Cardiologist and Heart Surgeries
A cardiologist is a physician who is certified to treat problems of the cardiovascular system—the heart, arteries, and veins. Cardiology is classified as an internal medicine subspecialty. Knowledge of internal medicine and other specialties is required to obtain certification. There are many requirements on the quest to becoming a cardiologist; first, obviously is graduation from an approved medical school. Next is the completion of an ACGME-accredited internal medicine residency program, which is a minimum of 3 years in length. There must be a minimum of 2 years of meaningful patient contact and responsibility. Of the 2 years, 20 months must occur in in-patient services, ambulatory settings, and in the services of dermatology or neurology. Four months may be taken outside the above areas, subject to program director approval. The level of responsibility for patients must increase with each year of training. After satisfactory completion of graduate education, the physician is allowed to take the Internal Medicine board certification examination. Once this examination has been passed, the physician receives board certification in internal medicine. This is a prerequisite to becoming certified in cardiology. Knowledge and competence in performing and interpreting tests and procedures of the heart is necessary as well. Once training is satisfactorily completed, the physician is eligible to take the American Board of Internal Medicine cardiology examination. Subspecialties have developed along with new tests and therapeutic interventions. Sub specialization in these areas usually requires 1 or 2 additional years of highly specialized formal training such as Interventional cardiology, electrophysiology, nuclear physiology, and echocardiography. The designation of Fellow of The American College of Cardiology (FACC) represents recognition of high professional achievement in a cardiovascular subspecialty. FACC candidates...
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