I am starting my Anesthesiology program this Summer and I am not BP so dont start attacking. I've been perusing around this website for a while now and happened to come across this thread. I could not resist the temptation to post a comment.
My sister is a dentist and so I know exactly how much she makes. All her friends are dentists too and I do hang out with them. I have to say that Dentistry is an excellent choice of profession these days, especially when it comes to poor reimbursements all across Medicine. My family are all in the Medical field and I know exactly the problems they are facing with malpractice premiums and salary cuts. For four years of post-graduate education, you guys are in the dental profession are making very very good salaries! My sister is only 27 when she made her first six-figure income. I am older than her but I have to go through much more training to make that kind of money.
First, I just want to correct the misconception that Anesthesiologist are just "surgeon's bitches" as one poster sarcastically puts it. Anesthesiology is a career that may lack some control when it comes to scheduling operations/procedures etc... (because surgeons are the one doing them), but the anesthesiologist can stop the whole operation at anytime (even before any operation even start). Now who's who biatches?! ahaha.. j/k. Besides, there are many things which the Anesthesiologist get consulted for in the hospital ie.. epidural pain control during labor, sedation during pediatric audio testing, post-op morphine pumps, difficult intubations in the ER, ICU, part of all the CODE BLUE (cardiac arrest) that occurs in the hospital, and a whole host of other things. Next, Anesthesiology is not just a passive, sitting reading a magazine, starring at EKG/BP/HR monitors kind of job. Anesthesiologists must deal with everything that is going on while the patients are under anesthesia like their diabetes, hypertension, dysrhythmias, etc, etc... And that is why you will never see CRNAs "taking over" because it DOES take an extra four year of medical school and four years of post-graduate training to handle these situations. Just ask yourself if you would like to see your father or mother or love one undergoing quadruple-by-pass heart surgery or even neurologic surgery for a stroke/tumor etc.. under someone with a nurse level of training?
In all seriousness, I didnt choose Anesthesiology because of the $$$,$$$ or because I am afraid of one day becoming some body else's bitches, I choose it simply because I like the work. It's a tough job but somebody's gotta do it.
Second, my sister started out being an associate for her dentist boss making 1/3 less than what she brings in for her boss. Now I could have made the same argument that she had been someone else's bitches too, but that's not how I choose to think. As a matter of fact Anesthesiologist do work at dental offices too. I will not comment on how much patients are billed for these services because I dont want to get into the $$$ aspect, but I think you guys as future dentists will be making a whole lotta $$$,$$$ too. Imagine what these dentists have to gross in order to pay six-figure salaries to their associates!! ($2Million/yr in my sister's case). Dentistry still has the advantage of the pay-for-service / out-of-pocket reimbursement, and so you guys will be enjoying what medical doctors in the 80's used to enjoy, and most likely surpass in salary of many current medical docs.
Third, surgeons will always be surgeons so let them be. Everyone in the OR is the "surgeon's bitches" really (this include the scrub nurse, circulating nurse, the student, the resident, the intern, the tech, or who ever else walks into the room). Many surgeons have high egos, under a great deal of stress, divorced, and it shows in their personalities. We are all human beings. In reality, once you are in the clinical setting, you will realize that everyone in the healthcare business is his/her client's/customer's/patient's own "bitches". We are all in the service industry!!!
Fourth, both fields have many things in common. For one thing, both fields require a certain level of competency in manual dexterity. In both fields, "it's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it". I see mouth, throat and tongue when I go to intubate, and you guys see the same when you go put in a filling, a bridge, or a crown. Most importantly, however, both fields are similar because we all use anesthetics! ahaha
So my whole point is to try to get along.