Patients seeking cardiovascular care deserve the best quality doctors available in their area. However, choosing a reputable cardiac specialist can be a daunting task. Many patients simply don’t know where to begin to evaluate potential heart doctors. Looking for the following three signs of a great cardiac specialist increases the likelihood that you’ll form a positive, collaborative relationship with your new heart doctor.
Becoming a cardiologist is a process that takes more than a decade, allowing these physicians to hone their ability to accurately diagnose and treat problems with the heart and blood vessels. After receiving an undergraduate degree, cardiologists complete four years of medical school, including providing direct patient care. Once medical school is complete, physicians begin to specialize in their particular area of medicine. A cardiology typically completes a residency in internal medicine, which may last from 2 to 6 years.
Following the internal medicine residency, an aspiring cardiology must complete a fellowship program. A cardiology fellowship program may last up to three years, allowing the doctor to gain even more experience working with patients experiencing cardiac arrest, arrhythmias, and a range of other cardiovascular conditions. A doctor may even specialize further, focusing training on heart failure, cardiac disease, or interventional cardiology.
When looking for cardiac specialists in Arizona, ask about potential a potential doctor’s level of experience. Look for someone who has received extensive training and has strong familiarity with the types of cardiac problems you’re facing.
Board certification demonstrate a physician’s competency within a particular area of medicine. As cardiology is considered a sub-specialty of internal medicine, heart doctors are board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM). This includes taking an examination demonstrating knowledge and skills within the area of internal medicine. Following the 3-year cardiology fellowship, a doctor is eligible to take the “Cardiovascular Diseases” examination from the ABIM. After successful completion of this exam, a doctor may call him- or herself board-certified in cardiology.
Additional credentials and board certifications may also be obtained, including Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology, and Interventional Cardiology. Finding an Arizona cardiovascular treatment specialist with board certification ensures that your heart doctor has demonstrated excellence in the area of cardiology.
Range of Services Offered
Each patient has unique needs, making it important to seek a heart doctor who offers the services you need most. Looking for state-of-the-art diagnostic testing services? Treatment for blockages of arteries? Medical management of heart disease? Nutritional consultation to reduce obesity and manage chronic illness? The best cardiac specialists provide these services and more. Additionally, a great cardiologist focuses not only on diagnosis and treatment, but also on prevention of cardiac problems.