Like any other job, entering the field of cardiology requires academic experience and intensive training. Despite how simple it sounds, becoming a cardiologist is in fact, not an easy task.
It may be tough to get your foot in the door and it is indeed, a long process but with hard work and dedication, you’ll get there in the end. If you aspire to be a cardiologist and if this is the career path you have chosen, consider taking these five steps…
Step 1: Get a Bachelor’s Degree
Prospective cardiologists need to undertake a bachelor’s degree in a science or health-related field. This usually takes four years to complete but it will start paving the way towards your career. Complete premedical courses like chemistry, physics and biology, and prepare to study hard. The higher your GPA, the more likely you are to get into medical school. This is where you start building your foundation.
Step 2: Get into Medical School
Once you’ve graduated from university, it’s time for four more years of education, this time at medical school. After more classes (e.g. pathology and pharmacology), exams and lectures, you will be transitioned to a hospital where you can apply the skills you’ve built so far. This will eventually earn you your degree (Medical Doctor (M.D.) degree or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree).
Step 3: Obtain a Medical License
It’s then time to earn a medical license. In order to practice medicine, you will need to obtain this license by taking exams. This will demonstrate your knowledge and skills and determine whether you are ready for your future career. Your score in these exams will also be a major determinant for the next step in this journey – applying for residency programs.
Step 4: Complete a Residency Program
As a postgraduate, your next three years will involve training with a residency in internal medicine. Before specialising in the heart, you will need to complete several clinical rotations in different internal medicine specialties, like, oncology, respiratory medicine, gastroenterology and more. Within these three years, you can build up your portfolio and get letters of recommendations from different leaders in the field, which can eventually set you up for a cardiology fellowship.
Step 5: Complete a Cardiology Fellowship
Last but not least, you must complete a cardiology fellowship, which lasts for another three years. Here you will learn to manage a wide range of cardiac conditions, learn to perform procedures and conduct clinical research. This will eventually earn you a certification.
Becoming a cardiologist is a long and challenging process. Most importantly however, it will be a fulfilling one in the end. Hard work and dedication pays off, so make sure to take our five steps and in the meantime, remain ambitious, driven and competitive. That might just land you the job of your dreams…