Health Science > Anesthesiologists > Preparation

Anesthesiologists - Preparation

To work as an anesthesiologist, you typically need to:

  • have a high school diploma or equivalent;
  • have a bachelor's degree;
  • graduate from medical school;
  • complete an internship;
  • complete a residency program in anesthesiology; and
  • pass additional exams to become board certified.

Education after high school

To become a licensed doctor, you must complete medical school. Medical schools grant a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DOM) degree. You spend the first two years of medical school in classrooms and laboratories. You study anatomy, biochemistry, and medicines. You also learn how to take a medical history, examine patients, and make a diagnosis. During the next two years, you work in hospitals and clinics under the supervision of experienced physicians.


Entry into medical school is competitive. You should apply to several schools.

Most students who apply to medical school have a bachelor's degree. A pre-medicine or science major is good preparation. If you earn a liberal arts degree, be sure to take several courses in physics, biology, and chemistry.

On-the-job training

While in medical school, you spend two years working as an intern in a hospital or clinic. As an intern, you rotate through different medical specialties. These include internal medicine, family medicine, obstetrics, oncology, and other hospital departments.


After medical school, you must complete a four-year residency program in anesthesia. You receive wages while you are a resident. After completing your residency, you take additional exams in anesthesiology to become board certified.

Military training

The military provides advanced training for anesthesiologists. However, it does not provide the initial training to become a doctor. Scholarships for advanced medical training are available in return for a required period of military service.


Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.