Cardiology (or cardiovascular medicine) is the internal medicine subspecialty that deals with problems of the cardiovascular system: the heart, arteries, and veins. The origins of the word cardiology come from the Greek word kardia, meaning heart or inner self. Cardiologists must graduate from an approved medical school; complete a three-year residency program, and two to three years of additional training.
Cardiologists treat people with diseases or conditions of the heart and people who want to learn the risk factors for heart disease. A primary care doctor or family practice doctor can work with a cardiology specialist to diagnose, treat, and manage heart conditions and help people make heart-healthy lifestyle choices. Patients who are at risk for heart disease or have a history of heart symptoms may see a clinical cardiologist regularly. People with ongoing heart conditions, pacemakers, or frequent heart trouble are likely to see a cardiologist with a subspecialty.
Other subspecialties of cardiology include cardiovascular anatomy, cardiovascular metabolism, cardiovascular pathology, cardiac catheterization, molecular biology of the cardiovascular system, and cardiovascular phyiology. Cardiothoracic surgery is a separate specialty of medicine from cardiology. Cardiologists complete an internal medicine residency. Cardiothoracic surgeons are required to complete a surgical residency.