The branch of medicine that is focused on the relief of pain in the perioperative period (i.e. before, during or after a surgical procedure) is known as anesthesiology. The medicaments administered are termed anesthesia and the doctor who is trained in this specialty is referred to as an anesthesiologist. However, terminology may vary depending on the country or continent. For instance, some locales may refer to anesthesiologists as anesthetists and the medication that they deliver as anesthetics.
In general, anesthesiologists are trained after completing medical school, which may range from eight to twelve years, depending on the country. Their vigorous training entails in depth acquisition of knowledge in key areas, such as the pharmacokinetics (i.e. the effect of the body on a drug) and pharmacodynamics (i.e. the effect of the drug on the body) of drugs. In addition to pharmacology, anesthesiologists must be versed in mechanical ventilation, various monitors of physiological functioning, neuroanatomy and other general areas of medicine.