Becoming a Cardiologist
While healthcare remains an integral part of people’s lives in today’s fast changing world, the heart ailments have become very common among the adults. The task of diagnosing the heart conditions and other cardiopulmonary problems, lies with the Cardiologist, who handles the most sensitive part of the human body. He does his best to let the heart beating and help people lead a healthy life.
- Bachelor’s Degree – A Medical Doctorate degree is must to become Cardiologist. After earning a bachelor’s degree by attending four years of undergraduate school, the graduate is required to get into medical school based on merit for post-graduation courses. You will also need to prepare for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and try to get strong letters of recommendation from your professors.
- Graduation from Medical School – After getting the Bachelor’s Degree, you need to get Medical Doctor (M.D.) degree or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree. The total tenure will be of four years. After spending first two years in courses such as biochemistry, pathology, pharmacology, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, you will spend the remaining two years in clinical rotations.
- Earning a Medical License – It is mandatory for the Cardiologists in the United States to obtain a medical license. The standard examination for medical licensing is known as the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).
- Residency in Internal Medicine – The 3-year post-graduate training will begin with three-year residency in internal medicine. It will help the trainees to interview patients, diagnose their problems and study the medical history properly. The internal medicine research will include respiratory medicine, cardiology, oncology, endocrinology and gastroenterology.
- Obtaining a Fellowship – Getting a fellowship in Cardiology may take up to 3-4 years. The most part will be spent in gaining clinical skills in cardiology rotations. Rest of the time will be devoted to conducting basic or clinical research. After completing the fellowship, it becomes easier to get a sub-specialty certification from an ABMS or AOA approved specialty-certifying board.
- Review the medical history of patients
- Examine the patients using expertise as well as knowledge
- Recommend proper diagnostic testing
- Examine the test results and plan course of treatment
- Prescribe proper medication and give requisite advice to patients
- Guide the patients on the need of leading a healthy life and improving the health standards
- Plan follow-up meetings with the patients.
Salary & Wages: The annual salary for a Cardiologist who does not perform invasive surgery is approximately $420,000 per year. Similarly, the average salary for Cardiologists who perform invasive surgeries is around $550,000. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) had predicted faster job growth for Cardiologists during the period of 2010-20.
Undoubtedly, the education and training one needs to become a Cardiologist, is very extensive. But, one must understand that the profession is related to heart, which serves as the lifeline in the human body. The heart and circulatory system are required for life and cardiovascular diseases often lead to death.