A physician who specializes in the care of the surgical patient before, during, and after a surgery. Education requires four years of college, four years of medical school, and four years of anesthesiology residency. Some subspecialize with further education in critical care, pain, cardiac or pediatric anesthesiology. This education provides the medical background and foundation to handle many emergency situations including airway management, cardiac and pulmonary resuscitation, advanced life support and pain control when necessary.
The anesthesiologist can provide sedation, general anesthesia and/or regional anesthesia depending on the patient's starting medical conditions and type of surgery or procedure the patient will undergo. He/she monitors the patient's vital signs and supports vital organ functions throughout the anesthetic.
The anesthesiologist is the medical physician taking care of you during surgery while the surgeon is operating.
My anesthesiologist did an amazing job since I do not even remember going into surgery!