A career in anaesthesia
Anaesthetists play a critical part in the running of the hospital, write Saud Jukaku and colleagues
As a medical student and houseman I always admired the “gas man.” Seeing them in their scrubs marked them out from the rest of us, and I felt a sense of admiration and awe. Perhaps it's because when you struggle with a blue cannula, they come along and nonchalantly insert a grey one. Or maybe it's because the medical answer to the “who ya gonna call?” question in the event of difficult lines, airways, or critically ill patients is “the anaesthetist.”
Anaesthetists have a poor image among the public, many of whom do not even realise that they are doctors. Maybe it's because the patient is asleep most of the time or because the specialty has developed only in the past 50 years; in fact, anaesthesia used to be delivered by medical students and nurses.
The reality is different. Anaesthetists make up the largest specialty in the hospital and play