When people ask me the difference, I tell them:
The difference is about $400,000/year, they drink alot more coffee and know how to read the Wall Street Journal. I am the one putting you to sleep and waking you up and am with you during the whole procedure.
An anesthesiologist's background is more in making sure the patient is "tuned up" before surgery. When it comes to actually doing the anesthetic, there is absolutely NO DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER!!!!
When the MDs hear that, it pisses them off a bit, but I firmly I can manage an anesthetic as well as an MD. I will certainly defer to them on working a patient up for surgery, but not for doing the case. If they give me a break and change my anesthetic, they have bought the case and I go drink some more coffee
By the way, if the practice of medicine is to diagnose, treat and cure disease and nursing is helping the patient through an illness or procedure.....why are anesthesiologists practicing nursing when they do a case????