The process of becoming a cardiologist is extremely difficult but rewarding. By diagnosing and treating cardiovascular conditions, these medical professionals are experts in disease prevention.
Cardiologists concentrate on the circulatory system and the heart. Heart disease affects more than 80 million Americans, and it is the leading killer in some populations.
Cardiologists can significantly affect the general health of their local population because heart disease is so pervasive. This blog will go over every prerequisite, program, and certification you need to complete to become a cardiologist.
Read More: How Long Does It Take To Become an LVN?
Who is a Cardiologist?
Health issues relating to the cardiovascular system are the focus of the cardiology specialty. The heart and blood vessels are part of this system, which is in charge of supplying blood to all regions of the body.
A cardiologist’s duties include examining patients closely, communicating with them, and doing tests or examinations to identify, treat, and prevent cardiovascular disease or disorders.
Although it may seem straightforward, the cardiovascular system is crucial for maintaining numerous physical functions.
If something goes wrong with this system, the results are frequently fatal, and there is little time to administer therapy. Typical cardiovascular conditions include:
Heart attack: A lack of blood flow to the heart, mainly as a result of blood vessel issues
Stroke: Brain injury brought on when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted
Heart failure: The heart’s inability to pump enough blood
Arrhythmia: irregular heartbeat
Blood pressure being too low or high: Hypotension
You’ve likely heard of these words even if you don’t know much about cardiology. These illnesses and ailments are not only common but also fatal.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart failure is the top cause of mortality in the US, accounting for 696,962 fatalities. Stroke is the fifth most common cause of mortality.
Cardiologists are crucial to people’s health since cardiovascular health is extremely important.
Read More: How Long Does It Take To Become an X-ray Tech?
Is Attending a Cardiologist School Worth It?
Consider cardiology if you’re seeking a well-paying and rewarding career. Cardiologists help many patients enhance their quality of life. Being a doctor in this area will help many people live better lives and can assist patients in spotting heart problems early on.
As a cardiologist, you will offer your patients the necessary care and therapy they cannot get elsewhere.
How Hard Is It to Become a Cardiologist?
A cardiologist frequently makes important choices. Due to the complexity of the cardiovascular system, cardiologists frequently deal with emergencies where someone’s life is at risk. Even a minor error can result in fatal health issues.
The demands of being a cardiologist are great, and so are the educational standards.
You should prepare for difficult, in-depth material, a significant workload, assignments, and exams during your studies.
Academics, however, are just the starting point. In addition to mastering the capacity to apply what you’ve learned, you must pass tests, obtain certifications, and go through years of practical training.
Moreover, being a good cardiologist necessitates proficiency in a broad range of abilities in addition to being an excellent cardiologist, such as:
- Ability to withstand physical and psychological stress and pay attention to detail
- Organizing abilities
- Talents in communication
- Ability to make decisions, especially when a patient’s life is in danger
You’ll need to build these skills during your training years after medical school.
What Schooling Do You Need to Become a Cardiologist?
Cardiologists are medical professionals who focus on identifying and treating heart conditions.
After high school, it typically takes 10 to 17 years to complete the requirements to become a cardiologist.
These four years of study involve earning a bachelor’s degree, attending medical school to become a doctor, and finishing a cardiac residency and fellowship.
State licensing is needed to work as a cardiologist, and almost all businesses prefer candidates who have completed a board-certified program.
The schooling and residency requirements for becoming a cardiologist are discussed in the following sections.
Read More: How Long Does It Take To Become an Orthopedic Surgeon?
Earn degrees from undergraduate and medical schools
Like other medical specialists, aspiring cardiologists must complete essential premedical undergraduate courses to begin their training route.
Although it is possible to enroll in prerequisite courses without earning a degree and still be admitted to medical school, most students pursue bachelor’s degrees in science-related fields.
Because getting into medical school is so difficult, it’s critical to keep your GPA high and develop a solid resume while you’re an undergraduate.
The Medical College Admission Test is another requirement for potential medical students (MCAT).
Finishing medical school and receiving a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) degree is the next stage in becoming a cardiologist.
Students often spend the first two years of medical school taking more biology, anatomy, basic medicine, physiology, and pathophysiology classes.
Students supervise internships in their last two years, acquiring practical experience in sickness diagnosis and patient treatment in healthcare settings.
Complete a residency in cardiology
Cardiologists in training go on to finish a three-year residency program in internal medicine after graduating from medical school.
Residents can receive practical experience in these programs, which are often compensated under the supervision of qualified physicians.
Aspiring cardiologists complete up to five years of study in fellowship programs specific to the branch of cardiology they want to practice.
Schools provide cardiology fellowships in various fields, including heart failure, interventional cardiology, and cardiovascular illnesses.
How Long Does It Take To Become a Licensed Cardiologist?
Cardiologists can find employment in medical facilities, private offices, or academic medical institutes.
But formal medical education is a requirement before you can work as a cardiologist.
You must complete four years of medical school and your bachelor’s degree to obtain a medical license.
You must enroll in a three-year medical residency after completing four years of study.
You will be introduced to cardiology specialists during your residency who can assist you in advancing your career.
You could also wish to consider enrolling in a two-year specialized cardiology fellowship to continue your study.
Read More: How Long Does It Take To Become an Ob-Gyn?
How Much Does It Cost to Become a Licensed Cardiologist?
The typical first-year medical student at a public medical school spent $38,947 for tuition, fees, and health insurance in 2021–2022, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Private medical school first-year tuition was considerably more expensive, at $61,023.
Students that have resident status at their respective schools are included in these statistics.
The sums rose to $62,505 and $62,539 for non-residents. The maximum tuition, fees, and health insurance cost for non-resident students attending public medical schools was $91,599 per year. 2
The average cost of medical school (assuming a four-year program) can range from $155,788 to $244,092 if you use only average values. The cost reaches $398,488 at its most expensive point.
Salary and Job Outlook for Cardiologist after Study
The pay of a cardiologist varies with their location of employment, level of training and education, and field of expertise.
It is a well-paying job with a lot of room for advancement. A cardiologist typically earns between $343,000 and $400,000 annually.
The number of cardiovascular patients is increasing as more people adopt hazardous lifestyle choices. This indicates that there will be a significant need for cardiologists going forward.
Read More: How Long Does It Take To Become Pregnant?
Undoubtedly, becoming a cardiologist is a difficult and drawn-out process. However, if your heart truly desires cardiology and you possess the necessary fortitude and work ethic, you’ll be well rewarded with a highly regarded career.
Best of luck in reaching your objectives!
Frequently Asked Questions
From enrolling in an undergraduate school until graduating, it takes around 14 years to become a cardiologist.
You can anticipate being in your early 30s when you become a cardiologist, assuming you entered college immediately after high school with no gap years.
To become a cardiologist, you must complete a fellowship program and a three-year internal medicine residency.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that during the next ten years, overall employment for doctors and surgeons will increase by 3%. On average, there are expected to be 22,700 new opportunities for doctors and surgeons annually. Cardiologists are included among the “physicians and surgeons” in this.
The medical schools with the best programs in cardiac and cardiovascular systems, according to U.S. News and World Report, are:
Harvard School of Medicine
Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
Medical School of Duke University
Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine
Stanford University’s Stanford Medicine
A cardiologist works a variety of shifts. Most people work 50 to 60 hours per week. The number of patients and their demands will determine how this works. Most cardiologists work on the weekends, at night, and on holidays for their patients’ benefit.
Cardiologists are in charge of using medication to diagnose, treat, and prevent disorders of the heart. They don’t carry out operations. They frequently collaborate with cardiothoracic surgeons to perform surgery to address a cardiovascular problem.