The heart and blood vessel specialists specialize in diagnosing, preventing, and treating heart and blood vessel conditions. The presence of symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, or abnormally high blood pressure may suggest that a cardiologist is needed read more. Besides your health history, your weight, and the history of your family will also be discussed with the doctor.
An additional diagnostic test may be ordered by the cardiologist depending on the severity of the condition. It is also possible that the doctor may order a cardiac catheterization – a procedure that involves inserting a small tube into or near the heart in order to take pictures of the heart or relieve blockages.
In the event that a cardiologist determines that a patient has a heart condition, he or she will provide treatment such as cholesterol management, cardiac rehabilitation, and fitness training. When open-heart surgery is required, a cardiothoracic surgeon will perform it, not a cardiologist. For more information, visit modernheartandvascular.com.
The first place you should go is to your cardiologist
If you live in an area with a large number of cardiologists, you could choose from them. In the event of non-emergency situations, your family doctor can direct you in the right direction. Most likely, your doctor has dealt with a number of cardiologists and knows which ones are good at what and can refer you to them.
This information was provided by two cardiologists, one of whom is a vice president of the American College of Cardiology, and the other is the medical director of the Heart Failure Program at Saint Vincent Heart Center of Indiana, a hospital located in Indianapolis.
Check the credentials of your cardiologist
Those with board-certified credentials in cardiology have the training, skills, and experience required to provide care in the field. Also verify that the Cardiologist does not have a malpractice history or has been disciplined. Information regarding medical school, hospitals, certifications, malpractice history, and state licensure for cardiologists can be found on Healthgrades.com and on state licensing websites.
Take a look at what a cardiologist has to say
In order to keep your heart healthy, experience is key. An experienced cardiologist has a higher chance of providing better results for a particular condition or procedure. Fellowships in additional subspecialties can also contribute to improved outcomes.
Identify the number of patients that the cardiologist has treated who have your particular condition. The cardiologist should be able to tell you how many procedures they have done previously. Additionally, find out how many issues they encountered as well as how many you are likely to encounter.
Tell your cardiologist what you need
You should inform the office staff before your first appointment that you will need extra time to talk with your doctor. This is a recommendation of the Georgia Composite Medical Board. Inquire about who covers the doctor when the doctor is unavailable, how busy the office is, and anything else that concerns you.
Gerald Fletcher, MD, a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic as well as a spokesperson for the American Heart Association, advises patients to be clear and comfortable with their cardiologist about their heart care needs for the rest of their lives.
It is not uncommon for patients to talk to the doctor for a long time without getting anywhere until they are walking out the door, explains Prof. Kessler. Upon entering the room, the doctor or nurse should ask questions such as: “Why are you here?” and “Do you have any chest pain?”?
You should select a doctor who can meet your needs
A cardiologist who was recommended to you by friends or family might not be the right match for you. A family doctor is not necessary, says Walsh, since not everyone has the same problem. Select a specialist with experience and a proven track record of dealing with your particular condition.
Additionally, he says women tend to gravitate towards female cardiologists, though he believes that gender shouldn’t influence your choice. Only women would see cardiologists, in his opinion, if they had cardiovascular disease.
Reviews of cardiologists on the internet should be taken with caution
Reviewing doctor reviews online is good, but it’s not wise to choose a doctor based solely on them, Walsh says. There are times when cardiologists get poor reviews because their offices are often crowded and parking can be difficult. In the case of going to the grocery store, that information is vital. In the case of going to the doctor, it is less vital.
Keeping an eye out for conflicts of interest is essential.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requires that pharmacy companies, medical device manufacturers, and other manufacturers of health care products report money and gifts they give to physicians. These expenses may include travel costs, meals, and speaker fees. On the CMS website, this information can be found in open payments, a searchable database.
You should consult your state medical board when selecting a cardiologist with disciplinary history. Find detailed contact information for your state board by visiting the Federation of State Medical Boards’ website.
Research the doctors of your candidates thoroughly before choosing them so you can be certain you made the right choice.
It is important to have a good relationship with your physician and to feel comfortable discussing information with him. Ask a question and note how the cardiologist responds when you meet for the first time. Does your question have an answer that makes sense to you and is your question welcome? Look for a cardiologist who is interested in your health, a cardiologist who respects your decision-making process, and who shows a willingness to get to know you