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‘Anaesthetists’ to become ‘anaesthesiologists’

The World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesia (WFSA) defines anaesthesiology as the medical science and practice of anaesthesia. It includes subspecialty areas of practice such as perioperative medicine, pain medicine, resuscitation, trauma management and intensive care medicine. The WFSA views the delivery of anaesthesia as a medical practice and an anaesthesiologist as a qualified physician who has completed a nationally recognised medical training programme in anaesthesiology.

In light of the WFSA, European and US use of these terms, the wider role of the anaesthesiologist, as well as assisting with advocacy for the specialty, the CAI balloted its Fellows and trainees on the introduction in Ireland of these terms, replacing ‘anaesthesia’ and ‘anaesthetist’ with ‘anaesthesiology’ and ‘anaesthesiologist’.

The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists is undergoing a similar process. In Ireland, 60 per cent of those balloted were in favour of the changes.

“This will provide a massive opportunity for rebranding of the specialty and the chance to let the wider public know that anaesthesiologists are indeed perioperative specialist physicians,” outgoing President of the College Prof Kevin Carson told MI.

This change in terminology will occur in early September. Prof Carson said the rebranding was necessary, as many people were not fully aware of the role played by the specialty.

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