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a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the heart.
A cardiologist is a doctor who specializes in treating the heart and associated
cardiovascular system. Cardiologists perform a wide range of tasks on a daily basis, from
using medical imaging studies to diagnose a heart condition to working with a cardiac
surgeon to establish a treatment plan for a patient. This medical specialty also has several
subspecialties, for doctors who want to focus on a specific aspect of medical care for the

ypically, in order to become a cardiologist, a doctor must complete medical school and a
residency in internal medicine before applying for a fellowship in cardiology. A
cardiology fellowship generally lasts around three years, and it includes training in using
diagnostic tools, talking with patients, networking with other doctors, and using things
like pacemakers and medication to treat heart conditions. Once the fellowship is
completed, the doctor can apply for certification as a cardiologist before beginning to
practice, or he or she can pursue training in a subspecialty.

Typically, a cardiologist sees patients because they are referred by other doctors who
have concerns about their heart health. When a cardiologist meets a new patient, the
patient is interviewed and the doctor may run some diagnostic tests to get more
information about the patient's condition. When the doctor reaches a diagnosis, he or she
can discuss the patient's condition and treatment options.

Cardiologists can use tools like stress testing, cardiac catheterization, radiology studies,
and a variety of other techniques to diagnose heart conditions. Various treatments
including medication and lifestyle changes can be used to treat diagnosed conditions. If a
cardiologist decides that a condition needs to be treated surgically, he or she will bring a
cardiothoracic surgeon onto the patient's team to discuss surgical options. Typically, after
a surgery is completed, a cardiologist performs follow-up care to ensure that the surgery
went well and that the patient stays as healthy as possible.

If a cardiologist chooses to do so, he or she can specialize in things like interventional

cardiology, nuclear cardiology, electrophysiology, or echocardiography. These advanced
techniques in the field of cardiology can be used to provide additional diagnostic studies
for a patient with a heart condition, and to treat heart conditions with innovative
primary care physician, or PCP, is a physician/medical doctor who provides both the
first contact for a person with an undiagnosed health concern as well as continuing care
of varied medical conditions, not limited by cause, organ system, or diagnosis.

A primary care physician is usually the first medical practitioner contacted by a patient,
due to factors such as ease of communication, accessible location, familiarity, and
increasingly issues of cost and managed care requirements. In some countries, for
example Norway, residents are registered as patients of a (local) doctor, and must contact
that doctor for referral to any other. Also many health maintenance organizations position
PCPs as "gatekeepers", who regulate access to more costly procedures or specialists.
Ideally, the primary care physician acts on behalf of the patient to collaborate with
referral specialists, coordinate the care given by varied organizations such as hospitals or
rehabilitation clinics, act as a comprehensive repository for the patient's records, and
provide long-term management of chronic conditions. Continuous care is particularly
important for patients with medical conditions that encompass multiple organ systems
and require prolonged treatment and monitoring, such as diabetes and hypertension.