Anesthesiologists are doctors who focus their practice on pain relief. They provide sedatives and anesthesia to people who are about to undergo what would otherwise be incredibly painful medical procedures.
Educational and Licensing Requirements for Anesthesiologists
Anesthesiologists are specialists, meaning they have to go through all of the same educational requirements and training as other doctors, plus additional courses and programs that allow them to specialize in anesthesiology.
Anesthesiologists, therefore, all have college degrees plus another degree from an accredited medical school. They have also all been through a one-year medical or surgical internship, plus a three-year residency program that focuses on anesthesiology. Many anesthesiologists also complete an additional fellowship – some are two years, while others are only one – that hones their specialty in anesthesiology into either:
- Pediatric care
- Critical care
Once done with all of the education requirements, anesthesiologists have to get certified by the American Board of Anesthesiologists. This license requires passing a strenuous exam.
How Anesthesiologists Practice Medicine in Philadelphia
Most of the estimated 30,000 anesthesiologists in the U.S. work in the hospital setting. There, they provide the anesthesia needs for more than 21 million patients, every year. This involves keeping a patient alive but in such a deep state of sedation that doctors and surgeons can perform what would otherwise be impossible internal procedures.
However, while the vast majority of anesthesiologists work in the hospital setting, most of them do not work for the hospital. A huge portion of anesthesiologists operates as solo medical practitioners. They provide medical services for hospitals in their locale as independent contractors, meaning they are not technically on the hospital's payroll. Because they are not employees of the hospital, they are not under the hospital's control, allowing them to set their own hours and practice.
Medical Malpractice by Anesthesiologists
Sedating patients who are undergoing a surgical procedure is a precise science: too little anesthesia and the patient might wake up before the procedure is finished. Too much anesthesia, though, and the patient might not wake up at all.
Anesthesiologists have to take special care when patients are young, old, frail, or dealing with other medical conditions. If they fail to uphold the basic standard of care that anesthesiologists are expected to provide, it can amount to medical malpractice.
Some common examples of medical malpractice by anesthesiologists include:
- Not adjusting the anesthesia by the patient's weight and condition
- Using more or less anesthesia than is acceptable, given the patient's condition
- Not monitoring a patient once the anesthesia has been administered
Gilman & Bedigian: Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Philadelphia
The medical malpractice lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian legally represent people who have suffered from the malpractice of anesthesiologists in Philadelphia. These medical professionals carry a lot of responsibility, and even slight errors or mistakes on their part can become life-threatening to patients who are unable to do anything to protect themselves.
The lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian strive to hold anesthesiologists accountable for their mistakes and recover the compensation that victims deserve. Contact them online to get started on your case.