Who are they?

All 3 terms below refer to the same group of doctors who will be responsible for your welfare when you undergo surgery.


Anaesthetist is the term commonly used in the United Kingdom. The anaesthetist is a qualified doctor and is required to undergo relevant training and examination before he / she can administer anaesthesia
( www.hkca.edu.hk ).

Anesthesiologist or Anaesthesiologist

The term Anesthesiologist is used in North American hospitals. In Hong Kong, we are known by either Anaesthetist or Anaesthesiologist.

What do we do?

The anaesthetist will assess you before the operation and will make sure you are in your best possible health condition before the surgery.

During the operation, the anaesthetist will watch your vital signs and titrate the drug requirement to keep you safe, comfortable and pain free.

After the operation, you will be transferred to the Post Anaesthesia Care Unit where your recovery from anaesthesia will be carefully observed. The anaesthetist will give you medication to keep you comfortable before you are allowed back to the ward / home after the surgery.

Where do we work?

Most anaesthetists work inside the operating theatre, providing anaesthesia during surgery. They also work in many other areas. You will see them in the maternity ward providing epidural service during labour, in the pre-admission clinic assessing patient and providing anaesthetic service in the ward, radiology department etc.

In addition, anaesthetists are actively involved in resuscitation and trauma services, as well as other areas such as infection control and risk management.

What else do we do?

Intensive Care

Some anaesthetists will further specialize in intensive care medicine. They look after critically ill patient who will require very special care that is not available in the ward. They are known as Intensive Care Specialist and they work in the Intensive Care Unit.

Pain Management

Some anaesthetists who have special interest in management of pain will do further training in this area. They see and treat patient with persistent pain. They reduce unnecessary suffering from the chronic pain condition with medication and perform interventional procedure if necessary to reduce the pain. They also collaborate with other health care professionals such as physiotherapist, occupational therapist, clinical psychologist and psychiatrist to provide a multi-disciplinary pain management service.