How to Become a Cardiologist: a Complete Guide

Your heart is one of the most important organs in your body. It pumps your blood to keep it clean and takes care of you all the time. Who then takes care of your heart if it ever gets hurt? ❤️

The ones who specialize in the treatment of the heart and diseases related to it are called cardiologists. They are experts who work hard to make sure that your heart keeps on beating healthily. 🧑‍⚕️

It is job-based in the medical field, which means that it needs a lot of input to ensure that you get a lot of output, too. Read on, as this article I have written will help you navigate through this career. 🩸

Question and Answer 

Everyone has doubts when they are choosing a profession to pursue. They have to put in a lot of hard work and, hence, want to get good return rates, too. So, it’s understandable if you have any doubts. 

Below are some questions that are going to help you understand the job more and get rid of any doubts. 

  1. Am I ready to devote most of my younger years to studies?
  2. Do I have enough emotional capacity to handle difficult operations?
  3. Am I prepared for the worst while working, i.e., the death of a patient?
  4. Can I handle difficult and speedy work hours?
  5. Am I prepared to work without breaks if the need arises?
  6. Do I have a support system?
  7. Do I have a financial plan ready?

If you have answered yes to most of these questions, then you are ready to start working towards becoming a Cardiologist. 

You will become a great one, and I am sure you will read this article with care to understand the process. 

Who is a Cardiologist?

Is there more to cardiologists than what we told you above? Yes. I have already told you about how these people work to make sure that your heart remains healthy. They are experts when it comes to the heart and blood vessels as well. 

If you ever decide to consult a cardiologist for better heart health, make sure that you understand everything that they are telling you. They will give important advice on how to take care of your heart and prevent any diseases. 🩺

They are people who can take care of blood pressure, any chest problems, heart failure, etc. Becoming a cardiologist requires you to work very hard. You would have to spend at least four years in medical school, then some more training to get experience. 

It is a rigorous process that goes on for quite some time before you become a full-fledged cardiologist and start taking patients. 🧐

The father of American Cardiology, Dr. Paul Dudley White, played a pivotal role in developing modern cardiology in the U.S. 

How much can a Cardiologist earn?

It is a well-known fact that cardiologists earn quite a lot in their profession. It is a medical career, which means that it will pay you well enough to sustain yourself and have some money to put into future savings as well. 📈

The annual base pay for a cardiologist in the U.S. can be expected to fall anywhere between $53,576 and $1,00,008. This is what you will get paid directly. To this, we add the additional pay, which is going to be $71,134 per year. 

Looking at the hourly rates, which range from $184 to $277 per hour as of June 2023, we find that cardiologists truly get paid handsomely for their work. These figures I have mentioned – the base pay, additional pay, and hourly wages – are based on statistical data, and I have made sure that these are up to date. 📊

Lastly, with an average annual pay of $3,22,178, which includes various forms of compensation such as tips, bonuses, and commissions, more than enough income is in store for cardiologists.

Scope of Cardiologists 

Cardiovascular diseases are one of the leading causes of the increasing mortality rate in the United States. One American dies because of a cardiovascular disease every 42 seconds. This is why the demand for cardiologists is increasing day by day. 

According to this research report, more than 25,000 cardiologists were in the States in 2009. Between 2011 and 2015, the programs tending to cardiovascular diseases and cardiologists, in general, increased by 19.2%. 

And this is still less! The increasing mortality rate means that we need more and more cardiologists every year. The demand never decreases. 

At present, about 800 first-year cardiology programs for fellowships become available for students every year, and the same amount of students graduate and get ready to work in the workforce. 

Skill Set required to become a Cardiologist. 

There is a specific skill set required to become a Cardiologist. These skills are important to master if you want to gain expertise in cardiology. 

  1. You should have immense medical knowledge if you want to make it. 
  2. You need to master how to be good at ethical and professional conduct. 
  3. You need to be good at critical thinking. 
  4. You need to be good at adapting so that you can handle difficult and tough work conditions easily. 
  5. You need to be good at the time and manage stress. 

If you want to become better at stress management, you can do this course here to figure it out. 

How to Become a Cardiologist? (More Tips)

Below are all of the steps that have been explained in detail for your benefit. Taking note of them is completely up to you, but keep in mind that if you want to become a Cardiologist, these are the tasks you must complete. ✅

Get your degrees

  • Your degrees and level of education are what will dictate your career in the medical field. If you want to become a doctor, you have to start with school-level education.
  •  Take healthcare, medicine, and human biology courses when in school to set up a proper base for yourself. 
  • After this, it would be time for you to get an undergraduate degree. You can go for a four-year undergraduate program in any prestigious medical college. 
  • The subjects you major (and minor) in should be related to medicine and healthcare. 
  • As a cardiology aspirant, you can go for courses and programs related to cardiology. One such subject is cardiovascular technology (CVT). 🧑‍🎓

Appear for the MCAT exams.

  • The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is a specialized exam that is used in the United States, Canada, and a few other countries for admission to medical colleges. 
  • It is a multiple-choice exam that requires you to solve their questions based on your critical thinking, problem-solving skills, theoretical knowledge, practical knowledge, and analysis skills. 
  • The scores you would get in this exam are what medical colleges ask for during the admission process. 📝
  • Here’s an article from Princeton that will help you get more information about how to prepare for MCAT exams properly. 

Get into medical school. 

  • After using your score on the MCAT, you would get admission to any medical school of your choice. 
  • You just have to ensure that you get the grades required for enrollment. 
  • You can opt to become either a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) or get a Medical Doctor (M.D.) degree. These are the two career paths students interested in cardiology go for. 
  • You will have to do a four-year medical program that is going to be divided into two portions. 
  • In the first two years, you would be taught about the theory of certain disciplines such as physiology, pharmacology, pathology, anatomy, microbiology, physiology, and biochemistry. 
  • In the last two years, you would have to shift to a more practical hospital setting where you would have to start hands-on training. You would be applying the knowledge that you have earned in the first half of your medical program in this latter half. 🏥
  • This is a guide for students who want to know how to choose the right medical school for themselves. 

Give the exam for the United States Medical Licensing Exams (USMLE)

If you want to practice medicine in the United States, then you need to get a medical license for yourself. 

  • The first step in attaining this license comes when you would be in the first half of the four-year medical program. 
  • This will happen when you are in your first two years of the program and would be a 300 multiple choice questions exam. 
  • It goes on for about 8 hours and will have a major impact on your residency program selection process later. 
  • The second step and the third step both happen in the latter half. In the remaining two years of your program, you would take the rest of the two licensing exams. 
  • In the second exam, you would have to take two tests – one for clinical knowledge (C.K.) and the other for your clinical skills (C.S.). These exams are held on different days, and both go on for 8-9 hours each. 
  • The third licensing exam is also divided into two tests – one for the foundations of independent practice (FIP) and another for advanced clinical medicine (ACM). The first one has 232 multiple-choice-based questions and goes on for 7 hours. The other has 13 case simulation systems and goes on for 9 hours. ⏳

Finish a residency program. 

A residency program is important for you because you will have to specialize in cardiology, which is a specialization in internal medicine. This is why you will have to complete a three-year residency program in internal medicine. 

  • During this program, you would be taught more about managing and handling different conditions when it comes to cardiology and cardiovascular systems. ❤️
  • Here’s a guide that will tell you more about residency programs in general. 

Get board-certified 

  • After finishing your education and getting all these qualifications, you would be able to get certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. This is an important process because board certification would help you become a board-certified cardiologist later on. 
  • Keep in mind that you prepare your CV and resume while finishing this program and include all your certifications. 🖼️

Complete your fellowship program. 

After this, you would need to complete a fellowship program that might take you one to four years more to complete. 

  • In this fellowship program you choose for yourself, you will learn more about cardiac processes and gain a better understanding of the subject matter. 
  • You would also be able to get into clinical research and perform surgeries related to echocardiography and heart catheterization.
  •  After completing this program, you will become a fully-fledged cardiologist ready for work. If, however, you feel like learning and advancing your skill set even more, then you can go for more fellowship programs. 🧑‍⚕️
  • This is a guide that will help you get more insight into fellowship programs. 

Top Cardiologist Courses in the United States

A lot of online resources are nowadays available for use. These just add to your credits and knowledge.

These help you without having to deal with the extra amount of stress one might have about the application process and the location. ⚕️

Cardiac Anatomy & Physiology

  • This course is offered by the online educational platform Udemy and is taught by Mena Abdelsayed, who is an assistant professor at the Oceania University of Medicine. 
  • The course has been divided into just one section, which is further divided into 27 lectures. The duration of this course then comes out to be a total of approximately 4 hours. 
  • After completing this course, you will have gained knowledge about cardiovascular systems in detail as it touches upon specific topics such as cardiac arteries, valves, muscles, glands, and more. 🩺
  • You can buy this course for $59.99. 

Myocardial Infarction

  • This course is available on the online educational platform Coursera and is taught by Professor Thomas F. Luscher. He is a professor and director of the Department of Cardiology at the University of Zurich. 
  • The course has been divided into five sections, which are further divided into more audio and video content for you to use. 
  • The duration of this course then comes out to be a total of 26 hours. 
  • This course includes topics that will teach you about cardiovascular systems and the heart. The rest of the course includes risk and prevention of heart disease, heart failure, and acute coronary syndrome. 💘
  • This course is available for $49. 

Cardiology Course – Master Heart Diseases and Treatments

  • This course is offered by the online educational platform Udemy and is taught by an educational content distributor known as USMLE Pass. 
  • The course has been divided into 14 sections, which are further divided into 97 lectures. The duration of this course then comes out to be a total of 4 hours. 
  • This course includes topics such as cardiac physiology, cardiac diseases, pain management, heart murmurs, vasculitis, and more. 💞
  • This course will cost you around $19. 

Top Cardiologist Schools in the World

It’s time to concentrate and now focus not on the extracurricular courses but on the proper programs and colleges that provide them.

It would be better for you if you find a good school to get hands-on training as cardiovascular services cannot be offered via any online methods. 🏫

Harvard University 

  • Harvard University is a private Ivy League university. It is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 
  • Founded in 1636, the university operates the main college as well as the Harvard Medical School, which is located in Boston. 
  • It ranks first in a global ranking system for cardiology and cardiovascular systems, which makes it the best choice for you if you wish to pursue cardiology. 
  • The university is a very good option also because of the research-based programs you will find there. 
  • The medical school you are going to enroll in is associated with other distinguished medical facilities like Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. 🤝

Imperial College

  • Imperial College is located in London, UK, and was founded in 1907. It holds the rank two on ‘the best global universities for cardiology’ list. 
  • The main campus of this science-based university lies in South Kensington in Central London. 
  • Other very important institutions, such as the Natural History Museum, are also located here. The university has four major subdivisions based on subject matter – engineering, business, medicine, and natural sciences. 
  • Since one of its subdivisions is Medicine, we can count on the Imperial College to get our degree in cardiology and cardiovascular studies. 
  • This university also has research-oriented programs and collaborates with other universities, such as South Korea’s Seoul National University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States. 🧊

Columbia University 

  • Columbia University was founded in 1754. It ranks third on the list of top colleges for cardiology and is located in New York City. 
  • It was originally called King’s College, and about 30 of the student population here comes from international regions. 
  • This university operates the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and this is one of its highest-ranking programs. It has a global approach and has opened up numerous centers worldwide. 👑

Duke University 

  • Duke University is divided into three main campuses located in Durham, North Carolina. It was founded in 1838 and was officially named ‘Duke University’ in 1924. 
  • The university ranks fourth on the list of the best cardiology schools and operates ten schools and colleges under it. 
  • All of these follow an academic calendar that is divided into semester-based. The highest-ranking program at Duke University includes the Duke University School of Medicine. 🐴

University of Toronto 

  • The University of Toronto was founded in 1827 and ranked fifth on the list. This university, as you would have guessed, is located in Toronto. 
  • The campuses are divided and present in Mississauga, Scarborough, and St. George’s, which are all places in Toronto. 
  • The academic calendar is different in all three of these campuses, with at least 60% of the student population studying on St. George’s campus. 
  • The university offers about 700 undergraduate courses, and public healthcare courses make up a good part of the total percentage. 🏒

University of Glasgow 

  • The University of Glasgow ranks sixth on this list and is located in (as the name suggests) Glasgow, Scotland, UK. 
  • The university was founded in 1451, which makes it one of the oldest universities in Scotland and globally as well. 
  • The university is one of the top ten universities in the U.K. and offers courses from a variety of disciplines, such as microbiology, engineering, geosciences, healthcare, and more. 
  • You will find research-oriented programs at this university as well. 
  • These programs are very credible, as this university ranks 22nd in the world when it comes to citation and publication. 🧬

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

  • The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is located in New York City and ranks seventh on the list of ‘top global universities for cardiology and cardiovascular systems.’ 
  • Since this is a medical college only, all of the courses offered here are specially designed according to medical themes. Some of these include oncology, biology, biomedical sciences, biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, pharmacology, and more. 🗻
  • These are the top seven schools in the world that offer you a program for studying cardiovascular systems and cardiology. 
  • Take your time and carefully choose your pick amongst the given options. Your choice is important as it will determine your college life. 🎒

Where to find Cardiologist job opportunities online?

Since the advent of online job-hunting platforms, it has been way easier for people to search for their dream job. You have to make accounts on all of these sites (most often for free) and then just need to sit back and apply for jobs. 

A lot of jobs you may find for remote mode will involve consultancy services only because other practices, such as surgery and such, cannot be performed online. 🛄


  • Curative is an online platform that is dedicated to curating jobs from the field of healthcare and medicine. 
  • According to the bio on the site, they are very active when it comes to healthcare, etc., and work with healthcare systems, clinics, hospital boards, etc., to help them find jobs. 
  • It is a very good source for medical aspirants to find employment for themselves. You just need to make an account, put up your portfolio/CV/resume, and start applying for jobs. 💊


  • Indeed offers a lot of tools and resources to help you with your job search. 
  • You can set up your account and then subscribe for email alerts so you never miss out on any new job openings that might come your way. 
  • The platform helps you work around and in the job market and gives you information about the offered salary, the employee company, and more.
  • Indeed allows you to filter your search results by using the options it has, which are based on location, industry, experience level, and more. This saves you time by showing the type of jobs you want.
  • All you need is an Indeed account, and you get access to all the resources available. If you choose to find opportunities as a Cardiologist, this platform will help you find numerous opportunities available for full-time or part-time positions. 💻


  • The recent increase in the usage and preference for online job applications and job hunting has led to the creation and rise of numerous platforms that help with these. 
  • SimplyHired is another example of such platforms that are becoming more and more popular among people looking for jobs and employers. 
  • SimplyHired also sends you email alerts that notify you about any new job openings. Hence, you stay updated with the latest opportunities without worry. 
  • Similarly, by posting job openings on the platform, employers can get people who want to do the job as well. 😷
  • To increase your chances of finding work of your choice, you should make the most of Indeed and SimplyHired, as these provide a lot of job offerings. 📳


  • Networking is a skill that you should know if you want to become successful in today’s competitive world, and LinkedIn is a platform for everyone to connect and expand their network. 
  • Unlike other job search websites or recruitment agencies, LinkedIn allows individuals to set up a proper profile in which they can show their experience and accomplishments. 💻


A job in the medical field requires you to be very hardworking. It requires a lot of input in the form of your time as well as money. But the return rate is also high. You won’t face any financial issues when you land the job of your dreams in this field. 

What’s even better is that you are doing a very noble job – you are helping needy people. This makes it a very satisfying career option.

At times, it would become difficult to carry on with the pressure that might build up, but if you keep your goals in mind, you will most definitely succeed. 

If you have anything you need to ask about, you can do so in the comments below, and I will reply as soon as I can. 🩺

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