What is a Cardiologist?

A cardiologist is a medical doctor (M.D. or D.O.) who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and management of medical conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels.

Cardiologists will treat a wide range of cardiovascular conditions, including coronary artery disease, high cholesterol, hypertension (high blood pressure), congenital heart defects, heart rhythm problems (slow or fast heart beats), congestive heart failure (CHF), heart valve disorders and other heart conditions.

Cardiologist are also trained in performing and interpreting tests, such as electrocardiograms, echocardiograms, chest CT, exercise stress tests.

Some cardiologists may perform cardiac catheterizations that involve making small incisions and inserting flexible catheters through arteries or veins. This may be performed as part of a  for an angiogram (to make images of the blood vessels perfusing the heart), or to place a stent in the coronary artery to keep the blood flowing to the heart muscles.

Although cardiologists are not surgeons, they work closely with cardiovascular surgeons if heart surgery is necessary.

What does "FACC" mean after a cardiologist's name?

Some cardiologists include the letters F.A.C.C. with their name. This is an abbreviation of  "Fellow of the American College of Cardiology". This means that the cardiologist, based on his or her commitment to cardiovascular medicine, has been elected to fellowship within the American College of Cardiology (ACC), a professional organization of cardiologists.

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Last updated: 5/13/2022