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How to Choose a Cardiologist

Cardiologists are doctors specifically trained to look after people who have a range of different heart conditions. Seeing the right cardiologist will depend on what type of heart problem you have and what the cardiologist specialises in.

General Suggestions

Get Referral

A referral from GP is a good starting point. Your GP would be your best guide in choosing the right cardiologist in your local area. 

 

Research the Cardiologist’s Credentials

Experience and appropriate credentials are important factors to consider. Some acronyms following a cardiologist's name and physician degree often depict an elected professional designation that is obtained by those that have achieved excellence in the field of cardiology.

 

Consider the Cardiologist’s Experience

When you’re dealing with the health of your heart, appropriate experience matters. Fellowship training in one of several subspecialty areas is valuable. These subspecialty areas may include intervention, electrophysiology, cardiovascular imaging, heart failure, or general cardiology.

 

Communication

Find a cardiologist who shows an interest in getting to know you, who will consider your treatment preferences, and who will respect your decision-making process. You want to make sure that your questions will be answered in a way that you understand.

 

Innovation

Find a cardiologist that is at the forefront of his/her specialty. When it comes to the prevention and treatment of heart disease, the science of medicine is always improving. You want a cardiologist that knows state of the art techniques and knowledge-base, one that is a part of advancing the field. 

Choose the right cardiologist for your needs

You may choose a cardiologist depending on your specific needs. For example: 

Interventional Cardiologist

Performs coronary angiograms and inserts stents for blocked arteries or after a heart attack. Things to consider:

  • Procedure will be performed through the wrist (preferred and recommended) or through the groin?

  • If you need a stent, will you receive it during the same procedure or will you be called for a second procedure for the stent?

  • Does the recommendation involve an intervention that is risky or are you unsure of the reason you need it?

  • Will your procedure be performed in a public hospital or a private hospital?

Electrophysiologist

Inserts pacemakers, investigates and treats heart rhythm disorders. Things to consider:

  • Do you need any special type of pacemaker (such as HIS-bundle, CRT etc)?

  • Does you cardiologist specialise in electrophysiological procedures?

  • Will your procedure be performed in a public hospital or a private hospital?

Imaging Cardiologist

Specialises in Echocardiography, stress testing, reporting other imaging modalities such as CTCA, CT Calcium scoring, and cardiac MRIs.

Find a cardiologist you feel comfortable with and who is close to your "heart"

A good doctor will spend time with a patient to answer all of their questions and concerns.

Develop a positive relationship with your heart doctor. Receiving a heart disease diagnosis can be frightful and unnerving; but when you have a trusting, positive relationship with your cardiologist, the experience can feel a bit easier to handle.

Be a good patient. Honesty is the key. Every piece of information that you provide is a vital component to the overall picture necessary for your cardiologist. Come prepared to your appointment, sit down and write your list of medications with exact dosages.