Do specialized surgeons generally earn more than anesthesiologists?
Yes. The specialized surgeon has intricate work to do and the operation can last for hours and to put it simply the anesthesiologist's job pales in comparison. Don't misunderstand the difference in the importance between the two: The Anesthesiologist has to be sure what type of anesthetic he/she uses on the patient and take into consideration, allergies, different diseases that person may have (example: diabetic ... surgery is often done in the mornings because of this), the age, body weight, what medications the patient was on before surgery and in some cases if the person was addicted to drugs or the patient may have have a high risk of heart failure, etc. They say that anesthesia can cause death for various reasons and it's always a high risk so the Anesthesiologist has a lot of pressure to get it right the first time. He/she also has to constantly take vitals on the patient and be prepared to give more anesthetic than first anticipated if the operation should take longer because of complications. The surgeon's job is to open up the patient (the easy part for them) but then is faced with variable problems and may have to deal with nerves, blood vessels (bleeders as some are called) and the brain is the hardest part of the body to work on. The surgeon has many difficult decisions to make which could be life threatening no matter which way he/she decides to go. It is also part of the surgeon's job to inform family if the operation was successful or not and in some cases the news is not good and even though some surgeons may come off as egotistical or callous it is difficult to have to admit they have failed (they really haven't) and to have lost a patient and many are most sympathetic to the family of the patient. Some people don't realize that some surgeons will operate accompanied by music or their choice (calms them) and some mumble prayers to give them the knowledge they have to save the patients life.