Day in the life of
Anesthesiologist – Richard Marn, MD
Some use this analogy, which isn’t too far off. Being an anesthesiologist is like being a pilot for a plane with passengers. 98% of the time it’s relatively calm and smooth, but the other 2% is intense and requires one to turn up the dial for immense focus and action.
I have the unique experience of having both worked in academic medicine for 10+ years, where I was a Division head for a major academic institution. But now I’m working solo in private practice for 4+ years. Working in anesthesia can be a bit lonely, as anesthesiologists often work alone and apart from other anesthesiologists. This is not as dramatic in academic medicine as there is a lot more collaboration and clinical discussion amongst your peers while at work as you run into them throughout the day. But, in private practice, that loneliness is a bit more accentuated. This is in contrast to most other physicians, such as surgeons or internal medicine physicians who tend to work in teams more often than anesthesiologists do. Either way, you must be comfortable with being independent.
What is my work life like?
I wake up at 5, get ready for work you breakfast do a little workout.
I’m at the OR by 6:30 AM. we started cases anywhere from 7:00 to 7:30 in the morning.
The cases I usually do are plastic surgery anesthesia cases and pediatric dental sedations. As a private practice anesthesiologist, my main job is to administer anesthetics to keep the patient unconscious, mobile, comfortable, and amnestic.
Every day varies, but I usually do anywhere from two to three cases a day. And I usually leave the facility anywhere from 4:00 to 7:00 o’clock at night. I’m responsible for not only taking care of patients in the operating room but also managing the recovery of patients in the recovery area.
That evening when I get home I will usually call the patients for the next day, and do a pre-anesthetic assessment and discuss the anesthetic plans for the next day’s surgery.
- Comfortable income
- Balanced work life
- Able to wear comfortable scrubs all day
- Deep pride, knowledge, and strong self-worth knowing that I help keep patients alive. There is a wonderful quote I came across in an article written by a medical student. He said “that while the surgeon is busy saving you with surgery, the anesthesiologist is busy saving you from surgery”
- Opportunity to work in an operating room or you get to do procedures and see immediate results from your care
- Deep knowledge and understanding of pharmacology, physiology, anatomy, surgery, pathology, emergency lifesaving techniques, and be a leader in building teams
- There is immense gratification in being able to have an immediate impact on a person. The anesthetics I administer have an immediate effect, measured and intentional. I don’t have to wait days or weeks to see if what I am doing is going to affect a patient. However, by the very nature of the work we do, often we don’t get the accolades or “pats on the back” like surgeons do from patients, as patients do really “see” an anesthesiologist’s results nor do patients see (or remember) their anesthesiologist after their anesthesia
- At times lonely profession as you don’t really work with other anesthesiologists for most of the day pair.
- Not being able to wear attractive clothes at work, but rather the same old outfit every day.
- Limited ability for continuity care of patients. Often when we take care of patients we rarely see them again.
- Limited recognition by patients, the very ones we take care of.
- The fact that someone’s very life is in your hands is scary sometimes.