How to Become a Cardiologist? A cardiologist is a medical professional who assists patients in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases and conditions of the cardiovascular system and heart. They perform various tasks and tests: radiology, stress tests, catheterization, electrocardiograms, etc.
How to Become a Cardiologist?
Becoming a cardiologist requires education, a commitment to that education and a passion to work in the medical field.
The first thing a person needs to do to become a cardiologist is get a bachelor’s degree from a 4-year undergraduate college or university. Students must choose courses that fulfill premedical requirements for medical school. Although choosing a science major, such as chemistry or biology, is typical, majors in history or English are acceptable. Nearly every medical school requires students to take at least 1 year each of biology, general chemistry, physics and organic chemistry. Most also require a minimum for math and English.
- 2. Take the Admissions Test
After getting a bachelor’s degree, it is time to take the Medical College Admissions Test or MCAT like NEET, AIIMS, and AFMC. This is an exam that focuses on basic science and future cardiologists need to master the topics in order to get through the first 2 years of medical school without too much trouble. The test mostly involves multiple choice questions, but it’s known to give people problems and is one-way medical education programs can weed out unqualified students.
- 3. Get into Medical School
Getting into medical school can be a difficult challenge for many students. Educators look for excellence in academics, along with solid extracurricular experience. Doing some work in healthcare can give a student brownie points on their application. This is considered a step in itself, because it can be hard to be accepted into medical school. Many students may apply multiple times before they are accepted.
- 4. Pass Step 1 and Step 2
Once in, all medical students spend 2 years taking a general science curriculum, with courses including physiology, anatomy, microbiology, pharmacology, pathology and embryology. At the end of the 2 years, all students take Step 1 of the Medical Licensing Examination. Students then complete 2 more years of medical school with a focus on the clinical part of being a doctor. In year 4, they start applying for residency programs and then Step 2 of the Medical Licensing Examination is administered upon graduating.
- 5. 3-Year Residency and Cardiology Fellowship
Working in a residency program for 3 years is a prerequisite to become a cardiologist. For the cardiology field, graduates must apply for internal medicine residencies which are designed to teach general adult medicine. After this, more training is needed through a fellowship in cardiology. This can take another 2 or 3 years to complete. Then the Medical Council of India (MCI)
exam must be passed to become a licensed cardiologist. The road to become a cardiologist is rather long, but many consider the reward of caring for patients worth the trouble. There are also specific fields in cardiology that people can focus on, and these can take even more training.
Cardiologist Jobs and Salary Information
Cardiologists have several specialties that they can choose to focus on in non-invasive, non-interventional, interventional and invasive careers. They can also choose to work in a variety of places: clinics, nursing homes, a private practice, surgical centers, hospitals, prisons, etc.
The focus of non-invasive cardiology is detecting and treating heart disease. Cardiologists in this field use external tests, like an electrocardiogram or stress test, to assess and diagnose cardiac disorders. Patients go to the doctor’s office for the evaluations. Sometimes patients can be treated with lifestyle changes and medication. However, when the test results show that a patient needs surgery, the non-invasive cardiologist refers them to another physician.
- Non-Interventional Cardiology
The difference between non-invasive and non-interventional cardiology is that cardiologists in the latter field can perform minor operations on top of the tests and evaluations. For example, a non-interventional cardiologist can perform a catheterization but is limited to such minor procedures. These can be performed in their office or in a hospital. If a blockage is found during the procedure, the patient is referred to an interventional cardiologist.
- Interventional Cardiology
This is the next level of cardiology, which allows the physician to perform further advanced surgeries: balloon angioplasties, valve repairs, mesh stent placements and atherectomies to remove plaque. Most of the time, cardiologists in this field spend time in hospitals performing surgeries, and consultations and follow-ups are scheduled during their few office hours.
A cardiologist who goes into invasive cardiology typically performs cardiac surgeries and procedures that repair heart and circulatory problems in patients. Following the surgeries, they monitor their patients for complications during the healing process, as well as educate them on how to prevent problems in the future. Invasive cardiologists have to be on-call for emergencies and work long hours.
- Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiology Clinics
Some cardiologists want to work in pediatrics, helping babies through teens who may have heart or cardiovascular problems. They use blood tests, x-rays, EKGs and other body scans to diagnose their patients, and patients who are seriously unwell are referred to a cardiac surgeon. Some cardiologists work at clinics as medical doctors where they manage, direct and support other cardiologists. They set goals for their colleagues to meet in clinical care and may publish research findings which support their services.
The opportunities available in cardiology are expected to grow faster than other occupations, especially in low-income or rural areas. It’s projected that the employment of physicians will rise 22%, driven by an aging and increasing population. Cardiologists who have expertise in performing specialty surgeries and procedures will have particularly good prospects.
In India, salaries for each level of cardiology vary depending on their experience, specialty, and place of work. For example, non-invasive cardiologists earn between 12,00,000 and 20,00,000 a year, while invasive cardiologists earn between 30,00,000 and 40,00,000 a year. However, they have the opportunity to earn more when they create successful partnerships in which they receive a share of the profits. Cardiologists really choose what they want to do in their professional field. They will have many job opportunities and will be rewarded for their hard work as well as the lives they will save.
How to Become a Cardiologist After 10th? After the 10th, you should start studying natural sciences with the compulsory subject “Biology”. Whether you choose math or not, physics, chemistry, and biology are important. You must pass level 12th with good grades. You need to score at least 55% in aggregate on PCB (Physics, Chemistry and Biology) if you are from the general category.
How to Become a Cardiologist After 12th in India? To become a cardiologist, you need to complete a medical journey after the 12th; Thus, it is necessary to complete various courses, degrees, study programs and internships. After that, you should be ready for medical admissions tests such as NEET, AIIMS, AFMC, state-level passing tests, and solid passing tests. The journey is quite long.
How Many Years to Become a Cardiologist in India?
After entering a decent school, complete your academic program effectively. Then after you complete 4.5 years of studying and move to a temporary one-year shift position, you will receive the title of Specialist in a certain category.
How Much Does It Cost to Become a Cardiologist in India?
A cardiologist can be said to be a very demanding position. The cost to become a cardiologist in India may differ and it depends on which institution you choose to study at. Typically, the annual fee is around Rs. 30,000 to 2,00,000. And the total cost of the course is around Rs. 3,00,000 to 40,00,000.