If you’re thinking about becoming a cardiologist, this post will give you an overview of what the job entails. We’ll also take a look at some of the specializations within cardiology. So, what does a cardiologist do? Let’s find out!
If you’ve ever experienced chest pain, shortness of breath, or an irregular heartbeat, you may have wondered if you needed to see a cardiologist. Cardiologists are specialized doctors who treat diseases and conditions of the heart and blood vessels. But what does a cardiologist do, exactly?
What Does a Cardiologist Do? Specialization Characteristics
What does a cardiologist do to help patients? A cardiologist is a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating cardiovascular diseases. Cardiovascular disease is any condition that affects the heart or blood vessels, such as coronary artery disease, heart failure, or arrhythmia. A cardiologist may also be involved in preventive care, such as screening for risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Cardiologists have a variety of tools they can use to diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease, including imaging tests like ECG and echocardiograms, lab tests like cholesterol testing, and medications. Depending on the type of condition being treated, a cardiologist may perform invasive procedures such as angioplasty or heart surgery.
A cardiologist will work closely with other physicians, primary care professionals, and internal medicine specialists, coordinating treatment plans and ensuring patients receive the best possible care. And in many cases, a cardiologist may also be a researcher or educator, helping to advance our understanding of heart and vascular disease and improving treatments for it.
What Does a Cardiologist Do? Diseases They Diagnose and Treat
A cardiologist is a heart specialist who studies and treats diseases of the cardiovascular system and other heart problems. The most common include:
- heart defects, valves defects;
- congenital diseases such as physical deformities of the heart, blood vessels or lungs;
- coronary artery disease and its complications;
- heart attack;
- cardiomyopathy (impaired pumping action of the heart);
- arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms);
- aortic aneurysms and dissections;
- congenital heart disease;
- peripheral artery disease and its complications;
- pulmonary embolism (blockage of a pulmonary artery by a clot);
- heart failure and cardiogenic shock.
In addition, a cardiologist can diagnose and treat other diseases of the cardiovascular system such as: high blood pressure (hypertension), chest pains (angina pectoris), strokes and many more.
What Does a Cardiologist Do? Treatments and Procedures
Cardiologists perform a variety of physical examinations and diagnostic tests, such as echocardiograms, electrocardiograms, stress tests to assess a person’s overall heart health. They may also prescribe medications for their patients or recommend lifestyle changes to improve their cardiovascular health. A crucial part of their job is collecting and analyzing patient’s medical history to evaluate the risk factors for heart.
How to Start a Career in Cardiology
Cardiologists are physicians who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks, chest pain, and high blood pressure. If you are interested in pursuing a career in cardiology, there are several steps that you will need to take.
The first step is to complete an undergraduate degree in a relevant field, such as biology, chemistry, or medicine. This will allow you to gain a strong foundation in the biological sciences and help prepare you for medical school.
Once you have completed your undergraduate degree, you will need to apply to medical school. You will typically need to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and submit letters of recommendation from your professors. Additionally, you will need to complete an interview with the admissions committee and demonstrate that you have strong communication skills and a commitment to patient care.
After completing four years of medical school, you will need to complete a residency in cardiology. During your residency, you will work alongside experienced cardiologists and receive hands-on training in performing diagnostic tests, interpreting test results, and treating cardiovascular diseases.
Once you have completed your medical education and residency, you will be eligible to take the Cardiology Certification Exam, which is administered by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Upon passing this exam, you will be a certified cardiologist and can begin practicing medicine.
Types of Cardiology Subspecialties
What does a cardiologist do when it comes to the selected subspecialty? There are several different types of cardiologists including electrophysiologists, interventional cardiology specialists, and invasive and non-invasive cardiologists. Each type of cardiologist specializes in specific heart conditions or types of treatments.
Electrophysiologists specialize in the electrical systems within the heart, such as abnormal rhythms. They may use pacemakers or other devices to control these rhythms. Interventional cardiologists focus on surgeries and various procedures to treat heart conditions, such as angioplasty, stenting, or cardiac catheterization. Invasive cardiologists use more complicated diagnostic tests to examine the inside of the heart and blood vessels. Non-invasive cardiologists focus on using non-invasive techniques to diagnose and treat heart conditions.
Cardiologists may also specialize in different specific age groups, such as pediatric cardiology which is focused on treating infants, children, and teens.
Cardiologist Job Outlook
The job outlook for cardiologists is positive, as the demand for these medical professionals is expected to grow in the coming years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of cardiologists is projected to grow by 4 percent, about as fast as the average for all occupations. This growth is largely due to an aging population, as the incidence of cardiovascular disease increases with age.
Cardiologist Vs. Cardiac Surgeon
What does a cardiologist do in comparison to a cardiac surgeon? Cardiologists and cardiac surgeons are two very different medical professionals who work to treat issues related to the heart. While cardiologists generally specialize in treating issues that affect blood flow and pressure in the cardiovascular system, cardiac surgeons focus on repairing or replacing damaged parts of the heart itself, usually by performing an open-heart surgery. They may also be involved with research into new surgical techniques or equipment used in these procedures.
What does a cardiologist do? Now you know it is a health doctor who treat patients with heart disorders. Thanks for reading!