it while on the toilet, here are some reasons why (well, er… maybe):

1. You get to switch people off from talking by putting them to sleep.
Twitter limits talk to 140 characters. Anesthetist can do that to their patients too. They only need to ask enough pertinent questions, and in goes the milky solution and the tube to whiz them off to sleep. How cool is that? I sometimes wish I could do that to my patients, particularly the non-operative dizzy ones.

2. You are most up to date with the news.
The anaesthetist is always listening to the gossip around town. In one theatre they will hear about the general surgeons’ who’s who. In the next theatre, the orthopod’s who hates who. In the next they listen to the plastic’s who augmented who. Still in the next theatre they hear the neurosurgeon’s who buys who. The talks among the nurses, technicians, surgeons, trainees, etc. They are always up to date with gossip. Or ‘news’ as it is often called in the healthcare industry.

3. You become really, really good at Sudoku.
The anaesthetists have so much ‘leisure’ time sitting down during surgery (they call that ‘work’). Once the patient is asleep, out comes the Sudoku. The speed at which the endotracheal tube goes in is well correlated to the speed at which the Sudoku is extracted form the handbag. I’ve seen some really complex mind boggling sudokus done by anesthetists. Amazing. They get lots of practice at work.

4. You can handover the patient at the end of your shift.
This is one of the beauties of anaesthetics. While we surgeons have nightmares about our patients, anesthetists get to hand over the patient at the end of their shift. The good ones, bad ones, unstable ones, etc.

5. You get to finish reading a novel/newspaper/magazine/tabloids while getting paid.
See reason number 3. Actually, you also get to pay your bills, organise your holiday, bid on eBay, shop on Amazon, purchase a new car, do yoga, eat, drink, sleep, and sometimes even brush your teeth, all while the patient is asleep. Well, in short, you get to do what you do at home in the convenience of work.

6. If you don’t like the surgeon, you just have to lift up the sterile barrier.
It’s always interesting when that happens. I have the luxury of working elbow to elbow or face to face with all types of surgeons. I’ve got no blood/brain barrier I could lift. When they yell at me, well, they yell at me. I have to face the music. And that’s also often when the anaesthetic side suddenly lifts up their barrier and I can almost hear the muffled giggles behind.

7. And this is probably the main reason they do anaesthesia: You get to pass gas at work.
Now who wouldn’t want to be paid for passing gas all day?

And for the Famous Anaesthetists’ Hymn brilliantly done by Amateur Transplants:

DISCLAIMER: I am a trainee surgeon. This may be a biased research. No anaesthetists were harmed in the writing of this “Piece of Work!”. In fact, no anaesthetists were present or awake enough to be bothered with this.

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31 thoughts on “7 Reasons Why You Should Be an Anaesthetist (or Anesthesiologist, if you don’t speak proper English)

  1. You can intubate your friends at parties.
    You don’t have enough ego hypertrophy to be a surgeon.
    You can comfort anxious patients with, “I know just how you feel. It’s my first anesthetic, too.”
    Any job where you can drive to work in green pajamas is a cool job.
    You can park next to rich doctors like ENT surgeons
    You can cover your mistakes with Midazolam.
    After spending the night with surgeons, they still won’t respect you in the morning.
    If you get bored on the weekends, you can give yourself a spinal.
    No office, no overheads, no rectal exams!!!

  2. It’s the most difficult job!u have to put up with all kinds of egopathetic surgeons that their entire medical knowledge resumes to the operating field! plus u are the only doc that actually gives “poisons” to keep one asleep! if u think that’s easy just try it for a week!oh!wait in a week u don’t actually have time to review all pathology, cardiology, respiratory system, anatomy, central nervous system, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and the list goes on! Besides being a good doctor u need skills to become a sudoku expert!

  3. i’m deeply offended by the making fun of anesthetists. we are all in the OR for the same reason, to HELP the patient. no need to critique us with your false perceptions of our jobs.

  4. As an anaesthetist in the antipodes (Australia in fact), I appreciate this post and see the humorous side. Don’t be put off by the naysayers below.

  5. The best of us anesthesiologists, or anaesthetists, if you prefer, work very hard to make the job look as easy as you describe. We are also the best at not taking ourselves so seriously. Having a laugh at yourself is a good thing.

    • I totally agree on both counts. i respect anaesthesiologists who flies so smoothly that everything looks easy, and those who do not take themselves too seriously. good work, you guys,

  6. Good God, as a surgery patient I can only say you sound like an egotistic pig and I am utterly relieved to read that you live in a different country. I predict that no mater how your try to hide your god complex from your patients, then will discern it and your recommendations will be few.

    • Thanks for dropping by and leaving your comment. I appreciate that. And I appreciate that perhaps you’ve misunderstood the fact that this blog was never meant to be a serious one. Sorry that i am a pig and I live in a different country. I wish you well in your surgical journey.

  7. Hello, I would love to be an Anesthesiologists one day but here is my issue. I am 23 years old and about to graduate undergraduate school in Engineering Technology. I used up my college money but I was thinking could I still take the MCAT even though I am an engineering student? And also if I joined the Air Force could I use my GI money for med school?

  8. Have newly come to your blogspot and as Theatre nurse of 30 years(England!) am loving it!! Have worked with many an Ozzy medic during my career and have loved them all. Have happy memories of being summoned to theatre with the traditional gentle Antipodean call of “OY, you Pommy tart” down the entire length of the theatre suite….ignore the humourless comments…those of us who live and work in surgery appreciate a good laugh, its what keeps us vaguely sane!! xx

      • 《香港再出發宣言》前言1.1 香港回歸十二年,經歷了多方面的折騰,儘管還有不少優勢,但面對當前的全球經濟危機,香港的政治、經濟、社會、民生,都處於十字路口,香港七百萬市民與政府都需要深入反思,再闖前途。1.2 眾所周知,香港目前政治內耗不斷,管治危機揮之不去;經濟缺乏新動力和增長點,香港經濟優勢加速下滑;社會貧富懸殊,機會減少,紛爭加劇,民生日趨困難;令人更担憂是社會缺乏共識、凝聚力和進取性。朝目前的軌跡發展下去,香港有可能陷於失序的境况。**香港社會欠缺共識和凝聚力?當然。一個缺乏民意基礎,又拒絕聽取民意,但是又突然「代表香港人」的香港政府,怎能凝聚市民?至於「政治內耗」一詞,就經常被親中團體採用,它的意思大概是政府說甚麼、推出甚麼,市民都要接受,不可以提出意見,一有反對意見就有爭拗,就有內耗。簡單一句,「政府面前,人人含忍」。1.3 如果香港市民及政府不勇於面對挑戰,堅持信念,承擔責任,重拾以前的幹勁,為香港的前途拼搏、扭轉劣勢;香港將會在祖國壯大中邊緣化,在激烈競爭中沉淪,誰也救不了香港。1.4 我們不應被香港目前遇到的困難難倒,並拋棄目前錯誤的發展軌跡,在這關鍵的時刻建立共識,再出發、闖前途。認識中國2.1 香港與國家:今天的香港,是回歸中華人民共和國成為特別行政區的香港,是一國兩制憲法框架下的香港。這是客觀的現實。儘管不少香港市民對中國內地政權有不同的看法,這事實是無法改變的。**在香港,誰要搞港獨?有多少人不認同香港是回歸中國的香港?反而是作者對內地的政權有奇怪的看法,認為中國一定要在中國共產黨的手中,不能走向民主。2.2 中興的中國:儘管中國政府在過去的六十年,在發展的過程中犯了不少重大的錯誤;但是,尤其是自改革開放以來,中國各方面的成就有目共睹,雖然仍面對不少急須解決的問題。最重要的是,它帶領中華民族再次站起來,擺脫百多年來的民族恥辱,進入小康,復興在望。作為參與其事的中國人一份子,亦深受鼓舞,深感自豪。**自改革開放以來,中國各方面的成就有目共睹,唯獨是在政治和公民權利,及言論自由方面,並無寸進。中國政府近來要求新的進口電腦安裝「綠壩─ 花季護航」互聯網內容過濾軟件,又是什麼進步呢?是言論自由嗎?認識「一國兩制」下的香港3.1 政治:香港市民享有高度自由,並受到法律保障。香港暫時還未能實行普選行政長官及全面普選立法會議員,但是已經有了2017年普選行政長官,和2020年全面普選立法會議員的明確時間表。**為何要2017和2020?為什麼不是2012?更令人憤怒的是部份親中人士認為,普選不一定是一人一票,十分無恥。由於缺乏管治經驗,再加上體制上的缺陷,特區政府有不少施政失誤,需要汲取經驗,努力改進。香港市民亦需要積極支持政府依法施政,維持香港的繁榮、穩定和發展。**「依法」?依甚麼法?依惡法嗎?依功能團體所立的法嗎?「法治」的概念,原本並不止是講「依照法律」,同時也講究立法的程序能反映民意。為什麼「法治」來到中國和香港,它的原意就不斷被剝奪,最後剩下「依法」?3.2 經濟:香港經濟太受地產發展的影響:地價、樓價及租金關係政府財政、市民財產及營商環境與成本。在周邊競爭力提升的挑戰下,香港已經面臨產業必須作重大結構調整的關鍵時刻。香港經濟的持續發展,寄望於新的增長點。我們不能昧於形勢,故步因循,無視自身競爭力的退步。作為第三產業主導的經濟體系,香港的工資結構不利低學歷、低技術的青年及中高齡人士;財富及入息差距擴大是一直困擾着香港的結構性問題。作為高速發展的中國經濟一個部分,以及「一國兩制」的優勢,是我們至今遠沒有用足的巨大機遇。政府需要扮演一個更積極的角色,促進經濟轉型和提升,大企業要騰出空間,使經營成本平穩下降,讓中小企業能立足和成長。**這一段是本人唯一可以認同的一段,唯一的希望就政府在促進經濟轉型和提升上不要「講多過做」。3.3 社會文化:香港是多元社會,社群、族群、人群關係可算融洽,對少數人的不同意見及權益是尊重的。**「對少數人的不同意見及權益是尊重的」,你是認真的嗎?香港貧富懸殊嚴重。但香港的貧窮是富裕社會的貧窮,窮人及社會低下階層得到的各種社會補助還算足夠。政府除了繼續維持這必要的社會安全網之外,還要通過各種手段降低社會不公,讓最多市民能分享經濟發展的成果。香港是商業城市,香港對弱勢社群的關懷,對文化及環境的保育有所不足,需要致力改進,並保持社會整體趨多元化方向發展。香港深受移民社會的過客心態、西方自由思想及個人主義的影響,對社會整體利益,尤其是長期利益不夠重視。這種取向優點在於發揮競爭力,靈活善變;但是過份重視個人利益的最大化,個人或個體利益凌架社會利益,不願意為社會付出代價,是香港社會及環境劣質化的根由。在個人和集體利益之間,我們需要另一個平衡點。**其實都有少少道理,不過作者有必要介定甚麼是「社會利益」。我並不希望「代表香港人認為經濟發展可以唔認殺人」、停止爭取普選、京人治港等成為「社會利益」。我們的價值4.1 愛國愛港:儘管有香港市民認為他們愛的是文化的中國、民族的中國,對中國的政權、政策、施政表現有不同的看法,有所不滿是完全正常的。但是中國是一個實實在在的實體政權;中華人民共和國是我們的祖國。香港與中國整體在文化、歷史、地理、經濟都榮辱與共,不可分割;香港和整個中國的利益長遠而言,完全一致。愛香港,不可能不愛中國;愛國就是愛實質上代表中國的中華人民共和國。**「中國是一個實實在在的實體政權」?中國幾時成為了實體政權?當然國家是一個實體,但是國家從來不等同政權。作者這種論調,顯示他有必要重新返回學校,學習最基礎的「國家」概念。4.2 社會和諧:我們承繼的傳統社會和諧價值,要求香港市民和衷共濟,事事從他人設想,追求雙贏,而不追求一己利益最大化。這樣社會才會和諧,整體社會質素才會改善。而在現代社會,社會和諧價值的實踐是要求政府依法施政,司法公正,無論強者、弱者、富者及貧者都要依法辦事。社會要顯彰公義及愛心,尤其對弱勢社群關懷、照顧。因此,尊重傳統,弘揚公義,發揚愛心,維護司法公正,是構建和諧社會的基本元素。**和諧、雙贏?本來呢,講和諧、講雙贏,是成熟社會的標誌。有說「君子和而不同」,但是有親中人士講和諧,其實是「政府講哂」,市民一定要Say Yes,一Say No就是不和諧。親中人士以為可以將這種A貨「和諧」推銷給香港市民,認真低智。4.3 民主自由:儘管香港市民對民主自由的實踐有不同的看法,絕大部分都認同民主自由是值得肯定的價值,是以人為本管治哲學的本義。這即是說政府要有認授性,權力要有制度上的制衡,要向公民交待施政理念及措施,並要接受公民的監督,承擔施政失誤的責任。民主自由亦表示公民有參政、議政權利,有表達意見的自由。**民主就是一人一票,絕對不只是參政、議政的權利。作者推銷A貨「民主」,實在無恥。4.4 自力更生:香港今天的成就是幾代人努力、拼搏、勤奮及自主精神的體現。香港今天的富裕容易使我們忘記自力更生價值的堅持,忘記個人努力、責任承擔的重要性。然而,自力更生同時要求政府要創造有利的條件,使所有香港市民可以在公平的起點上拼搏,追求自己的「香港夢」;並要對不能自助者及弱勢社群,尤其有工作的貧窮家庭提供足夠的保障,使他們獲得社會普遍認許的生活水平。**尚可接受我們的信念5.1 權責並重、跨代公義:如果每一位香港市民只重視自己權利,不重視自己責任;社會只會紛爭四起,內耗不息。長遠而言,一個重權輕責的香港不可能持續發展;香港市民會愧對我們的下一代。因此,我們不單止要問香港為你做了什麼,更要問你自己為香港做了什麼,為香港的下一代留下了什麼? 為民族復興貢獻了什麼?**又是內耗,又是社會責任,本人已經在上文表達了自己的立場,不再在此回應。5.2 發揮主人翁精神:香港是每一位香港市民的香港,我們不要因為政制未完備,便認為特區政府施政的績效及錯失與我無關。實際上,特區政府管治的得失,和市民憂喜與共。因此,我們有責任協助政府提升香港的管治。**你在說甚麼?市民就是覺得特區政府的施政與自己息息相關,才批評政府的施政。5.3 對香港的遠景有信心:我們不單只要對中國的遠景有信心,更要對香港的遠景有信心。中國今天的成就來得不易;它是幾代人付出了犧牲,付出了理想,貢獻了他們青春,以至生命所換來的。同樣道理,香港今天的成就得來不易:市民需要和衷共濟,摒棄成見,抱積極進取的態度,重現活力。5.4 熱愛香港,願意付出:愛的偉大之處在於感情的付出,承擔的精神。只要香港市民上下一心,正視香港是自己的家;大家多講承擔,多講雙贏、和諧,多關懷弱勢社群,創造和諧公義的社會,我們熱愛的香港一定會有美好的明天。我們愛香港,香港是我們的家。我們願意承擔,為香港整體利益付出。我們不會被目前面對的問題、困難難倒。我們決心與香港七百萬市民齊心協力,面對挑戰,打敗困難,共同努力建設香港更美好的明天!**5.3和5.4都再講和諧、雙贏,我快悶死了。**小結:**創造更美好的香港,是香港人共同的目標。不過,部份親中人士,不斷以無知(或者無恥)的言論,推銷其A貨「法治」、A貨「和諧」、A貨「社會利益」甚至A貨「民主」。接受A貨公民價值並不會使社會進步,反而會令香港更不公平。希望香港人對「民主」、「法治」等概念更為清晰,購買正貨。

  9. Funny post and great videos. Some of the comments on here are way too serious. Everyone knows a sense of humour goes a long way in medicine.

  10. Good friend senior anaesthetist to me has his own three laws of surgery:
    1. It is impossible to proceed without the patient
    Remarkable just how few managers understand this conundrum of organisation.
    2: nine o’clock means different things to different people
    3: working with surgeons is like observing big game; best is to observe habits and hope to fit in somehow

    Retired student of surgical personalities
    I am reminded of anaesthetist on long haul flight keeping his head down but eventually responding to developing worsening emergency in first class and grateful harassed stewardess explaining that reading orthopaedic surgeon was distressed and getting desperate for competent adjustment to lighting.
    Best advice I received was just ” to sow seeds of doubt” when dealing with surgeon thinking to embark on Likely catastrophic plan of surgical management for a particular patient from eg intensive scare unit/mortuary out-patients dept.

  11. I am a UK Graduate and want to be an anaesthetist! Looking forward to applying to the training super soon! This is a GREAT post , hilarious and spot on accurate! Youre a hero, grand to read something from a surgeon with a great sense of humour – all the best, Mr!

  12. To become a anaesthestist is great but you have to move with latest procedures and technology
    In critical and OR section as with age and experience good surgeon will always appreciate your capabilities in public which are very few in number otherwise most of them are not fair even your so called highly qualified anaesthetists will bully you even though they are wrong it is not easy to become good anaesthetist
    Still you have to enjoy this field with many stresses &odds in the interest of patients and humanity
    Always find best out of worst conditions
    Otherwise this artical has covered most of the things
    Dr rajinder k mehta

    • The type of physician I would like to work for is a Pediatrician. Pediatrician’s spcetaliy is to work with children. I have been working with children for a long time mainly because I work at a daycare facility. I’ve got to a point where I feel like I can handle anything that will come my way with them. It would also leave me feeling good at the end of the day to know that I have helped in some way to make a child feel better.The type of physician I would not care to work for is a Epidemiologist. Epidemiologist’s specialize in epidemics caused by infections agents and also work with sexually transmitted diseases. I feel if I were to work in this type of spcetaliy I would be putting my self at risk of exposure to these infectious agents. Also I would be focusing a lot of my time on trying to not get infected instead of having a steady mind on what I was actually supposed to be doing.

  13. I know you really don’t want me to say this, but don’t go unelss it’s for a medical reason. I’m posative you are pretty the way you are. You need to accept yourself and relize that plastic surgery is to fake beauty. If you want true beauty you need to work for it. You want to lose weight; exerize and diet. You want to take care of acne, research it! You want your skin to be pale, find a recipe for natural skin bleach, wear makeup, but be yourself because that is what beauty really is.

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