Shadowing a DoctorNovember 4, 2013
A cardiologist is a physician who specialises in diagnosing, treating and preventing diseases of the cardiovascular system, which includes the heart and the blood vessels. They are highly specialized. Some of the diagnostic tools used by cardiologists include echocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations and exercise tests.
As a cardiologist, you can work in a hospital or clinic or you could have your own private practice. Most patients are referred to a cardiologist by their primary care provider who may suspect some cardiovascular health issue.
There are two very distinct job categories in cardiology – Cardiologist and Interventional Cardiologist. A cardiologist is essentially a cardiology physician who diagnoses and treats diseases of the heart and blood vessels. An interventional cardiologist is a physician who is trained in performing highly specialised invasive tests and procedures that may be necessary to diagnose to treat all types of cardiac diseases.
If cardiology is your special interest but do not wish to pursue it as an active practitioner, there are also several opportunities to work in the academic field as a researcher or professor, both of which are equally rewarding.
Cardiology Education & Training
To be qualified to practice as a cardiologist, you will have to first complete a degree in medicine. You will then do a two year residency in internal medicine.
When you’ve completed your residency, you then have to do another 1 to 3 years in a cardiology-focused fellowship programme. During this final phase you will be able to choose to train in a more specialised stream in heart failure, cardiovascular diseases or interventional cardiology.
The average cardiologist salary is about £94,000 in the UK. This can range from £42,775 at the lower end to £142,300 at the higher end for more established cardiologists. The exact salary varies depending upon type of specialization, years of experience, geographical location, place of work and size of the establishment.
The job outlook for cardiologists continues to be very good as more and more people are being diagnosed with heart disease and other issues of the cardiovascular system. With statistics showing that heart disease still is the leading cause of death in the UK, there is an ever increasing need for specialist physicians trained in helping prevent and treat this disease. Cardiologists who choose to undergo extensive training in further specialties have a better chance of higher salaries.
Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.