Top 10 Anesthesiologist Certifications
This article will provide readers with an overview of the top certifications available to anesthesiologists in the United States.
Published 17 min read
Certifications are important for anesthesiologists in the job market because they demonstrate a level of expertise and knowledge that employers look for. Certifications can also provide anesthesiologists with competitive advantages over other applicants, as they demonstrate a commitment to professional development and mastery of their field. Certifications can also give anesthesiologists credibility in the eyes of potential employers, who may view them as more qualified than those without certifications. Finally, certifications can open up doors to career advancement opportunities and higher salaries, making them an important asset for anesthesiologists looking to advance in their careers.
The purpose of this article is to review the most beneficial certifications for anesthesiologists and demonstrate how they can contribute to professional growth and success.
What are Anesthesiologist Certifications?
Anesthesiologist certification is a voluntary process whereby an anesthesiologist demonstrates their knowledge, skills and experience in the field of anesthesiology. This certification is granted by the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) after successful completion of the ABA's examination process. The ABA examination is designed to assess an anesthesiologist's ability to safely, effectively and compassionately provide anesthesia care to patients. Certification can help ensure that an anesthesiologist has the necessary knowledge and skill set needed to properly administer anesthesia services. It also serves as a way for employers and other medical professionals to identify qualified anesthesiologists who have met rigorous standards. Additionally, obtaining certification may be beneficial in terms of career advancement opportunities within the field of anesthesiology.
Pro tip: Make sure to stay up to date on the latest anesthesiologist certification requirements. Depending on your state, these may change and require that you complete additional courses or training in order to maintain your certification.
Related: What does an Anesthesiologist do?
Top 10 Anesthesiologist Certifications
Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Anesthesiologists today.
1. American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA)
The American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) is a professional organization that administers examinations to certify qualified anesthesiologists in the United States. The ABA was established in 1938 and is one of 24 medical specialty boards recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).
To become certified by the ABA, an anesthesiologist must complete a four-year residency program in an accredited US hospital and pass both written and oral exams. The written exam consists of two parts: a multiple-choice question (MCQ) exam and an oral clinical simulation exam. The MCQ exam covers topics such as anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathophysiology, anesthesia equipment, patient safety, and other related topics. The oral clinical simulation exams assess the candidate’s ability to apply their knowledge in clinical settings.
It typically takes about three years to complete all the requirements for certification from the ABA. This includes completing a four-year residency program in an accredited US hospital, passing both written and oral exams, and fulfilling any additional requirements set forth by the ABA.
The cost for taking the exams varies depending on which state you are taking them in; however, it usually costs between $1,000-$2,000 for both parts of the exam. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with applying for certification or recertification with the ABA.
2. American Osteopathic Board of Anesthesiology (AOBA)
The American Osteopathic Board of Anesthesiology (AOBA) is a professional organization that certifies physicians who specialize in anesthesiology. It is one of the 24 certifying boards of the American Osteopathic Association Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (AOABOS). The AOBA was established in 1980 and is dedicated to promoting excellence in the practice of anesthesiology.
To become certified by the AOBA, a physician must first complete a four-year residency program in anesthesiology. After completing the residency, applicants must pass both written and oral examinations administered by the AOABOS. The written examination consists of multiple choice questions covering topics such as physiology, pharmacology, anatomy, and clinical management. The oral examination focuses on clinical skills and knowledge related to anesthesiology.
Once certified, physicians must renew their certification every ten years by taking continuing medical education courses or passing recertification examinations.
The cost for taking the initial certification examinations is $1,500 for members of the AOA and $2,000 for non-members. Additionally, there are fees associated with obtaining study materials and taking recertification exams every ten years.
3. American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA)
The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is a professional organization for anesthesiologists, anesthesiologist assistants, and other healthcare professionals who practice in the field of anesthesiology. The ASA was founded in 1905 and is the oldest medical specialty society in the United States. It has more than 53,000 members worldwide.
To become a member of the ASA, one must first complete an accredited residency program in anesthesiology and be certified by either the American Board of Anesthesiology or its Canadian equivalent. Once certified, applicants can then apply to join the ASA by submitting their application online or mailing it to the ASA headquarters.
The cost of joining the ASA depends on what type of membership you are applying for. For example, annual dues for a physician member are $475 while annual dues for a resident/fellow member are $90. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with joining such as processing fees or application fees.
Overall, becoming a member of the ASA typically takes about 2-3 weeks from when you submit your application to when you receive your membership card.
4. National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA)
The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) is a non-profit organization that provides certification and recertification for physician assistants. It is the only certifying body recognized by the American Medical Association and all state medical boards. NCCPA certification is required to practice as a physician assistant in most states.
The NCCPA certification process typically takes about 6-8 weeks to complete. To get certified, applicants must first register with the NCCPA and submit an application along with their transcripts, proof of completion of an accredited physician assistant program, proof of passing the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE), and proof of at least 100 hours of continuing medical education (CME).
Once all documents have been submitted, applicants will be notified if they are eligible to take the Physician Assistant National Recertifying Exam (PANRE). This exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions covering topics such as clinical medicine, pharmacology, pathology, physiology, and medical ethics. After completing the exam, applicants must wait for their results which can take up to 8 weeks.
The cost for NCCPA certification varies depending on whether you are applying for initial or recertification. Initial certification costs $475 while recertification costs $350.
5. American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA)
The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) is the professional organization for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs). The AANA is dedicated to advancing the profession of nurse anesthesia through advocacy, education, research, and practice standards.
To become a CRNA, you must have a valid registered nursing license and complete an accredited nurse anesthesia educational program. These programs typically take 24-36 months to complete and involve both classroom instruction and clinical experience. Upon completion of the program, you must pass the national certification exam administered by the National Board of Certification & Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA).
The cost of becoming a CRNA will vary depending on your educational institution and other fees associated with taking the certification exam. Generally speaking, tuition costs for nurse anesthesia programs range from $30,000-$90,000. Additionally, there are fees associated with taking the NBCRNA certification exam which range from $400-$700.
Once you have successfully completed your educational program and passed your certification exam, you can apply for membership in the AANA. Membership fees are based on your level of experience as a CRNA and range from $155-$255 per year.
6. American College of Cardiology (ACC)
The American College of Cardiology (ACC) is a professional medical society dedicated to promoting optimal cardiovascular care through education, research, and quality improvement. Founded in 1949, the ACC is the largest cardiology organization in the world with over 52,000 members. The mission of the ACC is to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health.
To become a member of the ACC, you must be a physician or scientist who has made significant contributions to cardiovascular medicine or science. Membership requires an application process that includes providing evidence of your qualifications and experience in cardiology. It typically takes several weeks for applications to be processed and approved by the ACC Board of Trustees.
The cost of membership varies depending on your profession and type of membership desired. For physicians, annual dues range from $150-$500 depending on specialty and practice setting. There are also special discounts available for residents and fellows-in-training as well as international memberships. Additionally, there are various levels of membership available such as Professional Member ($150/year), Fellow ($250/year), Master ($450/year), or Life Member ($500/year).
In addition to paying annual dues, members must also meet certain continuing medical education requirements each year in order to maintain their certification status with the ACC.
7. American College of Surgeons (ACS)
The American College of Surgeons (ACS) is a professional association of surgeons that was established in 1913 to improve the quality of surgical care and to ensure the highest standards for patient safety. ACS is dedicated to providing education, research, advocacy, and leadership in all aspects of surgery.
It takes approximately three years to become an ACS Fellow. To become an ACS Fellow, a surgeon must meet certain requirements including: completion of an accredited residency program; successful completion of the American Board of Surgery certification exam; and active practice as a surgeon for at least five years. The candidate must also demonstrate professional excellence through participation in continuing medical education activities, research publications, and service to the profession.
To get ACS Fellowship, a surgeon must complete an application process which includes submitting an application form with supporting documents such as letters of recommendation from other surgeons, documentation of continuing medical education activities, and evidence of research or scholarly activity. Once approved by the ACS Board of Regents, the candidate will be invited to take part in an oral examination before being granted Fellowship status.
The cost for becoming an ACS Fellow varies depending on the individual's circumstances. Generally speaking, there are fees associated with completing the application process and taking part in the oral examination. These fees can range from several hundred dollars up to several thousand dollars depending on how many components are required for a particular applicant’s situation.
8. American Medical Association (AMA)
The American Medical Association (AMA) is a professional organization for physicians in the United States. It was founded in 1847 and is the largest association of physicians in the world. The AMA works to promote the art and science of medicine, to ensure access to quality health care, and to advance the interests of physicians and their patients.
It takes approximately 6-8 weeks to become an AMA member after submitting an application. To become an AMA member, you must be a licensed physician or medical student in good standing with your state licensing board. You can apply online or by mail.
The cost of joining the AMA varies depending on your membership type and category. For example, annual dues for a full member are $420, while resident/fellow members pay $210 annually. In addition, there may be other fees associated with joining such as processing fees or additional fees for special programs or services.
9. National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME)
The National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) is a non-profit organization that provides standardized examinations for medical licensure in the United States. It is responsible for developing and administering the USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination), which is used to assess the knowledge and clinical skills of physicians who seek to practice medicine in the United States. The NBME also provides other examinations, such as the Comprehensive Basic Science Examination (CBSE) and Clinical Science Examination (CSE).
It typically takes about 8-10 weeks to receive your score report from the NBME after taking an exam. The time frame can vary depending on when you take the exam and how quickly your application is processed.
To get an NBME exam, you must first register with the NBME website or through a third-party vendor. You will need to provide information such as your name, address, contact information, and payment details. Once registered, you will be able to select a test center and date that works best for you.
The cost of taking an NBME exam varies based on which type of examination you are taking. For example, the cost for taking the USMLE Step 1 exam is $610 USD, while the cost for taking the CBSE is $235 USD.
10. International Board for Certification in Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine (IBCACCM).
The International Board for Certification in Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine (IBCACCM) is an independent, non-profit organization that provides certification to physicians who specialize in the practice of anesthesiology and critical care medicine. IBCACCM certification is a voluntary process that requires the successful completion of both written and oral examinations.
In order to be eligible to take the IBCACCM certification exam, a physician must have completed an accredited residency program in anesthesiology or critical care medicine, have at least two years of clinical practice experience in either field, and be licensed to practice medicine in their country of residence.
The IBCACCM certification process typically takes about 18 months from start to finish. The first step is to submit a completed application form along with supporting documents such as a copy of your medical license, proof of residency training, and letters of recommendation from colleagues or supervisors. Once these materials are received by IBCACCM, they will review the application and determine if you are eligible to take the exam.
Once you are approved to take the exam, you will need to register for it online and pay the associated fee (currently $1,000). The exam consists of two parts: a written component that covers topics such as anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and pathophysiology; and an oral component which tests your clinical knowledge and decision-making skills. Both parts must be passed in order to receive certification.
Upon successful completion of both components of the exam, you will receive your certificate from IBCACCM indicating that you are now certified in Anesthesiology/Critical Care Medicine. This certificate is valid for five years before needing renewal.
In summary, obtaining International Board for Certification in Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine (IBCACCM) certification typically takes about 18 months from start to finish at a cost of $1,000 per examination attempt.
Do You Really Need a Anesthesiologist Certificate?
The answer to this question depends on the individual and their particular situation. Anesthesiologist certificates are generally only required for those who wish to become an anesthesiologist, however they may also be beneficial for those looking to advance their career in the medical field.
The most important factor to consider when deciding whether or not to pursue an anesthesiologist certificate is whether you have the necessary qualifications and experience to do so. Anesthesiologists must possess certain educational requirements, such as a doctorate degree in medicine or a master's degree in anesthesiology. In addition, they must have completed a residency program that focuses specifically on anesthesia and critical care medicine. They must also have passed various examinations and certifications related to the practice of anesthesia, such as the American Board of Anesthesiology certification exam.
If you meet these qualifications and have the desire to pursue a career as an anesthesiologist, then obtaining a certificate can help demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in this field. Additionally, having an advanced degree or certification can open up more job opportunities within the medical industry. For example, some hospitals prefer hiring certified anesthesiologists over those without any special credentials or education.
On the other hand, if you don't plan on becoming a full-fledged anesthesiologist but want to work in a related field such as pain management or critical care medicine, then it may not be necessary for you to obtain a certificate. In this case, gaining additional experience through hands-on training or completing relevant courses may be more beneficial than pursuing a formal certification program.
Ultimately, it is up to each individual person whether or not they decide to pursue an anesthesiologist certificate; however, doing so could potentially provide many benefits depending on one's specific goals and aspirations within the medical field.
Related: Anesthesiologist Resume Examples
FAQs About Anesthesiologist Certifications
Q1. What is an Anesthesiologist Certification?
A1. An Anesthesiologist Certification is a specialized medical certification that certifies that an individual has the necessary knowledge, skills and experience to practice as an anesthesiologist. It is typically obtained after completing a residency in anesthesiology and passing the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) exam.
Q2. How do I become certified as an Anesthesiologist?
A2. In order to become certified as an Anesthesiologist, you must first complete a residency program in anesthesiology and pass the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) exam. The ABA also offers maintenance of certification programs that require continuing education and periodic re-certification exams.
Q3. What type of education do I need to become certified as an Anesthesiologist?
A3. To become certified as an Anesthesiologist, you must complete a four-year residency program in anesthesiology, followed by passing the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) exam. After completing the residency program, you will need to maintain your certification through continuing education and periodic re-certification exams offered by the ABA.
Q4. How long is my certification valid for?
A4. Your certification is valid for 10 years from the date of initial certification or from your most recent recertification exam date if applicable. You must maintain your certification through continuing education and periodic re-certification exams offered by the ABA in order to remain certified beyond 10 years from initial certification or last recertification exam date if applicable.
Q5 What are some benefits of having an Anesthesiologist Certification?
A5 Having an Anesthesiologist Certification demonstrates expertise in providing safe and effective anesthesia care, which can help increase patient safety, reduce malpractice risks, improve patient outcomes and provide job security for those with this specialized training and certification