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Why The Shortage Of Anesthesiologists?

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JCole View Drop Down
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Joined: 03 Oct 2007
Location: United States
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Posts: 128
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    Posted: 30 Aug 2009 at 7:01pm
The Shortage Of Anesthesiologists

The shortage of anesthesiologists came about by a major change in their programs. For many years their residency was very short compared to other specialties. It was very attractive to foreign medical graduates (FMGs) as they did not have to speak English well to get in nor to do anesthesia. When they got out and set up a practice (a price inelastic practice if you know what that is) they did not have to hustle patients. The surgeons would bring them in. The MDAs only had to sit on their stools at the head of the table, do minimal talking and things were great.

However, the ASA realized that the quality of the MDA was going down. How could they be a respected profession when over HALF of the residents were not American medical graduates? The university hospitals were staffing their anesthesia departments with these FMGs at low cost and the overall quality of MDA anesthesia was suffering. So they increased the length of the residency, required the students to learn some pain management and ICU skills and actually work OUTSIDE the OR. The profession became far less attractive to the FMGs. But in the meantime, the number of MDAs coming out dropped. The slack at the universities were picked up by CRNAs.

The shortage was mainly a timing issue, a sudden drop of of MDA graduates.

As far as my history, it extended BACK before the AANA was started. In the 1800s and early 1900s nurses in training programs were shown some basics on open drop ether. Some nurses became nurse anesthetists, formed the AANA and THAT is when they got kicked out of the ANA.

MY analysis of history is not an analysis. I was there since the 1960s and lived it. Some of you CRNA's on the other hand were busy getting your CCN certificate (2004) and going to anesthesia school (2005-2006) and all you know is what someone else tells you. It is too bad you only LISTEN to people that tell you stuff that sets with your bias.

The biggest difference between the CRNA that I am and the CRNA that you are, you fear for your job.  I do not.  There is more than enough work around for MDAs, CRNAs and Anesthesiologist Assistants.


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Edited by JCole - 30 Aug 2009 at 7:03pm
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