Dr. Bob Martin



Doctors for Safety was created by the Pennsylvania Society of Anesthesiologists (PSA) to help provide you the information you need about the work anesthesiologists do to keep patients safe. Too often patients see their anesthesiologists as doctors who simply administer medication that puts them to sleep during an operation or procedure. Doctors for Safety can dispel some of these misperceptions and helps give you a better understanding of their important role in your health care and safety. Anesthesiologists are highly skilled medical doctors (M.D. or D.O.) who specialize in the field of Anesthesiology. As physicians with significantly longer and more extensive training than non-physician anesthesia practitioners, anesthesiologists are the most qualified to make anesthesia related perioperative medical decisions. Anesthesiologists are primarily responsible for the safety and well-being of patients before, during and after surgery. This may include placing them in the state of controlled unconsciousness called "general anesthesia," the provision of "regional anesthetics" where only a portion of the body is made numb, or administering sedation when indicated for the relief of pain or anxiety. These anesthetics provide continuous pain relief and sustain patients' critical life functions throughout surgical, obstetrical or other medical procedures. An anesthesiologist is the director of the Anesthesia Care Team. The role of the anesthesiologist extends beyond the operating room. The anesthesiologist is responsible for the preoperative assessment of each patient, an evaluation process that carefully considers both the patient's current state of health and the planned surgical procedure, and that allows anesthesiologists to make judgments about the safest anesthesia plan for each individual patient. Anesthesiologists are also responsible for the well-being of patients postoperatively while they emerge from the effects of anesthesia.