Who We Are
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British Columbia’s anesthesiologists are highly skilled medical doctors who have completed at least 13 years of post-secondary education, including five or more intensive years of residency training in Anesthesiology.
Their education includes:
- First-hand experience providing anesthesia care for surgical procedures.
- Extensive training in human physiology, particularly on vital organs like the brain, heart and lungs.
- Familiarization with different medical conditions and their implications for patients undergoing surgical procedures.
- Expert knowledge of the drugs that are used in anesthesia, resuscitation, and intensive care medicine.
- Expertise in managing interactions between anesthetics, pre-existing medical conditions, and the stress of surgery.
- Advanced skills needed to resuscitate and then medically supervise the overall care of BC’s sickest (intensive care unit) patients.
- Developing expertise in treating patients with the most complex pain management needs.
Following certification by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, many anesthesiologists also complete an additional “fellowship” year of sub-specialty training in areas such as pain management, cardiac anesthesia, pediatric anesthesia, neuro-anesthesia, obstetric anesthesia, or critical care medicine. As with all other doctors, BC’s anesthesiologists are licensed and regulated by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC.
What We Do
BC’s anesthesiologists are always available. Almost every hospital in BC has at least one anesthesiologist on-call, often on-site at the hospital, through all hours of every day of the year.
BC’s anesthesiologists are well-known for their role as perioperative physicians (“peri-” meaning “all-around”), safely caring for over 500,000 British Columbians every year.
The main roles of the anesthesiologist during surgery are:
- Providing continual medical assessment of the patient.
- Monitoring and controlling the patient’s vital life functions, including heart rate and rhythm, breathing, blood pressure, body temperature, and body fluid balance.
- Controlling the patient’s pain and level of consciousness to make conditions ideal for a safe and successful surgery.
The anesthesiologist must carefully match the anesthetic needs of each patient to that patient’s medical condition, their responses to anesthesia throughout the procedure, and the requirements of the surgery. Most of the time the patient won’t even realize the anesthesiologist is providing these critical functions, but rest assured you have a physician by your side making sure your health and safety is protected at all times.
However, a considerable portion of an anesthesiologist’s work is in other roles, including:
- Providing over 12,000 pregnant women with effective labour epidural pain relief every year.
- Administering and supervising advanced treatments for patients in acute pain (e.g. trauma victims, post-surgery patients).
- Developing chronic pain management plans for over 6,000 British Columbians who suffer from the most complex pain conditions.
- Providing medical supervision for over 5,000 of BC’s sickest patients, who require intensive life support in the province’s critical care units.