Who is a Cardiologist?
Cardiologists are doctors who specialize in evaluating, diagnosing, managing, treating and preventing disorders and conditions of the heart and blood vessels that form the cardiovascular system. Cardiology is the field of medicine that deals with diseases and disorders of the heart ranging from congenital defects to acquired heart disorders like coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure.
What are the qualifications of a Cardiologist?
A 5-year medical degree [MBBS] that is recognized by the General Medical Council and a 2-year foundation course of general training are the basic requirements for an individual to be a doctor. However, following are the specialties or extra qualifications required to be a Cardiologist:
- Diploma in Cardiology
- Diplomate in Cardiovascular Disease
- Diplomate, American Board of Endovascular Medicine
- Diplomate, American Board of Cardiology
- DNB - Cardiology
- FRCS - Cardiothoracic Surgery
- CCT - Cardiology
- MCh - Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
- PhD - Cardiology
- MCh - Cardio Thoracic and Vascular Surgery
- MNAMS - Cardiology
- DM - Cardiology
What diseases do Cardiologists treat?
Some of the most common diseases that Cardiologists treat are:
- Coronary heart disease
- High blood cholesterol and triglycerides
- Ventricular tachycardia
- Atrial fibrillation
- Congenital heart disease
- Congestive heart disease
Do Cardiologists perform surgeries?
Generally, a Cardiologist will only evaluate symptoms and medical history and may advise tests for a more specific diagnosis. If a condition can be managed under their care using medicines or lifestyle modifications, they will continue the treatment. If a Cardiologist decides that an individual’s condition requires surgery, they will refer the individual to a cardiovascular surgeon, specializing in operations on the lungs, blood vessels and heart.
What diagnostic tests do Cardiologists perform?
Some of the tests carried out or ordered by Cardiologists are:
- Ambulatory ECG
- An exercise test, or stress test
- Cardiac catheterization
- Nuclear cardiology
- Cardiac electrophysiology
- Electrophysiology study (EPS)
When should an individual visit a Cardiologist?
If an individual has any symptoms of a heart problem, they should visit a Cardiologist. Some of the symptoms of a heart problem are:
- Shortness of breath
- Episode of heart attack
- Chest pain
- Heart rate or rhythm change
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal heartbeat
How do I consult a Cardiologist?
You can consult a Cardiologist either online or offline. However, depending on the availability of the doctor and the convenience of the patient, pre-booking may be required for consultation.
How often do I visit a Cardiologist?
It is recommended to consult a Cardiologist once every year to get an update on the health of the cardiovascular system. In case you have existing heart disease or condition, it is advised to have regular follow-ups with the Cardiologist.