The profession of anesthesiologist is quite difficult and requires a broad knowledge of medical disciplines. Not all of the students can get to the professional level that easy. To be eligible for medical school admission and state licensure each student must be thoroughly prepared. Those who fail to meet admission requirements will be required to take a re-training or advance knowledge by gaining more clinical experience. Students’ eligibility for medical school and licensure is typically defined through the exams. As a rule, they are administered by the state examination authorities and are taken when you pass the most important stages to become an anesthesiologist. Read on to find out what exams a person must pass to become an anesthesiologist.
The first test is usually scheduled before undergraduate students enter a medical school. It’s known as an eligibility test or MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) which is aimed to check students’ readiness for medical school. In other words, it assesses students’ ability to comprehend and perceive scientific information and personal skills essential to become an anesthesiologist aftewards. Students who successfully pass this test and score well on it are permitted to enter a medical school and pursue a graduate degree to become an anesthesiologist. MCAT is one of the main challenges on your way to becoming an anesthesiologist, therefore you must work really hard to get high scores well at the exam.
Medical Licensing Examination
United States Medical Licensing Examination is taken by students of medical schools enrolled in programs leading to MD or DO. This exam includes three steps, without any of them you cannot go further and become an anesthesiologist. Let’s be more specific about this test.
Step 1 introduces general knowledge test: you will have to answer questions on anatomy, microbiology, biochemistry, pathology, pharmacology, physiology and some other subjects. After passing Step 1 test you may proceed to the next level.
Step 2 Clinical Knowledge: this exam tests your knowledge in different medical subfields such as pediatrics, gynecology, surgery etc. In general, tasks look like description of a certain clinical situation, and you are required to make diagnosis, prognosis, prescribe treatment etc.
Step 2 Clinical Skills: you will have to interact with people portraying real patients. This way your general clinical skills and effective communication skills are evaluated.
Step 3: this is the test for medical school graduates who have passed the previous exams. You will treat a simulated patient through the computer-based system. You are required to see a patient from very beginning, through diagnosis, and to the prescription. All your decisions are registered by the computer and then scored.
Anesthesiology Licensing Exam
The next test is required for getting a license to practice anesthesiology. This test is compiled and administered by the American Board of Anesthesiology and takes place at Pearson Vue Testing Centers located across the country. This exam is broken into two parts and usually is carried out each year in August.
Part One test is aimed to determine student’s knowledge in such disciplines as anatomy, pharmacology, anesthesia procedures, clinical sciences and anesthesia in obstetrics and pediatrics. The test itself consists of two sections lasting for 2 hours and 20 minutes each. Test takers must give answers to 250 multiple-choice questions.
Part Two exam is available for individuals who successfully complete the first part. This exam is aimed at evaluating your practical performance as well as communication skills. Examination Part Two takes place in Raleigh, North Carolina. Candidates get 2 clinical cases for which they will have to explain their actions to the examination board. The interview is 35 minutes in duration.
Anesthesiologists who take sub-specialty such as pain medicine, hospice and critical care will have to take an additional exam to be allowed to practice in these sub-specialties. This exam is aimed to check the basic and clinical science as well as subspecialties and ethics in anesthesiology.
These are the main exams on your way to become an anesthesiologist.