What is an Anaesthetist?

Who is an Anaesthetist?

Specialist Anaesthetists are highly qualified specialist doctors with unique clinical knowledge and skills. Anaesthetists help you through your operation – they have a major role in the perioperative care of surgical patients (before, during and after surgery).

“Specialist Anaesthetist” is a protected title (the National Law protects the public by ensuring that only registered health practitioners who are suitably trained and qualified use titles protected under sections 113-119 of the National Law (see https://www.ahpra.gov.au and https://www.medicalboard.gov.au/ for more information).

A Specialist Anaesthetist is a fully qualified medical doctor who, after obtaining their medical degree, has spent at least two years working in the hospital system before completing a further five years of training in anaesthesia. Clinical anaesthesia is built on the knowledge of physiology (how the body works) and pharmacology (how medications work in the body).

In Australia Specialist Anaesthetists are recognised by the initials FANZCA after their name. FANZCA stands for “Fellowship of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists”.

Anaesthetists listed on our website have their post nominals (e.g FANZCA or equivalent) listed on their profile pages – or to check if they have FANZCA you can visit the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists website and search for their name (direct link here).

Anaesthetists are also closely involved in other important fields of medicine such as resuscitation, intensive care medicine, pain medicine, retrieval, disaster response and hyperbaric medicine. Anaesthetists take part in the continuing medical education program run by the College or equivalent, to ensure they remain up to date with the rapid changes in Anaesthesia and Medicine.

Why do you need an Anaesthetist?

Anaesthetists make sure you do not feel any pain and/or stay asleep during your procedure. Anaesthetists also help you wake up comfortably.

Surgical procedures put significant stress on the body and without Anaesthetists the majority of these procedures would not be possible.

Anaesthetist’s spend 16+ years studying and training to look after you before, during and after your operation. They are a medical doctor that is officially recognised as a consultant in the specialty of anaesthesia.

What does that mean for you?

On the day of the surgery, it is your Anaesthetist’s job to get you through your procedure in the safest and most comfortable fashion.

They will assess you in the pre-operative area before moving you into the operating theatre. Once in the operating theatre an intravenous cannula will be inserted, and monitoring will be applied. After you have breathed some oxygen through a mask the medicine that makes you unconscious will be administered, whilst the Anaesthetist ensures you are safe and that your vital signs remain stable. It is the Anaesthetist’s job to ensure you are asleep, with sufficient analgesia on board.

Your surgeon or procedural will then perform the surgery. Your Anaesthetist will monitor your every moment. Once your surgery is over it is the Anaesthetist’s job to ensure you wake up comfortably.

What do you need to do before your Anaesthetic?

Every patient – and every operation – is different, which means your response to anaesthesia will be too. Pre-operative assessment is very important to make sure your Anaesthetist can give you the safest anaesthetic possible. This is why they require you to fill in the pre-op questionnaire before the operation.

This website, Anaesthetic Group, assists Anaesthetists in receiving your pre-op questionnaire: Please click here to find your anaesthetist and fill in their pre-op questionnaire.

Your Anaesthetist needs to understand your complete medical history to know which is the best anaesthetic medicine and anaesthetic procedure for you.

Australia is the safest country in the world to undergo an anaesthetic. Nonetheless, every anaesthetic involves some risk and every procedure has a possibility of a complication. Your Anaesthetist will discuss the relevant risks with you if requested. If you have any specific questions please do not hesitate to ask them or contact them here.

Anaesthetist Fees

The fee for your anaesthetic is dependent on the procedure and time spent with you. The final ‘gap’ (out of pocket expense) will largely depend on your health fund. Payment (credit card or direct deposit) may be required in full before the day of the surgery.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to your anaesthetist here beforehand.

How do I contact my Anaesthetist?

Your surgeon should advise who your Anaesthetist is then you can find your anaesthetist here.