How can I become a cardiologist? – The answer is you have to go to medical school, get specialized training, and get certified and licensed by the board to become a cardiologist. If you want to become a cardiologist, you will need to go through a full-fledged and long course on advanced cardiology as well as specialized training.
In this article, we will give an idea of how to become a cardiology expert if you are interested in a career as a cardiologist. Furthermore, we will discuss the courses and skills required to become a cardiologist in today’s age. If you want to know to become a cardiologist in a step-by-step fashion, read on through to the end of the article.
Who Is A Cardiologist? – The Job A Cardiologist
A cardiologist is a medical practitioner or a doctor who has specialization in diagnosing, preventing, and treating various heart conditions, like heart attacks, cardiovascular problems, congenital heart diseases, heart failures, coronary artery diseases, etc. Cardiologists are also responsible for maintaining a healthy heart the patients by prescribing medications, healthy practices, counseling, and many more.
According to WebMD, “To make a diagnosis, cardiologists may give physical exams, order tests — such an electrocardiogram (EKG), blood tests, exercise stress tests — as well as interpret tests. They may also prescribe medications and recommend lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise, reducing stress levels, and managing weight. Cardiologists can perform procedures such as implanting a pacemaker or inserting a cardiac catheter.”
The Jobs And Responsibilities Of A Cardiologist
The jobs and responsibilities of a cardiologist can vary based on specialization. Some cardiologists are surgeons, some deal with ECGs, and some with cardiac catheterization. Furthermore, there are also interventional cardiologists and nuclear cardiologists as well. The following are the major responsibilities associated with the job of a cardiologist:
- Cardiologists diagnose patients of the heart based on various laboratory results and blood tests.
- Prescription and customizing treatment plans for patients, for keeping the patient under a procedure.
- Creating treatment, therapies, and medications as per the conditions of the patient.
- Offering ongoing care to patients and doing follow-ups with them to find their progress as per the treatments and medications.
- Making the patients know about the conditions of the heart in simple language and informing them about the associated risks and progress.
- Analysis of the test results of the patients and carrying on the treatment of the patients based on their results.
How Can I Become A Cardiologist? – A Step-by-Step Guide
How many years to be a cardiologist? – It takes almost 10 to 13 years if you want to become a cardiologist and deal with patients. In the entire medical field, becoming a cardiologist is one of the toughest things to achieve. You will have to go through a lengthy and difficult cardiology education to become a cardiologist and get licensed to treat heart conditions of the people.
The following are major steps you need to take to become a cardiologist and practice cardiology in the United States:
1. Complete A Bachelor
Either you have to complete a pre-med program, or you have to complete a bachelor’s degree in a field that is related to a medical degree, like biology, chemistry, genetics, physiology, etc. You will then be eligible for the medical test.
2. Clear The Medical Entrance Test
All candidates who want to become doctors in the future have to take this test at some point. In the United States, if you want to get to a medical school, you will need to clear the MCAT test, which is organized by the Association of American Medical Colleges. This test act as a gateway to medical school for future doctors.
3. Go To A Medical School
After your MCAT test, you can apply for the best medical schools in the USA. Based on your MCAT results and grade, as well as your previous achievements, you will get shortlisted for medical school. Here, you will have to go through a long training to become a doctor.
4. Clear The Medical Licensing Exam
According to USMLE, this exam is to assess “a physician’s ability to apply knowledge, concepts, and principles, and to demonstrate fundamental patient-centered skills, that are important in health and disease and that constitute the basis of safe and effective patient care.” After that, you will get an unrestricted medical license in the USA.
5. Complete The Cardiology Residency Program
After you have cleared the medical licensing exam, you are now eligible to be a doctor. Based on your specialization, the program length depends. But what is the cardiologist’s residency length? The cardiology residency length is of three years, during which you get specialized training.
6. Get Board Certified In Specialized Cardiology
After completing your cardiology residency program, you now have the full license to become a cardiologist. Finally, to get a cardiology certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine, you will need to complete a 10-hour long exam.
7. Clear The Advanced Cardiology Fellowship Program
This is the final stage of becoming a cardiologist. Here, you will be able to focus more on training yourself in a specific area of cardiology in comparison to the general cardiology specialization that you have learned in your previous courses. After this program, you can get board certified after clearing the Cardiovascular Disease Certification Exam.
Your question was, “How can I become a cardiologist?” Hope this step-by-step guide was helpful for you in giving you a better idea of what it takes to be a cardiologist and how you can be eligible to become one. You will need to spend a lot of years to get fully trained as a cardiologist, and only then will you become eligible to treat the ailments of people’s hearts.
In addition to that, being a cardiologist can be a great career if you are truly motivated to become one. This is because, cardiologists are rare, and hence are never out of job. Furthermore, you will also have the chance to practice independently. What made you think about becoming a cardiologist? Share your experience with us in the comments below.