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.

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

  1. davesainsbury

    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. Midhun

    Is this job is so Stupid?

  3. Pranab kr. De

    first be an anaesthetist, feel their pain and then comment rubbish.

  4. Anonymous

    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!

  5. Anonymous

    rubbish.you dont have the slightest idea of what we’re doing.

  6. Anonymous

    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.

    1. Mike P

      Are you really serious? This blog is COMEDY. I’m a consultant anaesthetist in Oz. This was funny!

  7. David W

    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.

    1. Otorhinolarydoc

      Thanks for that comment, David. The world is a better place with humour.

    2. Otorhinolarydoc

      haha. i too am in australia, and hence, love my laid back anaesthetists who flies the plane so well as if they were just having a good barbie. thanks for leaving a note.

  8. jmckeownmd

    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.

    1. Otorhinolarydoc

      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,

  9. Surgery Patient

    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.

    1. Otorhinolarydoc

      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.

  10. A "tourist" wonderer on Medician

    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?

    1. Otorhinolarydoc

      Thanks for visiting. Sorry but I’m in Australia, so I can’t give you specific advice on that. But hey, we need lots of good anaesthesiologists! you should be one of them.

  11. Sivuyile

    I generally think anesthesiologists are specialized doctors who have the easiest but challenging Jobs. I would love to be one

  12. Kim Woodage

    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

    1. Otorhinolarydoc

      Haha. Thanks Kim! Glad you visited. Thanks for leaving a comment. I agree. The operating theatre environment demands a good sense of humour! cheers. have a happy christmas.

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  13. AC

    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.

    1. Otorhinolarydoc

      Thanks! Glad you found that funny. That was the intention, to have a light-hearted look at life.

  14. Anonymous

    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.

  15. Zoe

    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!

  16. Dr rajinder k mehta. Chief medical officer( cardiac anaesthesia)

    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

  17. davefromcamp

    I think you would enjoy http://t.co/vt024yI0uK it’s an satire article from gomerblog.com about anesthesia and sudoku. You gotta laugh at yourself sometimes

    1. Ekaterina

      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.

    2. Saed

      Thanks for the insthgi. It brings light into the dark!

  18. Asia R

    Loved this article. I’m a senior in high school and I dream of becoming an anesthesiologist. I really want to do this! I just wasn’t sure what it would really be like! Thanks for the laugh, although I would love to correspond with one another so that I could get a better idea of the field.

  19. Fede

    that’s really funny! I’m a italian pediatric anesthetist and, yes, that’s true… We are the best at Sudoku (and angry birds, too). Why do we have to be always so serious? Check on youtube orthopedia vs anesthesia, or the drug song by amateur transplant. If you think we can have fun of every specialist doctor. Well, not really. What we say about orthopedics is reality.
    By the way: do you need an anesthesist in Australia? 😀

  20. Aveek

    As a practising anesthesiologist, I find your post exhilarating. We dont care what others think, ‘coz if we are doing our jobs right, nobody feels anythings. The silent worker, master at sudoku/puzzles and the like, and oh, we get paid as well 😉
    Keep it up.

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