What is an Anaesthetist?

Anaesthetists are fully qualified medical doctors who hold a degree in medicine. They have worked as doctors in the hospital system for at least two years before completing a further five years of specialist training in anaesthesia. In Australia specialist anaesthetists are recognised by the initials FANZCA after their name.

Anaesthetists are perioperative physicians trained in all forms of anaesthesia. They will assess you before your operation and will remain with you for the entire duration of your operation. They will also:

  • Discuss with you the different types of anaesthesia appropriate for your surgery and help you make choices about these options.
  • Discuss the risks of anaesthesia with you.
  • Agree on a plan with you for your anaesthetic and pain control post-operatively.
  • Be responsible for your wellbeing and safety throughout your operation.
  • Manage any blood transfusions you may need.
  • Plan your care after your operation (if needed) in the Intensive Care Unit or High Dependency Unit.
  • Ensure a smooth and comfortable recovery.
  • Make your experience as calm and pain free as possible.