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Overview of How to Become a Cardiologist

Career News October 28, 2015

If you have ever been interested in being a cardiologist, read this article and learn what it takes to become a cardiologist. Learn all the education details, duties, skills required and steps to getting licensed as a qualified cardiologist.

Cardiologist Career Overview

A cardiologist is simply a heart doctor. He or she is tasked with treating patients with heart diseases. To become qualified as a heart doctor, you must endure thorough training for at least 13 years, which does not include your education in high school and junior levels. Finally, you must earn state licensure.

Education details: Four-years in medical school, residency for three years and a cardiology fellowship (2-3 years)
Licensure: State licensure and if necessary have Board certification
Estimated job growth: 18%
Average salary: $348,000

Job description of Cardiologists

A cardiologist often receives patients referred to them by regular doctors. He or she, examines the patients, diagnoses possible illnesses and gives the necessary treatments required to the patients. The main areas that a cardiologist deals in are, problems relating to the heart and its blood vessels.

Cardiologists, who are found in both private and public hospitals, may use their skills in physical examinations symptom reviews and in medical testing when helping patients cope with their heart illnesses. Note however, that you don’t have to work in a hospital. A qualified cardiologist may work in Universities as research scientists or as consultants in general heart care. Finally, cardiologists can also perform other procedures like echocardiograms and cardiac catherizations.

Education Qualifications for Cardiologists

The first course you must complete is a prerequisite premedical course, which is not necessarily a degree program. However, most cardiologists have a bachelor’s degree. After this course, you move on to medical school where after learning deeply in biology, basic medicine, physiology and anatomy in the first two years, you take two more years learning how to diagnose diseases and treating patients. Finally, you are accredited with a Doctor’s in Medicine or a Doctor of Osteopathy.

After medical school, students are now allowed to treat patients under the supervision of already qualified cardiologists. This program, also known as residency, allow students to gain some knowledge while they also receive some payments for their work. The training does not end at this point however. Students move on to complete a five year fellowship program where they are allowed to choose their preferred areas of specialization. Common areas are heart failure, cardiovascular disease training or interventional cardiology.

Acquiring a License to Become a Cardiologist

After completing an undergraduate degree in an accredited medical school, you can apply for licensing from the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). If you have specialized in one of the major areas of cardiology, the American Board of Internal Medicine demands that you must first be certified in internal medicine and also pass a written exam.

Salary Details for Cardiologist

Salary.com estimates that an average cardiologist who worked as a non-invasive cardiologists earned an average figure of $348,087 in 2014 while an invasive cardiologists earns an average salary income of $386,088.

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