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Anesthesiologist Interview Questions

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  1. How do you examine or prepare a patient for anesthetic? See answer
  2. Why did you choose to become an anesthesiologist? See answer
  3. After general anesthesia for a surgery, how do you determine that a patient can be sent home? See answer
  4. As the anesthesiologist, how do you deal with stress when a problem arises on the surgery table? See answer
  5. What do you do when your patient is nervous about their upcoming surgery? See answer
  6. What are the most effective techniques for administering anesthetic or sedatives during a medical procedure? See answer
  7. Discuss three ways for providing and maintaining life support and airway management for patients during emergency medical procedures.
  8. Can general anesthesia lead to a patient’s death during or after a surgery?
  9. What are the most common complications caused by anesthesia?
  10. What are the differences between general and local anesthesia? When are they used?
  11. If a patient suddenly regains consciousness during a major surgery, how will you bring the situation under control?
  12. Mention the most common medical procedures that do not require anesthesia.
  13. When performing an endoscopy, is anesthesia necessary?
  14. How long does anesthetic last in the body of a patient before they regain total consciousness?
  15. Does anesthesia have side effects? What are the most common side effects of general anesthesia?
  16. Tell me about a time you made a mistake in a surgery and how you managed the situation.
  17. How will you counteract a negative reaction to anesthesia?
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6 Anesthesiologist Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

How do you examine or prepare a patient for anesthetic?

A:

This question tests the candidate’s ability to pick up on whether or not the patient will respond well with an anesthetic. Special care should be taken to note any medical allergies. The patient will also often have to be prepared mentally for the anesthetic, and this often involves explaining what the anesthetic will do and soothing any anxieties they may feel towards the procedure. What to look for in an answer:

  • High level of knowledge regarding patient preparation
  • Level of knowledge of the effects of various anesthetics
  • Approach to soothing a patient’s fears about the procedure
Example:

“I check their medical history to make sure they are unlikely to experience adverse effects.”

Q:

Why did you choose to become an anesthesiologist?

A:

Ideally, you’ll want to look for someone who has a response that doesn’t have to do with how much the job pays or the flexibility of the schedule. The candidate should display what they think makes anesthesiology such an interesting career since someone who is intrinsically invested in their job is likely to make a better employee. What to look for in an answer:

  • Interest in anesthesiology for its own sake
  • A response that indicates motivation other than money
  • Altruistic reasoning
Example:

“I became an anesthesiologist because the science fascinates me, and I don’t like to see people suffer. I view my job as a way to alleviate some of the suffering patients go through.”

Q:

After general anesthesia for a surgery, how do you determine that a patient can be sent home?

A:

Many sedatives can have effects on the patient long after the surgery is over. Your candidate should be familiar with the signs that a patient has safely regained consciousness as well as the signs that they are not doing so well. They should also express that they would ensure the patient’s safety after they have regained consciousness. What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to diagnose when a patient is unstable
  • Understanding of proper patient care while the anesthetic is wearing off
  • A diligent and careful approach that errs on the side of safety
Example:

“I closely monitor the patient until they regain consciousness, and then I make sure they don’t get up too quickly. I then determine whether they need pain medication. Before I tell them they can go home, I ensure they know what to expect and how to take care of themselves.”

Q:

As the anesthesiologist, how do you deal with stress when a problem arises on the surgery table?

A:

The job of the anesthesiologist can be very high-stress, especially when something goes wrong and a patient’s life is on the line. The candidate should ideally understand that the job can be emotionally taxing and know how to deal with the psychological ramifications accordingly. Look for responses that indicate that the applicant remains level-headed in pressure-filled situations and is not likely to shut down or panic when problems occur. What to look for in an answer:

  • A realistic understanding of the pressures
  • A calm and collected approach
  • An understanding of how to counteract stress
Example:

“I work well under pressure, and in an emergency, I stay focused on what needs to be done right in the moment. I run as often as I can as running helps me reduce my stress and makes me stronger.”

Q:

What do you do when your patient is nervous about their upcoming surgery?

A:

A large part of the anesthesiologist’s job has to do with dealing with the emotions of their patients. Look for a candidate who displays empathy and who understands what a difficult time this may be for the person going in for surgery. An anesthesiologist who can soothe the patient’s fears before the surgery is more likely to ensure that the patient is in a good state of mind to heal when they wake from the anesthetic. What to look for in an answer:

  • Empathy and compassion
  • An understanding of the fears a patient might be feeling before the surgery
  • An understanding of how to soothe others
Example:

“I know that patients are often scared before surgery, so I let them talk and ask their questions as much as possible. I’ll explain a bit about what I’m going to do and tell them that I’ll be by their side during the whole procedure.”

Q:

What are the most effective techniques for administering anesthetic or sedatives during a medical procedure?

A:

The primary duty of the anesthesiologist is to administer anesthetics and sedatives before or during a surgery. Look for candidates with an in-depth understanding of the various methods of administering anesthetics and sedation. An anesthesiologist who can deliver anesthetics effectively before and during surgery will play an important role in ensuring that medical procedures are completed without issues while patients get quality care at your facility. What to look for in an answer:

  • An understanding of anesthesiology and the various techniques for administering anesthetics and sedatives
  • Knowledge of the roles of an anesthesiologist during a medical procedure
  • Knowledge of caring for patients while the anesthetic is wearing off
Example:

“There are several techniques for administering anesthetics or sedatives, depending on the type of surgery. For surgeries that require general anesthesia, I prefer administering anesthetics using inhalation or caudal methods. Local and intravenous methods are also effective most times. I especially love caudal injections because of their simplicity and low rate of complications.”

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