Your anesthesiologist takes several factors into account when recommending the type of anesthesia. Some of those factors include the type of surgery or non-operative procedure being performed and your medical history. These types of anesthesia are not always clearly defined, and patients may progress from one level of sedation/anesthesia to a lighter or deeper level during the procedure. For this reason, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) considers anesthesia a continuum, from light sedation to general anesthesia.


“Anesthesia Care Team”
Most anesthetics administered in Pennsylvania are provided using an “Anesthesia Care Team” model, with the anesthesiologist serving as the “director” of the anesthesia care team. Prior to surgery the anesthesiologist evaluates the patients’ current state of health and is responsible for designing the anesthesia plan taking into account the patient’s condition and the nature of the surgery.



  • National Doctor's Day

    3/30/2015 3/30/15: Mark National Doctor's Day by reading an excellent article on the history of anesthesiology practice from the Spring 2015 issue of The Sentinel. Authors Donald Martin, MD, and Robert Hoffman provide a compelling case for the importance of physician supervision. Turn to page 14.

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  • Register Now for Regional Anesthesia Workshop

    2/23/2015 2/23/15: Spaces are fillings quickly for the Fifth Annual Ultrasound-Guided/Cadaver Course in Regional Anesthesia and Central Vascular Access, sponsored by PSA and Penn State Hershey College of Medicine. This year's program, set for May 30-31 in Hershey, features an expanded format with basic and advanced tracks and increased education credit opportunities to include MOCA ® Part 2 Self-Assessment and Lifetime Learning Credits.

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  • New Child Abuse CE Requirements for State Licensure

    2/2/2015 2/2/2015: Effective January 1, 2015, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania implemented a mandate for all health-related licensees to obtain continuing education (CE) in child abuse recognition and reporting requirements. This applied to any licensee applying for license renewal (2 CE hours) and any initial applicants (3 CE hours). Any program offered to meet the CE requirement must be approved by the Department of State. The following links provide information about the child abuse laws and programs to meet this requirement.

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  • Breaking News! Governor Proclaims Physician Anesthesiologists Week 2015

    1/8/2015 1/8/15: January 11-17 is the inaugural celebration of "Physician Anesthesiologists Week." Gov. Tom Corbett has issued a proclamation setting the week aside in Pennsylvania; PSA has drafted a press release; and ASA has designed a poster. PSA members are encouraged to remind patients, colleagues, and policymakers of the importance of patient-centered, physician-led care.

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The choice of anesthetic or sedation is made by a physician taking into account various factors, including but not limited to the procedure being performed and the general medical condition of the patient. General anesthesia may be administered by an anesthesiologist, a nurse anesthetist under the direct supervision of a physician, preferably an anesthesiologist, or in some states by an anesthesiologist’s assistant under the direct supervision of an anesthesiologist. 

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The Anesthesiologist’s Expanding Role
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a January 2011 update to their Interpretive Guidelines for the Anesthesia Services Condition of Participation for Hospitals. As a result anesthesiologists have assumed a leadership role in developing and implementing medical staff rules and regulations (bylaws) that define the qualifications and supervision requirements for many “categories of practitioners”, such as those providers performing “Moderate Sedation”, “Deep Sedation” or obstetrical “analgesia” services. 

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