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Anaesthetists, the largest group of hospital-based specialists, give anaesthetics for surgical, medical and psychiatric procedures. They facilitate pain free child-birth, resuscitate acutely unwell patients, run chronic pain services and lead intensive care units.
Training and qualifications required
Training usually starts with a five year first degree in medicine and two years foundation training. Core anaesthetics route: two years core training (CT1-2), followed by five years specialist training (ST3-7). ACCS route: three years core training (CT1-3), followed by five years specialist training (ST4-8). This period of training will include your royal college exams. Length of training can vary according to your circumstances.
Expected working hours and salary range
Doctors may work up to 48 hours a week. The working hours may sometimes extend beyond the normal working day to include early mornings, evenings and weekends, on-call highly likely.
As a consultant from 1 April 2020, you'll earn a basic salary of £82,096 to £110,683 per year, depending on the length of your service.
Desirable skills and values
For this role you'll have an ability to make quick decisions, to work under pressure with attention to detail. You'll have good communication skills and team working. Being self-motivated, self-reliant and having a commitment to learn are all important. You'll have an interest in physiology, pharmacology and physics. You'll also be keen to learn about all kinds of surgery for all ages and pathologies (diseases) as well as perioperative care.
There are 7,544 consultants in anaesthetics (includes intensive care) in England in 2020. Opportunities exist for research and teaching.