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John, why do you prefer an anesthesiologist over a CRNA? Can I choose who I want to fly me in commercial flights? May I see your flight physical and discuss the flight path alternatives avialable? Let me expand on the postage stamp. CRNAs provide comparative safety data with AAs and MDAs. We all cook from the same cookbook and use the same ingredients. CRNAs administer over 60% of the 30 plus million surgical cases every year. The anesthesia training of a CRNA is similar to an MDA. The 4 years of nursing school really means nothing as well as the 8 years of college and medical college are meaningless to the new doctor!!! Those are just weak foundations to build upon. Trust me, if you talk shop with a new nurse or doctor you will soon discover their lack of basic knowledge. Its the residency and training period after school that determines the level of knowledge. The doctors have 1 year of basic residency covering several areas such as 1 month of surgery, 1 month of family practice, 1 month of critcal care etc., etc. During that time there isn't much decision making on their part. The nursing equivalent is the ICU (or similar type) training. The CRNA is required to have at least 1 yr but most have had several years of training/experience. That sort of training is never ending. A doctor or nurse can study intensive care for several years before grasping a competent level of care. then comes the anesthesia portion. Doctors have 3 years of residency specific to anesthesia with some lecture and classroom didactics. The doctors eventually get large complex cases towards the latter part of their training (helping out on big cases is not the same as doing your own big case). The nursing training is 28-30 months for most programs. The nurse will repeat the sequence many more times than the doctors. We will fly more planes. That is the repetitive nature of checking the engine and landing gear, checklist and going thru the sequence of induction (taking off), auto pilot, and then emergence (landing) several times. The truth is that you will receive excellent care no matter the credentials. We are experts in airway management and autonomic nervous system control. I hope this helps with the "public knowing about getting stuck with CRNAs"- your're in great hands of care.
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Sep 2, 2011