What they do
Cardiologists are physicians certified to diagnose, treat and manage disorders of the cardiovascular or circulatory system - heart, arteries and veins.
Cardiologists have a high level of responsibility and carry out tasks including diagnosing heart abnormalities, using medical imaging, assisting cardiac surgeons, determining treatment plans and attending follow-up appointments with patients.
Cardiology can be a high pressured job, involving long hours and weekend work - although private consultants have more control over their hours.
Cardiologists usually work in small private offices or clinics, and are often assisted by a small staff of nurses and administrative personnel.
Frequent travel between their office and their appointed hospital is required, as is being 'on call' in case of an emergency.
Tools and technologies
Cardiologists need to become familiar with different procedures including stress testing, cardiac catheterisation, radiology studies, ECG and a variety of other techniques to diagnose heart conditions.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a cardiologist, you must first become a qualified medical practitioner and then specialise in cardiology.
To become a medical practitioner, you need to study a degree in medicine. Alternatively, you can study a degree in any discipline followed by a postgraduate degree in medicine.
Some universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.
To specialise in cardiology, doctors can apply to the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) to undertake further training and ultimately receive fellowship.
To be eligible for this specialist training, on completion of your medical degree, you must work in the public hospital system for a minimum of two years (internship and residency).
Required registration and licensing
To work as a cardiologist in Western Australia, you will need to obtain registration from the Medical Board of Australia.