Cardiology (from Greek καρδίᾱ, kardiā, "heart"; and
-λογία, -logia) is a specialty dealing with disorders of
the heart and blood vessels. The field includes
diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart defects,
coronary artery disease, heart failure, valvular heart
disease and electrophysiology. Physicians specializing
in this field of medicine are called cardiologists.
Cardiologists should not be confused with cardiac
surgeons, cardiothoracic and cardiovascular, who are
surgeons who perform cardiac surgery - operative
procedures on the heart and great vessels.
The term cardiology is derived from the Greek word
καρδιά (transliterated as kardia and meaning heart or
Q: What is a Cardiologist?
Cardiology, or the discipline of medicine that
specializes in heart disease, is a complex and
sophisticated field. Generally, three types of
cardiology specialists care for your heart.
Q: My Cardiologist has F.A.C.C. after his name, what
does it mean?
A cardiologist has special training and skill in
finding, treating, and preventing diseases of the heart
and blood vessels in adults.
A pediatric cardiologist has special training and skill
in finding, treating, and preventing heart and blood
vessel disease in infants, children, and teenagers. In
some cases, the pediatric cardiologist begins diagnosis
and treatment in the fetus and continues into adulthood.
A cardiac surgeon has special training and skills to
perform delicate operations on the heart, blood vessels,
A: If your cardiology specialist adds
F.A.C.C. - Fellow of the American College of Cardiology - to his or her
name, it is a sign of significant accomplishment and commitment to a
profession, to a specialty, and to the provision of the best health care
for the patient.
Q: How much training does a Cardiologist receive?
Election to ACC membership is based on training,
specialty board certification, scientific and professional
accomplishments, length of active participation in a
cardiovascular-related field, and peer recognition. Members are expected
to conform to high moral and ethical standards.
A: After four years of medical school, these
highly-trained doctors spend from six to eight more
years in specialized training. A cardiologist receives
three years of training in internal medicine and three
or more years in specialized cardiology training. A
pediatric cardiologist receives three years of training
in pediatrics, and three or more years in specialized
pediatric cardiology training. A cardiac surgeon must
complete five years of training in general
before starting a two-or three-year cardiothoracic
training program. Some cardiac surgeons have additional
training to perform pediatric or transplant
Q: How long does it take to become a cardiologist?
A: 4 years of medical school, then 3 years of
residency in internal medicine and finally 3 years of
fellowship training in cardiology this same setup
applies for many of the non-surgical sub-specialties.
About 7 years of education. and yes you need a college
diploma and you have to get certified by your state of
Q: What education or training is required to
become a cardiologist?
A: Undergrad (Pre medicine) ---> medical
school ---> internal medicine residency ---> cardiology
Any undergraduate degree. To become a cardiologist,
you must be accepted by and graduate from an accredited
medical school and then successfully complete an
internship. To get into medical school, you must have a
good GPA for your bachelors degree and score well on
your MCATs (Medical College Admission Tests).
Theoretically, you can do that with any undergraduate
degree, but students who have pre-med, biology, or
chemistry degrees have a leg up on the competition.
Most undergrad's major in biology, biochemistry or
pre-med. They also try to take all of the hardest
courses on campus since entrance to medical schools is
very competitive. In their junior or senior year, they
take the MCAT and begin applying to med. schools. Med.
school takes 3 years on average. To specialize in
cardiology, you would take additional courses focusing
on the heart. After med. school, you would do your
internship and residency with cardiologists. After
residency, you'd be ready to begin your career.