A cardiologist is a physician that specializes in the treating and preventative care of diseases of the heart and surrounding blood vessels. Cardiologists are highly skilled in precise medical therapies, tests, and both invasive and non-invasive treatment options. He or she typically works side by side with heart surgeons and other physicians to design the best overall course of treatment for patients.
Typical duties include: diagnosing, treating, and managing patients; consulting with other physicians; performing patient examinations; analyzing patient data; utilizing tests such as echocardiograms, Doppler studies, and holter monitors; performing stress tests; implanting and monitoring pacemakers; and performing catheter procedures.
Cardiologists are required to hold a Bachelor’s degree, have completed four years of medical school (hold an MD), and have completed three years of internal medicine residency.
Cardiologists must also be board certified in cardiology, and must spend another three to five years in a specialized cardiology fellowship program. Following the fellowship, cardiologists must also pass a second board examination to obtain full cardiac certification.
Cardiologists must acquire several years of work experience to further their career opportunities. The field of cardiology is projected to grow rapidly for the next several years due to an aging population, as well as increasing obesity conditions.
The typical average salary of a cardiologist with at least four years of experience is about $283,000 per year. Cardiologists who elect to run their own clinics, and those who work at director levels may earn substantially more.