Should I Become a Cardiologist?
|Education Required||Medical Degree|
|Key Skills||Patience, Problem Solving Skills, Communication Skills, Dexterity, Organization Skills and Leadership Skills.|
|Annual Mean Salary (2019)||$203,450 (Physicians and Surgeons, all others)|
|Job Outlook (2018-28)||8% (Physicians and Surgeons, All Other)|
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
Cardiology is a field which is chosen by many aspiring doctors. These professionals receive their training in their specialty area. Cardiologists have long and irregular work hours. They usually have scheduled appointments; however, sometimes they have to show up in case of an emergency.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 390,680 doctors employed in the US that fall in the category of “Physicians and Surgeons, All Other” in the US in 2019. It is also reported that they are expected to witness 8% growth from 2018-2028. An ageing population will play an essential role in the rise of this profession. People will seek doctor’s services frequently due to the rise of various illnesses.
Steps to Become a Cardiologist in the US
- Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree
To get an admission in a medical school, students have to obtain a bachelor’s degree. They have to complete a few mandatory courses including biology, chemistry and physics, etc.
- Clear the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
Aspiring cardiologists have to clear the MCAT as it is a mandatory part of the admission process. It is a standardized test which is required by all medical schools across the nation. Along with MCAT scores, students need to have a good CGPA and a letter of recommendation.
- Obtain a Graduate Degree
Students need to complete their 4-year graduate program to obtain a medical degree. It is a combination of classroom learning and practical experience. Pathology, pharmacology, biochemistry, physiology and anatomy are some of the courses studied during this program. These aspiring cardiologists also get a chance to work with experts and gain practical exposure.
- Obtain a License
Candidates have to pass state exams to obtain licensure. Allopathic physicians have to take the US Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE), while osteopathic physicians have to take the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Exam (COMLEX). Other requirements vary with each state.
- Completing Residency Program
It is mandatory for all cardiologists to complete their residency program. It is a 3-year training in internal medicine where students rotate in multiple internal medicine specialty departments like oncology, respiratory medicine and endocrinology, etc. Some students also conduct a research during this program. Prior to obtaining a sub-specialty in cardiology, students have to get certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).
- Serve a Fellowship
Cardiology fellowships last for 3-4 years during which students have to complete cardiology rotations. They are also required to conduct a basic clinical research. On completion, allopathic doctors receive their certificate from the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), while osteopathic doctors receive it from the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).
How Long Does It Take to Become a Cardiologist?
These professionals have to study for 8 years, including 4 years of undergraduate and 4 years of graduate program, before they can apply for licensure. Later on, they have to complete a 3-year medical residency and 3-4 years of fellowship program in cardiology.
What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Cardiologist
Following are the requirements to become a Cardiologist:
- Get an undergraduate degree
- Pass the MCAT and get a medical degree
- Pass the required state exam and gain licensure
- Complete a medical residency and a fellowship
How Much Can I Make After Becoming a Cardiologist?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean salary of Physicians and Surgeons, All Other was $203,450 in 2019.