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  1. #11
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    Aug 2007
    So do Consultant Anaesthetists have more, the same, or less power and authority than other Consultants e.e Surgeons

  2. #12
    Member drbang's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
    im not a doctor, but was on work experience last week with both anesthetists and surgeons in theatre whilst a carotid endarterectomy was going on. They both had their seperate jobs to do - but one could not do their job without the other so i woulda said they had equal power and authority ...
    2nd yr medic

  3. #13
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    Sep 2007
    Jeez what a question.

    Perhaps it is true that medicine attracts people who are attracteed to power?

    Anaesthetists manage the pt. during the surgery and deal with post-op complications and issues. The surgeon sees the pt. in clinic to decide on the surgery and then performs said.

    The jobs are closely interrelated but the role of the anaesthetist is actually far greater than just being a gasman. Anaesthetists deal with chronic and acute pain (pain clinics), run ICU and are the first people we call on the wards when there is a seriuosly sick person or a procedure needs to be done. The anaesthetist deal with physiology, the surgeon deals with anatomy.

    It's not about power - it's about giving your all to a pt. to get them through a procedure then shaking it off and moving on to the next.

    A telling point may be that in theatre etiquette a surgeon will always ask permission from the anaesthetist before they make the first incision. Generally surgeons and anaesthetists get on very well but if I was really ill and needed help I would bleep the anaesthetist before the surgeon simply because the surgeon may cure a problem but the gasman gets pts. stable enough to go under the knife.

    Can you tell I'm a medic at heart and bristle at the thought of my aching back in theatre - could never be a surgeon (but perhaps that's because Newcastle medics don't know any anatomy these days!!).
    FY1 Oxford FS - T&O

  4. #14
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    Jul 2004


    The care of a patient is a TEAM effort - surgeon, anaesthetist, scrub nurse, ODP, healthcare assistant etc.
    Each have their own roles.
    Being a consultant paediatric anaesthetist (I have a cousin in med school - so like to keep up with current issues on this board) - I am more than happy to for the surgical patient, and their parents, not to remember me and the role I have played in their care. If that's the case, I have done my job well!
    I also have sessions in obstetric anaesthesia - and as any woman in labour will testify - we are their potential saviours with our "magic" epidurals etc. I get more thankyou letters and pressies from this cohort than any other!
    As someone has posted previously - if you are sick you need someone who can sort you out properly - usually an intensivist (the majority of whom are gasmen and women)! The hospital at night bunff suggests that anaesthetists are competent to perform 19 of 21 basic requirements (not able to deliver babies or mend broken bones) - a very handy group of people!!!
    If you are good at your job, and nice to the punters, you get respect - if you're a tw*t, you don't!.

    One thing I might add though - as a very wise anaesthetist once said to a patient - "My dear, the surgeon can but maim you - I can kill you!"

    I tried surgery for a bit, then tried medicine, then stumbled across "gassing" - and never looked back! Unfortunately this MMC crap will prevent this "try before you buy" attitude - much to everyone's loss.

    Are most of you guys deciding you want to be a surgeon, oncologist or public health consultant by the age of 12????
    Chill out guys - enjoy it!!!!

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by keiron12 View Post
    So are anaesthetists well respected by the surgeons generally or are they considered as the surgeons "assistant" if you call it that?
    I couldn't answer as I am not a surgeon, but from my observations I would not describe them as surgeon's assistants. The surgeon has assistants e.g. other surgeons/registrars or an actual 'surgeon's assistant' who is not necessarily a medically trained doctor but could be a nurse with special training who does the cutting open and sewing up, but not the actual fiddly bits.

    The anaesthetist has a different role.

    So far, I find the anaesthetists are more relaxed and friendly than the surgeons. They are usually quite happy to answer questions and let me stand at the top of the table for a better view
    Last edited by No Future; 06-10-2007 at 06:05 PM.

  6. #16
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    Oct 2007
    I've just finished my elective in anaesthetics/ICU.

    I think it's probably fair to say that among patients and the population at large a surgeon has more 'kudos' than an anaesthetist so if it's bragging rights at the gentleman's club you're after then I'd go surgical. As for respect, I agree that this is much more to do with how you treat the patient and how satisfied they are with your work so in that respect your status is not an issue.

    In hospital other staff have a better idea of the role of aneasthetists (who to call when the s**t hits the fan) and so they get the same professional respect as surgeons, though of course there is a bit of banter now and then.

    Respect/power are such subjective things I wouldn't worry about them too much, no matter what specialty you go into there will always be someone who thinks theirs is more important!

    Quote Originally Posted by keiron12 View Post
    So Overall, Do Anaesethetists have good lives?? i.e good quality of life etc etc.
    I think they do. as was said it depends on what you're doing etc.. as there is a massive scope in anaesthesia. I was told that there are sometimes more on calls/nights later in your career (SpR+Cons)compared to some other medical specialties plus the early mornings. On the other hand most anaesthetic departments are fairly large so there is plenty of scope for flexibility and usually a good social aspect.

  7. #17
    Senior Member yeliab_cram's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Meanwood, Leeds
    Firstly, let me just say that Michael's comment earlier on in the thread about trying to watch ops from the head end was brilliant.

    Secondly, if your searching for a career where you have power, and are judged solely by the size of your balls, either go into investment banking, travel back to the 1950s or become an orthopod.

    Since when is choosing a career based solely on "who is cooler?" honestly, how old are we?

    but seeing as we are here:

    if you ask a surgeon, he (invariably HE) is boss. with the use, solely of his hands and some metal bits, he fixes things. It is like god is at work. He sees the anesthetist as the bloke who's job it is to put the patient to sleep, do 2 across and generally delay the list by insisting on waking up the patient in theatre.

    if you ask the anaesthetist, he is the boss, because without him or her, there would be no operation. They like to make the surgeon feel he is in charge because he needs the ego massage, but in reality if they say "no" then there will be no operation. See surgeons as arrogant, scalpel wielding cowboys, whilst they know far too much physiology for anyone's good. Hate being ordered around by surgeons, good at making tea.

    Academic Vascular Medicine & Surgery
    Currently: FY1 in Cardiology at the Leeds General Infirmary[/COLOR]

    "No matter where you go in life, always keep an eye out for Johnny, the tackling Alzheimer's patient" Dr Cox
    Leeds University Medical School's Surgical Society

  8. #18
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    Aug 2007
    Is it possible for a Consultant Anaesthetist to specialise in a number of areas for example, Cardiac, Neuro, Obstetric, Pain or any other combination?

  9. #19
    Member tilleyk02's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Luckily for you I was on work experience today with an anaesthetist. They definately have less power than surgeons, yes they go to a lot of different departments and can "assist" in operations however surgeons have more power although they can only specialise in one area.
    Moreover, I agree with a comment above, anaesthetists are definately more friendly and relaxed than a surgeon.
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  10. #20
    Senior Member Renal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Bart's and the London
    Quote Originally Posted by keiron12 View Post
    Is it possible for a Consultant Anaesthetist to specialise in a number of areas for example, Cardiac, Neuro, Obstetric, Pain or any other combination?

    I guess it depends on where they are if they can or how many they can do.

    There's also ITU and Trauma/Pre-hospital to consider (a big chunk of the HEMS doctors are from the gas board).

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