Although this section of IMpact focuses on subspecialties, it is worth emphasizing what makes internal medicine unique. Internal medicine physicians see things differently. Holistically. And in a unique way that allows them to analyze, lead, and humanize health care in a variety of different settings and roles. See all the career opportunities internal medicine can provide.
Cardiovascular disease (typically referred to as “cardiology”) focuses on prevention, diagnosis, and management of disorders of the cardiovascular system.
Management of risk factors for cardiovascular disease prevention, and early diagnosis and intervention for established disease are important elements of cardiology. Diseases typically seen by a cardiologist include:
- Coronary artery disease
- Ischemic heart disease
- Pericardial diseases
- Valvular heart disease
- Congenital heart disease in adults
- Disorders of the veins, arteries, and pulmonary circulation
Some cardiologists choose to focus their practice further in specific areas of cardiovascular disease. Advanced certification is available in Interventional Cardiology (diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease with invasive methods), Cardiac Electrophysiology (evaluation treatment of dysrhythmias), and Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology (management of advanced heart failure) following additional training beyond the basic cardiovascular disease fellowship.
Cardiologists practice in a wide range of settings, including individual or group practice, participation in multispecialty group practices, and work in hospital settings, either as full-time staff or as a consultant.
Cardiovascular fellowship training requires three years of accredited training beyond the three-year categorical internal medicine residency. Board certification in cardiovascular disease through the American Board of Internal Medicine is available following completion of this fellowship.
In this 2023-2024 academic year, there are 274 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited training programs in cardiovascular disease (internal medicine) with 3,612 trainees.
Major Professional Societies
- American College of Cardiology
- American Heart Association