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Anesthetists (also sometimes called anesthesiologists) are medical doctors who specialize in anesthesiology, which is the use of pain-blocking techniques or medicines (anesthetics) during surgery and other medical procedures.

An anesthetist may administer medicine that numbs the area of the body where a procedure is being performed (local or regional anesthesia), inject medicine into the spinal canal to numb an area of the body (spinal or epidural anesthesia), or make sure a person is unconscious and pain-free during a procedure (general anesthesia) while also monitoring heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure. Anesthetists can further specialize in critical care medicine, pain management, pediatrics, or obstetrics.

Anesthetists are certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Last Revised: October 11, 2012

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Donald Sproule, MD, CM, CCFP, FCFP - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine

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