Do you always want to become a doctor who could help people with heart-related problems? If yes then you could think of becoming a cardiologist. A cardiologist is a person who is responsible for helping and making people aware of the problems related to the heart. But how to become a cardiologist is a big question. To know more about it, you can go on and read more about it.
To become a cardiologist, first, you need to complete your undergraduate degree, take up the MCAT exam, go to medical school and take up the Medical Licensing Exam (USML). Further, we have discussed more cardiologists.
Who is a Cardiologist?
A doctor who specializes in treating issues related to the heart and blood vessels is known as a cardiologist. They assist you in treating or preventing a variety of cardiovascular issues. They may also focus on particular conditions, such as irregular heart rhythms, heart failure, or long-standing heart issues.
How to Become a Cardiologist? – How can I become a Cardiologist?
Every branch has its own process. Suppose you want to become a radiologist, podiatrist, or orthodontist, you will have to go through various stages. To become a Cardiologist you need to follow some easy steps-
1. Completing an Undergraduate Degree
To become a cardiologist you first need to complete your undergraduate degree in the related field. Most students complete their degree in health-related subjects. Also, the students who have always aimed to become a cardiologist, choose their major subject as Cardiovascular Technology (CVT). Make sure to do well in your undergraduate degree. This will help to escalate your chances of getting admission to Medical school.
It is a test that is specifically for medical students. This test sets an equal opportunity for all students and also helps to get admission to Medical schools. Almost every medical school will require the MCAT test. However, the minimum MCAT score depends on the school you are trying for. It involves multiple-choice questions related to subjects like biology concepts, critical thinking, etc. Always remember the better you perform, the better the chances to get selected for med schools.
3. Attending Medical schools
Start selecting the medical school you want to go to. Make sure to select according to your comfort level as you will be spending another 4 years of your life in it. To become a Cardiologist you will have to choose between a Medical Doctor Degree (MD) or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree (DO). In your starting years, you will be getting more theoretical knowledge. From the third year onwards you will get clinical experience. You can apply all your theoretical knowledge in those practice sessions.
4. Medical Licensing Exam (USML)
For starting your practice you will need a license. For this, you will need to take up the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USML). This test is divided into three steps. The first one i.e USML step 1 is usually taken during your first year. This exam majorly impacts your residency program. The duration of this exam is about 8 hours with more than 300 MCQs.
The other two are known as USML step 2 and step 3. Both these tests are taken when you are in your final year. USML step 2 is further divided into 2 tests that analyze your Clinical Knowledge and Clinical Skills. Both these tests are taken on separate days.
USML step 3 is again divided into 2 tests and both tests are again taken on different days. The first test analyzes your knowledge about the foundations of independent practice (FIP). And the second test analyzes your knowledge of advanced clinical medicine (ACM).
5. Residency program
Once you are done with everything you will need to enroll in a residency program. You need to register for a residency program in Internal Medicine. During your residency program, you will get exposure to how to deal with patients. Don’t waste your residency program time. Use it to build up professional references which will help you to get into your fellowship program.
6. Fellowship Program
Once your residency program is completed, you are eligible for joining the fellowship program. This is similar to the residency program, the only difference between the two is that the fellowship program is more advanced. It teaches you to practice more complex and advanced practice.
In it, you will be working with various physicians and will get to know more about the treatment of various heart-related diseases like heart attack, heart failure, hypertension, etc. Once your fellowship program is over, you will be learning everything that you require to become a cardiologist.
7. Getting the certification
When you have completed your fellowship program, the next step is to get certified to start your practice. You will need to take an exam which is taken by the American Board of Internal Medicine. This test is important to start your journey as a Cardiologist. The exam has 2 sections – Multiple choice questions and the other one is ECG and imaging studies.
Multiple Choice questions will help to know your knowledge about identification skills, the type of the problem, what are the methods for diagnosing the problem, etc. However, ECG and imaging studies help to analyze how you interpret the data given and what you will do in the given situation. Once you clear your exam, you will be eligible to start your private journey.
A cardiologist is a person who takes care of problems related to the heart. To become a cardiologist you need to follow some easy steps. You need to clear the MCAT exam after your undergraduate degree to get admission to medical school. Once you get admitted to medical school you have to complete your residency and fellowship program. By following this procedure you will complete every aspect of starting your practice.
How much does a cardiologist make?
Cardiologists make an average yearly compensation of $351,827, including bonuses and tax-deductible costs. The income has been rising throughout the years and is likely to increase in the future. For a cardiologist who has finished training, the lowest reported pay was $122,000 and the highest was $698,000. Although how much you will earn depends on the city you live in.
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