These doctors play an integral role in keeping patients alive -- and asleep -- during surgery -- no matter how long it may take. Their handsome paychecks reflect the responsibility and risk involved in their jobs.
"On a daily basis, I am with patients and families at the most stressful moments of their lives and have the opportunity to give them confidence and comfort," says Alexander A. Hannenberg, president of the American Society of Anesthesiologists.
"I wish the pace of the operating room weren't so quick and the pressure to move from patient to patient so great. I have only a brief time to get to know my patients, and sometimes we'd both benefit from a greater opportunity to interact."