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Anesthesiologist Assistant

Anesthesiologist assistants are highly skilled professionals who work under the direction of licensed anesthesiologists (specialist physicians) and as part of the anesthesia care team to design and implement anesthesia care plans. They accompany the patient before, during and after anesthesia to ensure quality and continuity of care. Anesthesiologist assistants are trained to assist in life-saving measures, such as CPR, and advanced cardiac life support.

To become an anesthesiologist assistant, you must first complete a four-year college degree, taking a pre-medical curriculum with course work in general and organic chemistry; advanced college math, including calculus; and general and advanced biology and physics.

Once you have a bachelor’s degree, you can apply to a master’s program in anesthesia. The two-year program focuses on course work that enhances basic science knowledge in physiology, pharmacology, anatomy and biochemistry with special emphasis on the cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, nervous and neuromuscular systems.

The clinical part of your program will provide you with experience in patient monitoring, anesthesia delivery systems, life support systems and patient assessment and in the skills needed to provide compassionate and quality care. During the clinical portion, students administer a minimum of 600 different anesthetics during a variety of surgeries. Once you have completed your master’s program, you will need to pass a certification exam administered by the National Commission for the Certification of Anesthesiologist Assistants.

Application Guide

Learn more about the admission criteria for most anesthesiologist assistant programs.

Anesthesiologist Assistant programs and Prerequisites

View the full list of 12 accredited U.S. anesthesiologist assistant programs.

Additional Resources

Explore this profession further by accessing links to national associations, career profiles, and student resources.