By Joseph F. Answine, M.D.
A patient may have a single anesthesiologist or more than one anesthesia provider working together as part of an “anesthesia care team.” This “anesthesia care team” consists of both physicians and non-physicians, each with their own specific roles, and these roles should be made clear to the patient prior to giving care.
There are less common situations where a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (or CRNA) is supervised by the operating physician and not an anesthesiologist. Frequently in Pennsylvania, this occurs in free-standing endoscopy centers and with procedures that are classically assumed to be of minor risk.
Anesthesiologists, including Anesthesiology Fellows, are the only anesthesia providers who may practice solo (without supervision) in every state. Click links below to learn more about the responsibilities of the different anesthesiology providers: