Well to start with I am an anaesthetist also called an anesthesiologist/ perioperative physician. I took this branch in medicine by choice and sheer love for the enigma this speciality beholds. Choice!? Are you bewildered?? Well it could come as a shock why would someone do something for life without loving it . I am gonna be enlightening you on how specialities are picked up in India
1. The score you get in your PG entrance exam – top rankers opt for dermatology, orthopedics and radiology.
2. The money you could earn in least time : again the grand disparity in pay discourages people in taking up specialities like anaesthesia , ophthalmology , microbiology etch u
3. The time you take to reach the topmost stance of your career : end specialities like radiology, dermatology take over the once popular branch of general surgery
4. Everyone wants to be a superhero and dramatically save lives like Grey’s anatomy or Dr house . Hence every intern dreams of being that invisible surgeon or impeccable physician.
5. The bond between Indians and relatives is like that of a fetus and the placenta . So it’s only obvious that you please relatives and take up obstetrics ( lady’s doctor) if you are a girl and orthopedics if you are a boy
6. Ufff ain’t it surprising that a country with a population of 1.3 billion gives prime importance to matrimony! Who the hell will marry a female orthopedic or neurosurgeon and how the hell will a male physiologist procreate!!!
7. Physical attributes definitely do play a major role. You cant be Mr Hercules and end up doing pathology! Well the other way round is possible though!
8. You simply inherit the degree along with the genes of your parents and follow suit !
9. Gosh the constant rat race. You simply have a timeline to follow. You need to need to ( like a million need tos) get your PG seat before you are 30 so that the OTHER THINGS can be done in the prescribed timeline!
10.And yes finally, the reason why you should take up a speciality after fullfilling the above mentioned criteria- PASSION ( if that has not died yet! )
After this lengthy description let me do a little bragging about anaesthesia and it’s science 🙂
Q What is anaesthesia?
Anaesthesia is a state of temporary induced loss of sensation or awareness. Analgesia(relief from or prevention of pain), paralysis ( muscle relaxation) and amnesia ( loss of memory) are the components of anaesthesia.
Q Who is an anaesthetist?
An anaesthetist is a doctor who has completed his/her MBBS and then specialised in MD Anaesthesia ( in India) . An anaesthetist is not a nurse/ paramedic / non clinical personal
Q What does an anaesthetist do ?
An anaesthetist not only puts you to sleep though that’s what anaesthesia amounts to ; to most people including the ones in medicine but an anaesthetist actually facilitates in the conduct of surgery. An anaesthetist makes you safe for surgery by looking after you and optimising you prior to surgery , making sure you are taken care of during the long enduring stress of surgery and ensuring you stay pain free and wake up smiling at the end of surgery.
Q Who is / is not an anaesthetist for the medical fraternity?
Your anaesthetist is not your ot table / light /mobile phone operator. Your anaesthetist is not the person you blame when your case is postponed/cancelled. Your anaesthetist is there and cares for the patient as much as you do. When in doubt always communicate with honesty so that he or she knows what to expect at the end of surgery. A cup of coffee to your anaesthesist in the morning won’t hurt 😛
Q Why should I take up anaesthesia?
It’s sad that in India as an intern the anaesthetist is always vilified by your surgery post graduate and you think it’s almost impossible to take anaesthetic fitness. It is also sad that posting in anaesthesia is considered a holiday posting and there is nil exposure whatsoever. Reasons I took up anaesthesia were simple. When no one knows what’s happening to a patient an anaesthetist is almost always to the rescue. Anaesthetists have the bossy attitude and style which very few people can ever attain. There’s an aura of self confidence when he/ she walks into the theatre and owns it. Anaesthesia is all about style and finesse, I was always in awe for the way the anaesthesist held the scope, put in lines or even held a syringe. Life is simpler and happier. Work is work and post work you can dedicate time to life. Anaesthesia can be an end speciality if you decide not to go any further or you could specialise further if you want to. It gives you the freedom to improvise , incorporate into other fields and broaden your horizons like no other field
Anaesthesia is a fairly novel field and is one of the best decisions I would not repent. Progress in surgery has been made plausible due to advances in anaesthesia . It’s time we stop glorifying the surgeon and look at the entire team of people involved in making a surgery happen 🙂
Happy dexmeditising till then 🙂