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How do I Become a Cardiology Consultant?

One can become a cardiology consultant after many years of school and medical training. A cardiology consultant, also referred to as cardiologist, is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating patients with cardiovascular system problems. Cardiovascular system problems usually involve diseases affecting the heart, veins, and arteries.

A high school graduate who wishes to become a cardiology consultant someday usually enrolls in a university or college in order to pursue a degree in science. A college graduate who did not have a major in science may also enter medical school as long he completed some pre-med courses such as chemistry, physics, mathematics, and biology. After four years of medical school, a board examination is often given. Passing this examination makes the medical graduate a certified physician or doctor.

To become a cardiology consultant, the new doctor must first undergo a three-year residency training in internal medicine. Internal medicine is a specialty that deals with the diagnosis and nonsurgical treatment of many adult diseases affecting the human body. After finishing three years of this training, he must then take another board exam. By successfully passing this exam, he becomes a certified internist and is qualified to apply for additional specialty training.

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The internist wanting to become a cardiology consultant often joins the specialty training for cardiology in an accredited institution or hospital of his choice. This three-year training usually entails working closely with many patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases under the supervision of many certified cardiologists. It also involves training in cardiac catheterization, non-invasive surgical interventions, chest X-ray, and electrocardiogram (ECG) interpretations, and exercise stress testing. He will also spend a number of months doing clinical practice training, like seeing patients in cardiac care units and doing consultations.

After completing three years of cardiology specialty training, the last step to become a cardiology consultant is to successfully pass the cardiology examination given by the American Board of Internal Medicine. There are many options open to a cardiology consultant. One of them is to spend another year or two in subspecialty training. Examples of subspecialty training fields include echocardiography and nuclear cardiology, among others.

A cardiology consultant usually works in the hospital, attending to patients in intensive care units and those coming in the emergency room. Many cardiologists also have clinics of their own where they see patients for consultations. Diseases often diagnosed and treated by cardiologists include high blood pressure, angina or chest pain, congestive heart failure, heart attack, and atherosclerosis. Atheroschlerosis is a condition where the arteries become hard and narrow due to high levels of cholesterol in the blood.

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