If you are suffering from a heart condition or you think you are at risk of developing one, it is essential that you find a heart doctor who is right for you. Regular visits to your cardiologist will be critical to your overall health. But finding the right cardiologist can feel overwhelming.
Many people call their cardiologist their “heart doctor,” but the terms are essentially the same. A cardiologist is a physician who deals with diseases of the heart (cardio=heart, logist = person who studies). After medical school, to become a cardiologist, a physician must finish three years (at least) of internal medicine study — so all cardiologists are board-certified in internal medicine. Three to six years later, after passing their Cardiology Board Exams they become board-certified in cardiology.
Now that you have the background, let’s take a look at some of the things you should consider to make sure you find the heart doctor who is right for you.
When you’re trying to determine who should be in charge of your heart health, you don’t have to go about it alone. Instead of looking for heart doctors in online healthcare provider directories, try to begin your search by asking your family members and friends to give you some recommendations.
Word-of-mouth is still one of the best ways to start looking for a cardiologist. Just make sure that the recommended doctors are affiliated with trusted establishments.
Communication plays a very important role in any doctor-patient relationship. As such, you have to make sure that you are comfortable with the cardiologist you choose. If you feel uncomfortable in any way, it is best that you switch to another doctor.
Remember though, it’s a two-way street. You should also share your medical history with your cardiologist and make him or her aware of any risk factors you may have.
To be safe, you should make a point to select a board-certified cardiologist because doing so will ensure that you will receive quality care. You can find out if a certain doctor is board-certified by checking the websites of the American Board of Family Medicine and the American Board of Internal Medicine.
The more experience a cardiologist has with a condition or procedure, the better your treatment results are likely to be. If you’re dealing with high blood pressure, find a heart specialist who is well-versed.
A little research can go a long way. You can find experts on everything from heart failure to heart attacks to heart rhythms.
The bottom line is that when it comes to your heart, you should not take finding a heart doctor lightly. All heart problems should be considered serious enough for you to at least see your primary care doctor, especially if you’re having symptoms like chest pain or shortness of breath. You should not hesitate to see a doctor or call 911.
You’ll find more advice and information on how to choose the perfect heart doctor by clicking here. You can also download our guide on cardiology tests. It can help you pinpoint the type of care you may need.