Medical Specialty

How Competitive is an Anesthesiology Residency? Updated for 2023

You want to become an anesthesiologist? Here's what it takes to match into residency.

If you want a career as an anesthesiologist, here is how competitive the medical specialty is to match into an anesthesiology residency. Anesthesiology is the branch of medicine that involves the care of patients in the perioperative and operative state. They are involved in pain management, anesthetic plans, and the administration of anesthetics as well as the intensive care of critically ill patients.

Statistics on the Anesthesiology Match

In 2022, anesthesiology had a total of 2,560 applicants and 1,969 spots. This equates to 1.3 applicants per position. Of the 1,267 U.S. MD seniors who applied, 148 did not match.

Total Positions Total Number of Applicants Number of Applicants per Position
1,969 2,560 1.3

Osteopathic (DO) Students Matching into Anesthesiology

In 2022, the total number of DO Senior Applicants was 474. Of those, 313 matched, for a 66.03% match percentage. This makes anesthesiology a Friendly field for osteopathic students.

Total DO Applicants Matched DO Applicants DO Match Percentage
313 161 66.03%

International Medical Graduates (IMGs) Matching into Anesthesiology

Because there are 0.72 U.S. MD applicants per 1 program spot, anesthesiology is considered to be Friendly for IMGs students.

Honors, Research and Awards for Anesthesiology Residency Candidates

The average matched U.S. applicant had 7.7 volunteer experiences and 3.5 work experiences. They had 3.7 research experiences and 6.6 abstracts, presentations and publications. That makes this specialty on where the number of publications needed is Low.

Research Experiences Abstracts, Presentations and Publications Work Experiences Volunteer Experiences
3.7 6.6 3.5 7.7

Average Step 1 and Step 2 Scores for Anesthesiology

The mean U.S. Step 1 score for matched medical students in anesthesiology was 237. The mean USMLE Step 2 CK score was 248.

Overall Competitiveness of anesthesiology Residency and Chances of Matching

The overall competitiveness level of anesthesiology is Medium to High for a U.S. senior. With a Step 1 score of 200, the probability of matching is 55%. With a Step 1 score of >240, the probability is 95%.


How long is a residency in anesthesiology? What is the lifestyle like for an anesthesiology resident?

Compared to other residencies, anesthesiology has a Medium training length. As far as lifestyle, anesthesiologists generally have a Medium stress lifestyle. Of course, lifestyle is very subjective and if you love what you do, it does not matter! And if you hate what you do, it can still be rough no matter what. In medicine, you should find the specialty that makes you enjoy your everyday interactions with patients, staff and colleagues.

Because Anesthesiologists work in a wide array of locations and practice types, lifestyle can be very variable. For instance, at a trauma center or a busy liver transplant center could be very stressful to be a part of, whereas an outpatient practice focusing on routine colonoscopies could be a fairly low-stress lifestyle.

What is the average salary for an anesthesiologist?

The average salary post-graduation from an anesthesiology residency is $398,000, provided one does not go on to sub-specialty training which can change the salary substantially. Academic versus private practice as well as location also play a large role in physician compensation.

What are fellowships one can do from an anesthesiology residency?

Following the successful completion of general anesthesiology residency, some physicians may choose to continue their graduate medical education with subspecialty training. Board-certified subspecialists complete additional training and qualifying examinations beyond those required for board certification in anesthesiology. Currently, the American Board of Anesthesiology certifies the following fellowships:

What are the best anesthesiology residencies in the country?

The best residency for anesthesiology, or any specialty, is very driven by personal preference and situation. How close you are to family, loved ones, the type of training environment, the opportunities available are all things to take into consideration above and beyond name recognition of a program. However, there are some highly regarded names in the world of anesthesiology including:

    • Harvard University/Mass General Hospital
    • University of California–San Francisco
    • Duke University
    • University of Pennsylvania (Perelman)
    • University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
    • Washington University in St. Louis
    • Columbia University
    • Stanford University

Much of the data above is available from the AAMC Charting the Outcomes report.

Explore Other Specialties:

SpecialtyAverage Step 1 Score (Matched)Average Step 2 Score (Matched)
Child Neurology233246
Diagnostic Radiology241249
Emergency Medicine233247
Family Medicine221238
General Surgery237249
Internal Medicine235248
Internal Medicine/Pediatrics236250
Interventional Radiology247255
Neurological Surgery248252
Obstetrics and Gynecology232248
Orthopaedic Surgery248255
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation228241
Plastic Surgery249256
Radiation Oncology243250
Vascular Surgery239247




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