Cardiologists are medical specialists who test, diagnose and treat disorders of the heart. This is an area of medicine that deals with a vital human organ and thus is one that requires individuals of utmost ability, skill and composure. Cardiologists would deal with conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease and would work with outpatients and more long standing patients. Such specialists would need to use investigative techniques through the use of an array of apparatus in order to ascertain the extent of a patient’s heart condition and the treatment that can help them.

Once a cardiologist has acquired years of practice and experience they can choose to specialise in one particular area of heart disorder, such as non-invasive cardiology and electrophysiology. Cardiologists would need to be on call for any medical emergencies. This is a specialist branch of medicine in which advances to technology and treatment are always occurring, and this would require you to keep up-to-date with such improvements.

Work activities

Typical work activities a cardiologist would need to carry out include:

  • Use investigative techniques to test patient heart conditions.
  • Assess any patient material you are given by GPs or other medical staff.
  • Maintain administrative duties in terms of patient information.
  • Work closely with patients to ascertain what treatment they may want and what would be best for them.
  • Work as part of a medical team to ensure the best treatment is given to patients.
  • Be welcoming of other medical professionals’ opinions.
  • Be confident of your own medical opinion.
  • This is a role not requiring any surgical operations, as would be expected with the position of a cardiothoracic surgeon.
  • Perform regular screening of patients with symptoms such as breathlessness, palpitations and high blood pressure.
  • Carry out blood tests.

Essential skills

  • Organised and professional manner.
  • Be sure of your own judgement.
  • Be confident enough to make decisions that could decide the fate of your patients.
  • Understand your strengths and weakness.
  • Ability to work as an individual and as part of a team.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Extensive knowledge of medical practices.
  • Leadership qualities.
  • Desire to keep up-to-date with any advances in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with heart defects.
  • Want to help people.
  • Able to work with people from varying backgrounds.
  • Excellent analytical skills.
  • Attention to detail.