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For those pondering Anesthesia

Discussion in 'Anesthesiology' started by OSUrulz, Jul 2, 2002.

  1. OSUrulz

    OSUrulz Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 15, 2002
    Just started my residency here at Tulsa. The OSUCOM students have started their rotations as well. I am having a lot of questions thrown at me about getting into anesthesia. Guys, I didn't have to try all that hard to land this spot. I am not a "big academic numbers" kind of guy. But, I will tell you this, starting with the class below me, I can see that anesthesia is going to be just as competitive as radiology. Every other student I encountered today was wanting to go into or thinking about anesthesia. I will try to ask my attendings what they are looking for and get you guys some updates later.

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  3. Jive Turkey

    Jive Turkey Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 16, 2002
    What's your take on why Anesthesia has gone from the pits to prom queen in just a matter of half a decade?

    When I started med school, people said there were no jobs to be found. Was that just an ugly rumor or is/was there any truth to that? How has the job market improved since the mid-90s?

    The relatively recent popularity of rads and gas has really baffled me. I really don't get why they became popular all of a sudden (relatively). I know rads cut its spots down by 200+ or so, but that alone can't explain how ridiculously competitive it is now. Are med students really all that more concerned about lifestyle than 5 years ago? I can see how there can be a change in cultural views over generations (15-20 years), but this rads and gas boom is unusual... to me at least.
  4. UAB

    UAB Member 7+ Year Member

    Feb 22, 2002
    My question is: Anesthesia and Radiology have a great job market nowadays, but what do you think it will be in 6-7 years? ( Obviously it?s difficult to know ), also I?ve heard that the number of rads spots is going to increase, so it will make the job market not so good in the future, with more radiologists compared with now?
  5. Whisker Barrel Cortex

    Whisker Barrel Cortex 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 10, 2001
    Jive Turkey,

    Actually radiology was a very competitive match for a long time until the mid 1990s when the governements oversupply predictions scared people away. My advisor in med school was our program director and had been at that position for 25 years. He says that until the lean years starting in 1995, the applicants he saw were of similar caliber to the ones he sees now. I have heard similar things about anesthesia back in the eighties. I think what happened was that the predictions were proven wrong and people once again started showing interest in these fields.

    As for UABs questions about the future, it is very hard to predict the job market. However due to the ever increasing demand for radiologic studies, I think the radiology market is going to be good for quite a while. Maybe not as amazingly good as it now, but still good.
  6. OSUrulz

    OSUrulz Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 15, 2002
    Anesthesia was once thought of as a dying field with the CRNA's taking over the caseloads. That is not the case. Hospitals want a residency trained anesthesiologist on staff. The drive away from anesthesia in the 90's caused a shortage, that has been calculated to be short for another 10-15 years with the current number of residency spots. Bear in mind, 25 percent of gaspassers are age 55 or older. Folks are going to want to retire. These stats are straight from the governing bodies of anesthesia.

  7. droliver

    droliver Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    May 1, 2001
    WBC's points re the competativeness of anesthesia and radiology until the late 80's also reflect what I've heard talking to some middle-aged attendings. It goes to reflect that students do pay attention to the signals sent down by organized medicine, and can just as quickly change course.
  8. Jive Turkey

    Jive Turkey Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 16, 2002
    Historically has there been any relationship between Anesthesia and Gen Surg with respect to competitiveness or market "supply/demand?"

    Given the decline in popularity of Gen Surg at the moment, how will Anesthesia be affected (if at all)?
  9. OSUrulz

    OSUrulz Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 15, 2002
    Jive Turkey, I don't believe that anesthesia will be affected much by the decrease in surgery applicants. The problem is the amount of anesthesiologists that are available. There are CRNA's that are helping, but they must be supervised. One lone anesthesiologist cannot cover more than about 3-4 rooms at a time. That gets too hairy.
    At present time, the population of surgeons is greater than gaspassers. Most are younger as well. When these older gaspassers retire we will need to have new guys (or gals) available.

  10. bigfrank

    bigfrank SDN Donor 7+ Year Member

    Feb 20, 2002
    Hi, I have spoken with many PDs as well and there is really no statistical way that anesthesiology is going to become "ridiculously competitive" for the sheer reason that there are SOO many spots. Sure, spots at Johns Hopkins are always going to competitive (along with other big city/Ivy programs) but with the ~1,200 spots/year people with a sincere interest in the field will find a spot.

    Other reasons that will drive people away from the field in the end are the lack of patient contact, cRNA perceived threat, and overall nature of the field (OR-based, surgeons, etc.).

    So PLEASE don't listen to all the hype that is being spewed on this site. If you are a US-MD, you *will* be able to find a spot.

    Best wishes to all.
  11. godfather

    godfather Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 13, 2001
    i agree anaesthsia still can't be labeled a competitive field, but i don't think the number of spots is going to keep it from becoming competitive. the reality is there is a strong push in the us med schools at choosing the lifestyle fields and anaesthsia is one of those that wrongly or rightly is perceived as such (along with er,rad,derm,and optho). i think the big difference today from just 3 short years ago is that very strong candidates are going into it whereas 3 to 5 years ago no one is going into it. there's still idiots like me going into the field, but the applicant pool now has more top notch us allopathic grads than it has for like 10 years. i think this next year will tell alot about how things are going to be in anaesthesia. in my year although alot of stellar candidates went into the field you didn't have to be a stellar candidate to land a spot, and as a matter of fact our program did take 2 fmgs.
  12. Hornet871

    Hornet871 Senior Member 15+ Year Member

    May 22, 2002

    I think you're right that Anesthesiology isn't any time soon going to get so competitive that an AMG truly interested in it won't match. The anesth RD at my sister's medical school in California said that even though most spots are now being filled through the match, about 30% of these are FMGs.

    That being said, what about gaspasser spots being available in the scramble? I'm thinking about applying to rads, but if I don't match, I'd like to scramble into Anesth.

    This past year ~50 positions were open in the scramble, a huge drop from the >140 spots available last year, and the many more available the year before that. If this trend continues, and it seems that it will, there might be only a handful of scramble positions open next year - or none at all.

    I can't apply to a few Anesth programs as "backups" because of my current schedule, so my only hope is to scramble in.

    Skip this paragraph if you're not interested in my schedule and why it will keep me from applying to Anesth straight-up; I include it only as a pre-emptive answer to a question I might get:
    I took time off during my third year to do an abroad rotation, so now I'm stuck doing 3rd-year core clerkships until late September. I won't do my first rads rotation until October, so it'll be too late by then to pass a month of gas and get recs from it (most Anesth programs require 2 letters of rec from Gasmen).

    I know: I screwed myself with my schedule, but I'm stuck in it now and there's no way out.

    How do I know that I want to do rads when I haven't rotated in it yet? Simply: the hours and the money. That's it. (That's the same reason I'd scramble into Anesth if I can't make it to rads - you can call it the Dr. Cuts school of applying, if you like. Sorry to steal your philosophy, Cut Man, but I've finally seen the light courtesy of Dr. Polk.)

    Appreciate your input, Bigfrank. :cool:
  13. GoGas

    GoGas New Member

    Jul 1, 2002
    I met some DO students who were concerned about their chances of matching into a quality anesthesiology residency program this year. From my matching experience last year, I think it is very feasible to obtain a good training spot if he/she is flexible with the geographical area. Your thoughts would be appreciated.

    As far as the previos question goes, I think Anesthesiology is like IM where it is quite competitive to match into "prestigious" programs but not that difficult to match into other "regular" programs. Anesthesiology seems to be just as competitive as IM OVERALL. This could change this year though.

    PD's love to see great USMLE Step I Score. Good USMLE score will take you a long way period.

    For those who are applying this year, don't limit yourselves to certain geographical areas. You will be surprised how great some programs are despite the unfounded rumors about certain programs.

    Apply early!!! No reason to wait if you can complete your ERAS ASAP. Most programs do offer you an interview without your DEAN'S letter or maybe even without all of your LORs or transcript. Your completed ERAS and step I score will get you some interview offers.

    Write a succint and clear one pase personal statement that clearly states the reason you want to be an anesthesiologist. More than one page long is a waste.

    Hope this helped little.

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