How To Become A Cardiologist
Career Video: Cardiologist
A cardiologist is a physician who specializes in everything related to the heart. A cardiologist can perform tests, analyze test results, diagnose patients, and treat any heart conditions they may be having. They often perform surgeries on the heart. This is a good career choice for people who are interested in a career as a medical professional and find the heart to be fascinating. A career as a cardiologist involves several years of education.
Why Become A Cardiologist
Our heart is one of the most important organs in our body. So when something goes wrong with our heart, we begin to worry. We often seek out medical professionals who can tell us what is wrong.
Cardiologists help prevent, diagnose and treat the diseases and illnesses of the heart. There are many diseases that a cardiologist is familiar with, such as congenital heart defects, myocardial infarctions, coronary artery disease, heart failure, and more. A cardiologist can help treat patients by giving medications or by performing surgeries.
There are many specializations within the field of cardiology. There is interventional and non-interventional cardiology, adult and pediatric cardiology, echocardiography, and more.
If you enjoy medicine, want to help people solve their health problems, and are interested in learning more about the heart, cardiology is a good field for you.
Cardiologists must possess the following qualities and skills:
- Detail oriented
- Manual dexterity
Cardiologist Work Environment
A cardiologist may work in a group practice, health care organization, or a large hospital. Or they may work as part of their own private practice. This job involves going from office to office, visiting patients. This job also involves practicing surgery. Cardiologists often work very long hours. Their hours are often irregular, having to work long shifts and having to rotate shifts. Weekends and nights are often required. A cardiologist may have to travel between hospitals or clinics to get to the facility where a surgery will be performed. A cardiologist may have to be on call to handle emergencies with their hospital or clinic. This career involves stamina, attention to detail, and interacting with patients.
The median annual salary for a cardiologist is $512,000.
A cardiologist must go through several years of education in order to earn a position in their profession. It takes several years of university education in order to become a cardiologist. Because of their extensive training and education, this is a profession which often comes with a lucrative salary.
Cardiologist Career Outlook
Employment for physicians and surgeons is expected to grow by 14 percent between 2014 and 2024. This category includes cardiologists. This rate of growth is faster than average compared to other occupations within the United States.
Although many industries may falter over time, there will always be a need for quality healthcare. New healthcare laws will have people seeking out quality healthcare professionals. There is a growing elderly and aging population within the country, and as we age, we may develop heart conditions. These people may seek out cardiologists to help diagnose and treat their conditions. They may also seek out these professionals for surgery. People are now more interested in doing what it takes to live a long, prosperous life.
If you would like to become a cardiologist, read below for more information.
Step 1: Undergraduate education. You must have a bachelor’s degree if you would like a career as a cardiologist. Some good majors to consider would be biology, chemistry, and other related careers. Recently, medical school programs have been interested in looking at applicants who have majors in non-traditional backgrounds. Classes in science and math will help prepare you further. It takes four years to receive your bachelor’s degree.
Step 2: Medical school. After your undergraduate education, you must enroll in medical school. Research universities that have strong medical programs, especially those that are known for their cardiology, if you believe that is what you want to do. Apply to programs, get accepted and enroll. The first two years of medical school are comprised of advanced medical and science classes. During the last two years of medical school, you will move into hospitals and clinics, applying what you have learned. You will go through rotations, learning about the different specialties within medicine.
Step 3: Residency. This is when you choose which specialty you want to pursue in medicine. Cardiology is a branch of internal medicine, so you will need to do an internal medicine residency if you decide that a career as a cardiologist is perfect for you. During your residency, you will be employed at a hospital or clinic, inside of their internal medicine department. You will work directly with patients. You will use all of the knowledge you have gained so far to meet with patients, listen to them, diagnose them, and treat them. This residency will last for three years, typically.
Step 4: Fellowship. After your residency, you continue on to take a fellowship in cardiology. During this fellowship, you learn to specialize in everything about the heart. You learn about coronary artery disease, heart failure, heart disease and more. You will learn to perform procedures such as echocardiography and heart catheterization. You will talk to patients and learn to diagnose them with specific heart problems they have. At the end of this fellowship, you are considered a cardiologist. A cardiology fellowship takes an additional three years to complete.