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Who Is An Anesthesiologist?

Who Is An Anesthesiologist?


When preparing for surgery, many patients think of the anesthesiologist as the “physician behind the mask" who sends them into sleep before the procedure and wakes them when it’s over. What they may not realize is how much the anesthesiologist does between those two points.

Anesthesiologists serve a central role in the operating room, making decisions to protect and regulate your critical life functions. They typically are the first to diagnose and treat any medical problems that may arise during surgery or the recovery period. 

The practice of anesthesiology is broad and transcends the operating room as well.  Anesthesiologists are experts in pain medicine. They help patients with chronic disease live better lives through pain management treatments for everyday.  Additionally, their work in critical care units saves countless lives. Anesthesiologists treat patients with multiple complications from pulmonary and cardiac issue to infection control and advanced life support.


Click on the links below to find out more about the physicians behind the mask:

Know your Anesthesiologist

Role of the Anesthesiologist

Types of Anesthesia Providers 

Qualifications of an Anesthesiologist 

Anesthesia Care Team 


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Actual Accounts

Get real stories from patients, and read about their experiences with an anesthesiologist.

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Anesthesia Topics Quick Links

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Smoking and Surgery
Learn why stopping smoking before surgery can have an impact on your outcome.

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In Case of Emergency

Download, print, fill out, and keep this checklist. It just may save your life.

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Come Prepared

Ask your anesthesiologist questions about what to expect before, during, and after your procedure.

Get Questions

The ASA does not employ physician anesthesiologists on staff and cannot respond to patient inquiries regarding specific medical conditions or anesthesia administration. Please direct any questions related to anesthetics, procedures or treatment outcomes to the patient’s anesthesiologist or general physician.