Without a doubt, cardiologists are some of the most popular medical specialists. Simply put, a cardiologist is a medical doctor whose primary work is to diagnose heart disorders and use the right medications to treat them. Besides, a cardiologist can carry out various interventions on the heart arteries. This is usually performed by puncturing wounds in the groin of the patient.
However, it is important to note that cardiologists are not trained to carry out any surgery. Heart surgeries are only performed by specialized medical professionals that have undergone special training for such procedures.
While cardiologists cannot perform surgeries, there are some specialized procedures that they can perform. An interventional cardiologist, for instance, can use stents to open clogged arteries. Also, they can put some advanced devices in the heart of a patient that has some heart disorders. Furthermore, a cardiologist can perform procedures for the treatment of rhythm issues, including using defibrillators, pacemakers, or ablation procedures for different heart problems.
Since we have explained that cardiologists are not trained to perform surgery, it is essential to mention those that perform heart surgery. Cardiac surgeons are the specialists that do surgeries.
Cardiologists start their medical study by spending four years at the medical school with another three years for learning more about general internal medicine. Once the education has been completed, the cardiologist will also go for another specialized training. This usually requires an additional three or more years.
Upon completion of the 10 years of education and clinical training, the cardiologist will have to take a two-day examination. This rigorous examination is conducted by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is designed to evaluate the judgment, understanding, and ability of the cardiologist to provide health care services to their patients.
Although both cardiologists and cardiac surgeons are medical doctors, the specialization of cardiac surgeons differentiates them. After graduation from medical school, cardiac surgeons and cardiologists have to go into a surgical residency for about 5 years.
Once the residency has been completed, the cardio surgeon goes into another training that lasts for around 2 to 4 years with full specialization in the field of cardiac surgery. Also, they learn about how to operate the heart, lungs, esophagus, pulmonary artery, aorta, and several other organs found in the chest and upper abdomen. Like a cardiologist, a cardiac surgeon needs to obtain a full license to practice medicine in the US before they can work in a health facility where they can offer their services. Also, they need to adhere to the ethical standard of the medical professional for certification.
Therefore, the extra years of training to specialize in the field of cardiac surgery are the main reason why cardiac surgeons can perform open surgery while cardiologists cannot do so.
With this article, you now understand that a cardiologist is not trained to perform surgeries. A cardiac surgeon or cardiothoracic surgeon, on the other hand, has the training, license, and certification required to do surgeries.
Do you have any cardiovascular diseases and require the services of a cardiologist? Advanced Heart & Vascular is here to help you.