Anaesthesiology Critical Care
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Anaesthesiology and Critical Care


Postgraduate training​

MMed Anaesthesiology

Part 1

The practice of anesthesiology and intensive care is based upon a deep understanding of human physiology and pharmacology. The insight gained from studying these subjects is critical for subsequent understanding and management of the pathophysiology of diseases encountered in anesthesia and critical care.

The practitioner needs a firm grasp of the principles of how anesthesia-related equipment functions. It is imperative that the anesthesiologist-intensivist appreciates the principles whereby monitoring equipment works so the limitations thereof can be appreciated. An understanding of basic statistical principles is essential to equip anesthesiologists to perceptively interpret the growing body of research, or conduct their own research.


1.1 Pharmacology

Dr Sheila Etoe

Pharmacology curriculum for Anaesthesiology MMed Part One

The rationale for this pharmacology course derives from a firm belief that Anaesthesiologists are practising clinical pharmacology in a great deal of their work.

The course needs to ensure that drugs given or prescribed perioperatively by the anaesthetist, as well as drugs that patients might be receiving preoperatively, are known and understood especially, but not only, regarding indications, risks,  adverse effects, contraindications and drug interactions.

The need for a comprehensive approach and a large volume of information is necessitated by the ever increasing growth of scientific knowledge in the medical world.

 References are updated annually, but are mostly based on several reliable Pharmacology and Anaesthesiology texts, such as the well renowned 'Miller's Anaesthesiology' and Opie's 'Drugs for the Heart'.

More up to date information has to be added in the form of journal articles, of which some older classics remain but are mostly found through journal searches especially for review articles.

 It is my fervent hope that those who pass the course will take the knowledge with them as they continue their career, and also  that they become inspired to seek further knowledge in this field.


1.2 Physics     

Dr Riaan Murray

The curriculum for Physics and Clinical Measurement includes Basic Principles of Physics, Clinical Measurement and Statistics applicable to Anaesthesiology and Critical Care.

The list of topics is covered in lectures and links contain references to study material, which consist of journal articles, textbooks and notes.


Part 2

The anesthesiologist-intensivist deals with vulnerable, critically ill patients who may have (potential) dysfunction or failure of many organ systems. Appreciation of both the underlying pathophysiology, and of the best practice evidence is essential to ensure excellent patient outcomes. The scope of anesthesiology is widening with pain medicine, regional anesthesia, vascular access, and postoperative care all falling within the scope of the anesthesiologists' practice. The very young and the aging population, changes in location where anesthesia services are required, the advent of ultrasonography as a treatment and monitoring modality, increasing patient expectations, and better patient safety are current challenges that anesthesiologists have taken up. Informed practitioners can function as leaders and patient advocates. The depth of knowledge, skill sets and understanding required by practitioners is great. The field is therefore challenging, but rewarding. Prospective anesthesiologists require great dedication to cover the requisite material.