Step by Step Guide: How to become a Cardiologist

The heart is one of the vital parts of the body. So, it needs an expert to aid it to heal when it develops issues. You can become a cardiologist if you love to help people heal, especially if you love matters of the heart.

Hence, cardiologists are known to be professionals who care for the heart. You can learn how to become a cardiologist with the help of the tips in this article.

Basically, heartbreak is a very bitter experience contrary to being in love and sometimes you may think your heart is about to pull out and you’ll just slump(it doesn’t work that way). In fact, when it becomes a serious heart problem, certain professionals are needed to provide a solution for you.

According to BIS Research, the global interventional cardiology market will grow at a CAGR of 8.37% between the years 2018 and 2027. Therefore, this expresses a high prospect in the cardiology career path.

In this article, you’ll learn how to become a cardiologist in 2021, examine the career outlook, salary and much more.

 

Who is a Cardiologist?

A cardiologist is a professional who treats diseases associated with the heart and blood vessels. Essentially, you’re trained to consult and treat all heart ailments due to its sensitivity.

These professionals attend medical school before they attend further training in cardiology. Basically, the cardiology program tends to last for at least three years.

Cardiologists basically review your medical history, run blood tests and perform physical examinations. Afterward, they analyze your results and proffer solutions to any medical problems. Treatment methods usually include better exercising and feeding habits.

Conclusively, you need to possess certain qualifications in order to become a cardiologist in 2021.

Types of Cardiology

Although stroke medicine is one of the cardiology sub-specialties, few cardiologists pick it as their choice. Instead, most cardiologists prefer to develop their role in areas of sub-specialty interest, such as:

  • adult congenital heart disease
  • cardiac imaging
  • electrical device therapy
  • electrophysiology
  • heart failure (which includes heart transplantation and support devices)
    interventional cardiology.

Meanwhile, if you’re more interested in the science behind cardiology, you can pursue academic opportunities in the field of research.

What Qualifications do I need to become a cardiologist?

Becoming a cardiologist is a very easy process and this is not true. Contrarily, it involves a deep level of focus, commitment and hard work to actually excel.

Meanwhile, before you begin your quest to study cardiology, you must fulfil certain requirements. And these requirements vary per school but have some constants.

Hence, the qualifications include;

  • CGPA of nothing less than 3.5
  • Excellent performance in subject areas such as Chemistry, Biology and Maths
  • Possess supporting documents including a bachelor degree in Medicine

In addition to these qualifications, you have to fulfil other requirements stated by the school. However, fulfiling the requirements is the first stage in achieving your dream.

How much do Cardiologists earn?

Cardiologists earn well. Hence, the level of specificity and carefulness attached to their duty should only yield them a befitting financial reward.

On average, cardiologists earn as much as $512,000 per year. Moreso, this salary is in the absence of benefits and bonuses.

Medical issues keep getting complicated so research remains ongoing in this career path.

Job Outlook

The job outlook for all cardiologists is better than average, with an expected growth of 13% between 2016 and 2026.

Essentially, the two catalysts of job growth are population increases and the aging population in the United States.

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Furthermore, technological advancements that expand diagnostic options also make it easier for more people to get both non-invasive and invasive cardiology treatments and services.

Do all cardiologists perform surgery?

A cardiologist will primarily diagnose disorders of the heart and treat them with medication.

Cardiologists also perform interventions on the arteries in the heart working through puncture wounds in the groin, but they do not perform open surgery.

How to Become a Cardiologist

Now that you have made up your mind to study cardiology, you need to learn the step by step requirement you need to follow.

Essentially, these steps will act as guides in helping you know how you can start and scale your career as a cardiologist.

Hence, they include;

Step 1: Gain a Bachelor’s Degree

Individuals interested in studying cardiology need to undertake a bachelor’s degree in a science or health-related field. Basically, you’ll need to complete such a bachelor program in four years although some might be more.

After you have completed premedical courses like chemistry, physics, and biology, then you need to study well.

Truly, the higher your GPA, the more likely you are to get into medical school as this is where you start building your foundation.

Step 2: Enrol into a Medical School

Four years of consistent hard work and study at the University will earn you a shot at cardiology. However, once you’ve graduated from university, it’s time for four more years of education, this time at medical school.

After a good number of classes exams and lectures, you will be transferred to a hospital where you can apply the skills you’ve built so far.

At the end of this process, you will eventually earn your degree (Medical Doctor (M.D.) degree or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree).

Conclusively, you can make a choice of the best institute to study after you have assessed them and most importantly, fulfilled their admission requirements.

Step 3: Get a Medical License

You just don’t graduate from medical school and go open your own hospital neither do you run an apprenticeship program and feel it qualifies you to practice cardiology. No! It doesn’t work like that.

Regulatory bodies ensure that unqualified individuals don’t open up these centers and endanger the lives of humans.

So after your medical school, your next step is to earn a medical license. In order to practice medicine, you will need to obtain this license by taking the licensing exam.

To a large extent, the exam will demonstrate your knowledge and skills and determine whether you are ready for a future career in cardiology.

Therefore, your performance in the licensing exams will determine your next big step.

Step 4: Finish your Residency Program

At this stage, this career path gets sweeter. Hence, you should expect it to get a little tougher.

After obtaining your license, you’ll need a place where you can practice under the strict supervision of your senior colleagues. Therefore, this apprenticeship program is called residency.

So a postgraduate, your next three years will be complete training with a residency in internal medicine.

Before you specialize, you will need to complete several clinical rotations in different internal medicine specialties such as oncology, respiratory medicine and more.

Meanwhile, within these three years, you will create your portfolio and obtain letters of recommendation from different experts in the field, which can eventually put you up for a cardiology fellowship.

Step 5: Complete your Cardiology Fellowship

The residency program must have taught you a lot about cardiology and you might think that caps it all. Sorry to say, it remains just a final step which will eventually make it easy for you.

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Hence, you have to finish up a cardiology fellowship, which usually takes two to three years to complete. In the fellowship, you learn to manage a great range of cardiac conditions in addition to performing procedures and conduct clinical research. Thus, this will eventually earn you a certification.

How to scale your career as a Cardiologist

Excelling as a cardiologist is very important as it is an ever-growing career path. Thus, you need to get some key tips that will help your career path.

Nothing can replace practice. You need to invest time in practising and taking on diverse cardiological cases.

Essentially, they will increase your knowledge base as you will need to create easier and better treatment methods.

Make it a point of duty to attend the medical library and read books that will train you further. Of a truth, insightful reading breeds innovation

Medical conferences are rampant and frequent. Hence, you shouldn’t be missing in such events.

Medical events are the places where reforms and innovations in medicine are given. Therefore, take your time to search for those close to you and attend.

Medicine is a career path that grows with experience. Therefore, you should never look down on years of experience.

For this cause, create relationships with experts in your field and build a rapport. Through this process, you get suggestions and answers to questions you don’t know.

Best Cardiology Schools

A lot of schools run medical programs, but some stand out in an exceptional way. For this cause, these institutions have been regarded as the best institutes to study cardiology.

Hence, they include;

University of Pennsylvania (Perelman)

Tuition: $57,884 per year

This university hasn’t been better described by anyone apart from the President. In her statement, she said “Penn has a long and proud tradition of intellectual rigour and pursuit of innovative knowledge… That tradition lives today through the creativity, entrepreneurship, and engagement of our faculty, students, and staff”.

In fact, Penn has prevailed as an institution with over 4,500 faculty members pursuing its diverse programs.

The Perelman School of Medicine is regarded as one of the top medical schools in the world. Hence, if you truly want to become a cardiologist, this is a place you want to be.

Conclusively, students of all races are eligible for admission into Perelman. As you only need to apply by visiting the school.

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Mayo Clinic School of Medicine

Tuition: $55,500 per year

Mayo School of Medicine is known for its scientific research and continuous innovation in the medical field. In essence, they have remained at the forefront of healthcare discovery.

This institution remains committed to gathering the best minds from all over the universe so as to train them to become giants in diverse medical fields. Hence, this can be proven with the dynamism and work ethic expressed in the school’s culture.

Finally, with three campus locations and five schools, you’re in a great environment where you can be trained to become a cardiologist in 2021.

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University of California-San Francisco

Tuition: $47,222 per year

Five Nobel laureates, 101 National Academy of Medicine members, 64 American Academy of Arts and Sciences members in addition to a host of others makes UC school of medicine exceptional.

For this cause, UC boasts to be among the top medical colleges in the world. While this may be true or arguable, the institution remains focused on promoting quality education among its programs.

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In summary, UCSF School of Medicine collaborated with Mount Zion Hospital, came together to build the UCSF Medical Center.

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Stanford University

Tuition: $58,197 per year

Stanford medical school remains committed to medical research and adherence to best medical practices.

Essentially, their long history of pioneering medical reforms give them credibility.

Currently, the school is working on wearable technology for surgeons which will help them make better surgical decisions. Wow!

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New York University (Langone)

Tuition: $55,000 per year

New York University (Lagone) keeps enhancing and developing themselves in the medical field.

Evidently, this is expressed in their health and research centers which fosters healthcare administration in addition to other scientific improvements.

Hence this university is a great place to start a career in a medical field such as cardiology

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Johns Hopkins University

Tuition: $53,400 per year

John Hopkins University has grown from the dream of a man to the culture of an organization. Furthermore, this has increased its relevance and dominance.

Today, all over the world they are well known and respected even by the W.H.O as being a premier health center capable of treating certain grades of illness.

Certainly, the university hasn’t been left out as countless alumni members have been recognized for medical discoveries.

Do you need to hear more? Probably not. JHU is a great place to pursue a medical career.

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Harvard University

Tuition: $63,400 per year

Harvard is arguably the best university in the world. Furthermore, their programs are taught by the best of minds and complement the latest practices of the profession.

This institution has graduated alumni members responsible for pushing the medical field into newer fronts. Additionally, they continue to bolster their efforts to remain ahead of their competition.

In summary, Harvard continues to stand atop and remains the best place to study if you want to become a cardiologist in 2021.

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FAQs

Do all cardiologists perform surgery?

No. Some cardiologists specialize in consultation while cardiological surgeons do both.

What is the difference between invasive and interventional cardiology?

Interventional cardiologists are trained to perform advanced invasive procedures on their patients, whereas interventional cardiologists perform other procedures.

What are the three types of cardiology?

The main types of cardiology: invasive, non-invasive, and interventional

Where can a cardiologist work?

A cardiologist can work in both a government or private owned healthcare facility. As long as you have a license, you can practice your profession.

How many hours do cardiologist work?

Cardiologists work 50-60 hours a week consulting for patients.

Is it difficult to become a cardiologist?

Becoming a cardiologist is a difficult task. However, it is not impossible.

What is a cardiologist salary?

According to the Merritt Hawkins data, cardiologists make an average base salary of $512,000 per year.

How often should you see a cardiologist?

You basically need to see your cardiologist at least once ot twice a year.

Conclusion

As we have seen, cardiologists are in the right career path with an amazing prospect. Essentially, they will continue to be needed by the society.

Never settle for just being a mere cardiologist, push further to venture into the path of being a surgeon.

In conclusion, consider your options carefully while checking the school’s eligibility requirements.

 

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