Purpose and Mission
Commonly known as heart doctors, cardiologists are trained to diagnose, treat and manage various conditions of the cardiovascular or circulatory system, including the heart, arteries and veins.
Typical responsibilities for cardiologists include diagnosing a range of heart abnormalities with medical imaging and other techniques. Cardiologists often work closely with cardiac surgeons, deciding on optimal treatment plans and following up with patients after a surgical intervention or other treatment.
Although some cardiologists are employees at hospitals or medical schools, most cardiologists work as part of a private practice. This means that they may not report directly to any individual, although they are under the general supervision of the board of the practice and the medical committee of any hospital where they have privileges.
Supervisory responsibilities will vary greatly. Senior cardiologists typically have significant supervisory responsibilities (including working with interns/residents), but less-experienced cardiologists may have relatively minimal supervisory responsibilities.
Senior physicians employed at hospitals and clinics typically have oversight and input into the evaluation of nurses, therapists, and other professionals who provide direct care to patients.
A cardiologist has earned a bachelor’s degree and has also graduated from medical school. Like all doctors, cardiologists must complete a two or three year clinical residency program working with experienced doctors to become a fully licensed physician.
You can become a certified specialist in cardiology by applying to the Royal Australasian College of Physicians for a fellowship in the specialty. Note that it requires several years of additional training to earn an RACP fellowship in cardiology.
Responsibilities of a Cardiologist
The field of cardiology is broken down into specialties including pediatric cardiology, adult cardiology, interventions, echocardiography and electrophysiology. The specific professional responsibilities of a cardiologist vary greatly based on her specialty, but general responsibilities generally include: