Cardiologist Job Description

cardiologist holding a heart. Cardiologists treat disease and injury of the heart and cardiovascular system

cardiologist holding a heart. Cardiologists treat disease and injury of the heart and cardiovascular system

The Cardiologist Job Description can be divided into two parts; Cardiologist and Interventional Cardiologist. A cardiologist is a physician who specializes in diagnosing, treating and preventing diseases of the cardiovascular system, which includes the heart and the blood vessels.

The cardiologist is a physician who treats and diagnoses disease and injury of the heart and cardiovascular system.

The interventional cardiologist is a physician who performs a variety of invasive tests and procedures to assist in diagnoses of and treatment of cardiac disease.

A cardiac or cardio-vascular surgeon can be a cardiologist who specializes in surgical interventions of the heart and vascular system.  Or it can be a surgeon who chose to specialize in cardiac surgery. They are highly specialized. Some of the diagnostic tools used by cardiologists include echocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations and exercise tests.

Cardiologists specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and intervention of diseases of the heart and cardiovascular system. Most of them work in small private offices or clinics, often assisted by a small staff of nurses and other administrative personnel.

Increasingly, physicians are practicing in groups or health care organizations that provide backup coverage and allow for more time off. These physicians often work as part of a team coordinating care for a population of patients; they are less independent than solo practitioners of the past.

Physicians and surgeons serve a fundamental role in our society and have an effect upon all our lives. They diagnose illnesses and prescribe and administer treatment for people suffering from injury or disease. Physicians examine patients, obtain medical histories, and order, perform, and interpret diagnostic tests. They counsel patients on diet, hygiene, and preventive health care.

The cardiologist job description often includes being a counselor and understanding the human dimension.  Social, economic and family dynamics play a role in how patients respond to treatment and the cardiologist will have to respond to those factors when treating patients.

Working Environment

Working conditions are usually pleasant with the work environment being indoors in well lighted exam rooms and hospitals. Hours of work frequently exceed 60 hours a week in the busier practices. Many cardiologists spend a significant amount of time on call. This typically can result in being awakened at all hours of the night and/or being asked to come in at irregular times to evaluate a patient.

Education& Training

Formal education and training requirements for physicians are among the most demanding of any occupation. 4 years of undergraduate school, 4 years of medical school, and 3 to 8 years of internship and residency, depending on the specialty selected. A few medical schools offer combined undergraduate and medical school programs that last 6 rather than the customary 8 years.

Premedical students must complete undergraduate work in physics, biology, mathematics, English, and inorganic and organic chemistry. Students also take courses in the humanities and the social sciences. Some students volunteer at local hospitals or clinics to gain practical experience in the health professions.

In addition to becoming a physician and cardiologist must complete an accredited program in cardiology.

Licensing and Credentialing

In all 50 states and the U.S. Territories Cardiologists are regulated. The usual method to be a credentialed and licensed cardiologist is: 
1) Possess the amount of training and/or a degree from an accredited school of medicine or osteopathy
2) Complete an accredited program of Cardiology
3) Pass a national exam 
4) Apply for licensure in the state you wish to practice in.

Significant Points

Many physicians and surgeons work long, irregular hours; over one-third of full-time physicians worked 60 or more hours a week in 2004.

Formal education and training requirements are among the most demanding of any occupation, but earnings are among the highest. 

Job opportunities should be very good, particularly in rural and low-income areas. 

New physicians are much less likely to enter solo practice and more likely to work as salaried employees of group medical practices, clinics, hospitals, or health networks.

Career Progression

The outlook for physicians is projected to be very good. Significant shortages exist in rural and underserved areas. The trend towards group practices will provide opportunities for more doctors to hold positions of leadership and authority. This still remains one of the best paying professions in the healthcare industry. 

› Cardiologist