Anesthesiology programs teach doctors and nurses to treat patients before surgical procedures.

The top anesthesiology programs incorporate anesthesiology research projects, highly trained faculty, real-life simulation opportunities and multiple clinical rotations. Students interested in anesthesiology careers prepare in physician or anesthesiology nursing programs across the country. “U.S. News & World Report” and other institutions classify top anesthesiology programs according to peer assessment surveys regarding research opportunities and overall program quality, student-to-faculty ratio and clinical rotations.

Virginia Commonwealth University

“U.S. News & World Report” ranks Virginia Commonwealth University’s nurse anesthesia program first in the nation. VCU’s Department of Nurse Anesthesia offers a 72-credit hour master’s degree, a 33-credit hour doctoral program, and a combined master's and doctoral program. Students experiment on two full-size body patient simulators located in the 1,500 square foot Center for Research in Human Simulation. Research topics include patient safety, human simulation and anesthesia education. The Princeton Review reports VCU’s abundant research activity and faculty experience make it one of the nation’s top schools for science- or research-based programs.

Rush University

Rush University is a small medical school in Chicago, Illinois, with a total enrollment of less than 200 students, according to Peterson's. “U.S. News & World Report” ranks Rush University’s program third in the nation. The Department of Anesthesiology offers a four-year residency and a one-year fellowship program. Residents and fellows complete most of their clinical training at Rush University Medical Center, focusing on pediatric, obstetrical, orthopedic and cardiothoracic anesthesiology. The Rush University Simulation Laboratory provides real-life training opportunities for students to practice clinical treatment scenarios and case discussions.

University of Pittsburgh

Ranked the third best program in the country by “U.S. News & World Report,” the University of Pittsburgh offers several anesthesiology education options. In addition to residency and fellowship programs, UP offers a nursing anesthesia program, medical student research opportunities, and continuing education opportunities for practicing anesthesiologists. Students gain experience in the school’s simulation center, classroom lectures, labs and in various clinical settings. The university also offers a 5-year dual training program in pediatrics and anesthesiology. Washington Monthly lists UP as the 69th best college in the nation, due to relatively low tuition cost, high graduation rate and research activity.

Baylor University

The Baylor University College of Medicine’s anesthesiology program ranks fifth in the nation by “U.S. News & World Report.” The Texas-based university offers a range of training options, including a graduate nursing anesthesia program in nurse anesthesia and anesthesiology residencies and fellowships. Students participate in research projects at the Cerebrovascular Research Center, focusing on cellular and integrative mechanisms involved in regulating brain circulation following traumatic brain injury. The Princeton Review reports Baylor has a student-to-faculty ratio of 14 to 1, high financial aid availability and relatively rigorous admissions standards, accounting for the school’s rank as 50th best college in the southern United States and 113th best research university in the nation.