A Career in Anaesthesia

Careers & Recruitment

Why become an Anaesthetist?

As one of the largest hospital specialities that answer is very varied!

  • It is very much a hands-on practical specialty. Routine practical skills acquired include tracheal intubation and insertion of arterial lines, central lines etc. The use of local anaesthetic techniques including epidurals, spinals and other ultrasound guided regional nerve blocks are a routine part of anaesthetic practice.
  • The variety of work that an anaesthetist can choose. Anaesthetists are involved in diverse areas such chronic pain, obstetrics, ICM, paediatric cardiology, invasive radiology and of course, the core discipline of operative surgery.
  • An interest in physiological sciences. Anaesthetists acquire an in-depth understanding of applied physiology and pharmacology
  • The challenge of looking after the critically ill.
  • An interest in education. Anaesthetists play a major role in teaching both medical and non-medical staff. They are instructors on courses such as ATLS, ALS, APLS; are involved in simulator training and of course teach their own trainees.
  • The accessibility and ease of training and working clinically on a less than full-time basis.
  • An interest in research. One of the attractions of the Welsh School of Anaesthesia is the very strong academic department at the University Hospital of Wales.

'Anaesthesia merges all the reasons I wanted to become a doctor: advanced understanding of basic science; communicating with patients and their loved ones; performing intricate clinical skills; relieving pain; teaching others, and continually expanding my own knowledge and understanding'

'Anaesthetics is a very varied speciality. You never know what each day is going to hold - relieving pain on labour ward, resuscitating a sick patient in ITU or participating in an elective theatre list or chronic pain clinic. There is something for everyone. You could for instance be providing pain relief for a mother in childbirth on the labour ward and then later be anaesthetising a fit healthy football player with damaged knee ligaments'

Careers & Recruitment

Want to find out more?

Welsh Anaesthetic Shadowing Programme -WASP

WASP was founded in 2014. It is an initiative that was set up to allow easy access to Anaesthetic training experience for medical students and foundation trainees.

The WASP coordinator is Dr Sunil Dasari, Consultant Anaesthetist UHW and is the contact point for medical students and foundation trainees. With a trainee team, he will co-ordinate 3-5 day programmes of 'Anaesthetic taster days'. These days give exposure to anaesthesia and allow hands on experience in 'The day in the Life of an Anaesthetist". The aim of this is to show Foundation doctors and students the many varied roles of anaesthetists in the hospital, which is difficult to obtain as an undergraduate.
The anaesthetic taster days are also an effective way of gaining portfolio points for competitive anaesthetic recruitment and 'one to one' consultant teaching and advice on the application process.
WASP attendees will rotate between emergency duties, elective short-stay surgery, intensive care, specialist anaesthesia in paediatrics, obstetrics, neurosurgery and cardiac surgery. The feedback has been 100% positive.

Please contact the WASP coordinator Sunil on walesanaesthesiashadowing@gmail.com who will arrange a taster week for you in any hospital in Wales.



All applications for Core/Stage 1 & Stage 2 Specialist Training recruitment to Anaesthesia & ACCS-Anaesthesia are made through HEE West Midlands and ORIEL via ANRO. Further information is available to support recruitment and selection at ANRO or at RCOA

CT1 Anaesthetics Training Programme - Wales recruit to the 3 year Stage 1 Anaesthesia programmes for August and February start dates each year.

CT1 ACCS Anaesthetics Training Programme - Wales recruit to the 4 year ACCS Anaesthesia Stage 1 training programme for August start dates each year.

CT1 ACCS-Anaesthesia recruitment is linked to CT1 Anaesthesia recruitment, where 1 single application should be made. Further information is available at ANRO or RCOA

ST4 Anaesthetics Training Programme - Wales recruit to Stage 2 ST4 posts for August and February start dates each year.

Please be aware that there are frequent changes to the National Recruitment Process. Please thoroughly read the guidance provided by ANRO in terms of selection centres and ranking training programmes. Please contact Wales Recruitment or the Welsh Recruitment Lead, Dr Graeme Lilley (lilleytpd@gmail.com) for more information.

FICM (Intensive Care)

FICM Training Programme - Wales recruit to the FICM training programme for August start dates each year. Further information is available on the FICM Training webpage, via ICMRO or FICM

Anaesthesia Careers Evening Presentations

The Welsh School of Anaesthetists Careers evening webinar took place in November 2021. Below are some recorded presentations for you to access freely:

Training in Anaesthesia

A video by Sophie Foreman, an anaesthetic trainee. This video gives an overview of anaesthetic training from a trainee's perspective.

Anaesthesia Training

A video by Stanley Jose, anaesthetic consultant in UHW. This video gives an overview of the structure and contents of the training programme.

Recruitment and Application Process

A video by Graeme Lilley, anaesthetic consultant in ABUHB. This video summarises the recruitment and application process for 2022.

Further Information

RCoA Careers Information

More information about a career in anaesthesia is available from the RCoA website.