Skip to main content

A career in anaesthesia?

Why become an anaesthetist?

As one of the largest hospital specialities that answer is very varied!

  • it is very much a hands-on practical specialty. Routine practical skills acquired include tracheal intubation and insertion of arterial lines, central lines etc. The use of local anaesthetic techniques including epidurals, spinals and other nerve blocks are a routine part of anaesthetic practice
  • the variety of work that an anaesthetist can choose. Anaesthetists are involved in diverse areas such chronic pain, obstetrics, ITU, paediatric cardiology, invasive radiology and of course, the core discipline of operative surgery
  • an interest in physiological sciences. Anaesthetists acquire an in-depth understanding of applied physiology and pharmacology
  • the challenge of looking after the critically ill
  • an interest in teaching. Anaesthetists play a major role in teaching both medical and non-medical staff. They are instructors on courses such as ATLS, ALS, APLS; are involved in simulator training and of course teach their own trainees
  • the ease of working part time
  • an interest in research. One of the attractions of the Welsh School of Anaesthesia is the very strong academic department at the University Hospital of Wales.

Want to find out more?

Welsh Anaesthetic Shadowing Programme (WASP) was founded in 2014. It is an initiative that was set up to allow easy access to medical students and foundation trainees to Anaesthetic training

The WASP coordinator is usually a core trainee and is the contact point for medical students and foundation trainees. They co-ordinate three to five day programmes of ‘anaesthetic taster days’. These days give exposure to anaesthesia and allow hands on experience in ‘The day in the life of an Anaesthetist”. The aim of this is to show students the many varied roles of anaesthetists in the hospital, which is difficult to obtain as an undergraduate.

The anaesthetic tasters are also an effective way of gaining points at interviews for anaesthetic jobs and ‘one to one’ consultant teaching and advice on the application process.

Students will rotate between emergency theatre and on-call duties, elective short-stay surgery, intensive care, specialist anaesthesia in paediatrics, obstetrics, neurosurgery and cardiac surgery. The feedback from all students has been 100% positive.

Please contact the WASP coordinator on who will arrange a taster week for you or contact Dr Caroline Evans, Consultant Anaesthetist and Core Training Programme Director if you are interested.


For the latest information about recruitment please visit the Anaesthetics national recruitment office at Health Education England

Further information

Royal College of Anaesthetists
Churchill House
35 Red Lion Square

Tel: 020 7092 1500
Website: Royal College of Anaesthetists

The Association of Anaesthetists
21 Portland Place

Tel: 020 7631 1650
Website: The Association of Anaesthetists