Cardiology is one of the most dynamic and unique medical fields that deal with acute and chronic cardiac disorders and is packed with many advanced medical, surgical and management options. Physicians who deal with disorders related to heart and blood vessels.
Basically, cardiologists are trained to deal with a variety of ailments such as myocardial infarction, coronary heart diseases, arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy, and other pathologies such as high blood pressure and cholesterol level. They diagnose, treat and prevent cardiac disorders and provide healthcare services that improve the quality of life.
The challenging medical specialty offers a plethora of research opportunities and a wide range of sub-specialty areas to pursue. Working in a challenging and dynamic field of cardiology can be rewarding and fascinating for medical school graduates.
If you want to become a cardiologist and want to know different cardiology specialties, here is an easy guide on how to become a cardiologist and choose the best cardiac specialty areas.
Becoming a cardiologist is a long process that takes a lot of effort, motivation and hard work. It would take years of exams that students will have to take to become a cardiologist and even longer to become a consultant or cardiac surgeon. After completing high school and four years of undergraduate studies, you need to complete a four-year MD program, three-year residency training in internal medicine and at least three to four-year of fellowship in cardiology.
Before making the career decision, it makes great sense to carefully determine whether cardiology is the right fit for you. Shadowing is a sensible approach to gain some practical skills and know what it is like to be a cardiologist. It is also one of the most important factors that many medical schools consider while evaluating candidates.
You can learn about this competitive field by gaining some hospital shadowing experience. It provides aspiring cardiologists with a great opportunity to get better insights into this challenging field and what a cardiologist does.
During hospital shadowing experience, aspiring cardiologists will get an opportunity to observe how a cardiologist interacts with patients, performs physical exams and read different laboratory tests. You will also learn how different cardiac procedures such as ECG, echocardiogram, coronary angiogram, exercise stress test, coronary computed tomography angiogram (CCTA), and more are performed.
Keep in mind the practical experience you will gain on the wards, OPDs, emergency rooms and operation theater will better prepare you for this challenging medical specialty that class lectures and further reading can’t.
One of the greatest challenges aspiring physicians may face during their residency training is deciding the subspecialty. It is recommended to get a clear idea about each subspecialty to make a well-informed decision. Cardiology is one of the most demanding and rapidly developing medical fields that offer different subspecialties to choose from.
From nuclear cardiology to interventional cardiology, echocardiology to electrophysiology, preventive cardiology to computed tomography, transplant cardiology to pediatric cardiology, there is a plethora of options available for medical school graduates to choose from. It is important to know the pros and cons of each subspecialty prior to making a decision.
To help future cardiologists make the right decision, here are some important details about each subspecialty in cardiology.
Cardiothoracic surgery is one of the challenging and rewarding medical fields that involves surgical treatment of the chest (thorax), heart and lungs. Being a cardiothoracic surgeon, you will be responsible for diagnosing, treating and performing different kinds of surgery, including coronary artery bypass surgery, surgery for lung cancer, keyhole thoracic surgery, chest-wall deformities, heart valve surgery, aortic surgery and more.
To become an echocardiologist, you need specialized training and have an in-depth understanding of echocardiology. Being an echocardiologist, you are responsible for diagnosing and treating heart problems, detecting blood clots and managing the overall condition of the heart.
Cardiac EP is a type of cardiologist who is responsible for treating rhythm problems of the heart and disorders related to blood vessels such as heart attack, valve disease and different types of arrhythmias.
This branch of cardiology deals with catheter-based treatments, such as angioplasty and stenting of structural heart disorders and congenital disorders. Interventional cardiologists are required to complete two years of additional education and training in order to diagnose and treat different cardiovascular diseases.
Nuclear cardiology is playing an indispensable role in diagnosing heart-related issues and circulatory system disorders. Nuclear cardiologists use different techniques such as myocardial perfusion imaging, radionuclide ventriculography and more to assess myocardial blood flow, ischemia, infarction and contractile functions of the heart.
Clinical cardiologists are responsible for diagnosing and managing different cardiovascular disorders. They diagnose heart conditions by analyzing cardiac tests and then prescribe medications to treat the problem. However, they don’t perform surgical procedures as cardiac surgeons do.
One of the greatest benefits of choosing a career in cardiology is its earning potential. The basic salary of consultant cardiologists starts from $512,000. Top cardiologists who are specialized in different fields can earn significantly more. The dynamic field of medicine offers a range of career opportunities, making cardiology a worthwhile career option for medical school graduates.
Believe it or not, a cardiologist is one of the most respected occupations in the healthcare field. It is a specialty that is making a huge difference in patients’ lives while improving life expectancy. If you are excited to pursue a career in cardiology, enroll in a medical school and start your journey of becoming a cardiologist. It might seem challenging to become a cardiologist, but it’s worth it.