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What is a Cardiologist?
Cardiovascular Medicine is extensive, wide-ranging, and an onerous clinical specialty. It constitutes a Cardiologist who can work as a front line emergency Interventionist. Also, it comprises of experts in cardiac imaging, device implantation, arrhythmia ablation, pharmacology, genetics, and research. In particular, Cardiologists are skilled in such a way that they can take care of a wide and dynamic gamut of heart conditions and diseases.
If you want to become a cardiologist, you will first have to get enrolled in the residency program. First, you enroll in an internal medicine residency program followed by specialist training in cardiology. This is time taking and will take years to reach your goal. You might need to complete 2 or 3 years in internal medicine before getting into sub-specialization in cardiology.
However, with the completion of mandatory training in internal medicine, you can choose to sub-specialize, and that’s where fellowship comes in. It is important to realize that cardiology is a rapidly growing and advanced medical specialty. It contains further expertise in Interventional, electrophysiology, and much more. To attain this expertise you might have to spend more years in training after completing your mandatory training period.
What are the Steps to Become a Cardiologist?
Cardiologists, like all physicians, must be licensed to practice in any state. The United StatesMedical Licensing Examination is divided into three different steps, all completed at different stages in the cardiologist’s
Step 1: This portion of the test is multiple-choice, and is a one-day test. It involves basic sciences such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and much more.
Step 2: The first component of the test gauges a future cardiologist’s clinical knowledge with multiple-choice questions focusing on clinical sciences. The second component tests a future cardiologist’s clinical skills by having them examine and diagnose “patients” played by actors.
Step 3: This test focuses completely on the doctor’s ability to diagnose and treat patients, through a mixture of multiple-choice questions and computer-simulated patient situations.
To begin with, applying for a residency program in the US is always critical. The pre-requisite is to pass these steps to be able to apply for a residency program in the US.
What To Do First?
First of all, you need to prepare for step 1 which includes basic sciences and its clinical relevance. To prepare, you need to understand the pattern of the test. Step 1 is the Mcq-based test where you have to choose the best possible options. This is a time-limited test and you must complete within a given time.
The question, for many students, is how to prepare. Let me remind you, this test is difficult but with motivation and dedication you can achieve high scores in the step 1 exam. All you need is dedication and intention to learn and prepare for this exam.
Before going into details of how to study, one should have a target which must be according to time and score. YOU KNOW YOURSELF!!. You need to figure out how much time you need to give to prepare for your exam. One thing you need to keep in mind. You will find difficulty, sometimes depressing but all you have to do is keep one thing in your mind and that is YOU CAN AND YOU WILL DO IT.
To prepare step 1, you need to have an overview of the course content. You will then have to make a plan keeping in mind the time available and your set target. Secondly, you need to timeline your daily activities and schedule your study timings according to your target.
The best part is there are so many available resources available online for students to prepare for the exam; This is a good thing and within reach of all and you can benefit from it as many times you can. Be aware though, Not all the available resources are authentic, so you have to be careful before choosing.
How To Prepare?
USMLE is a conceptual exam. You need to have a better understanding of most of the things in this test course. If you have an adequate concept regarding any topic, you can solve any question with ease. Understanding the rationale of any concept is pivotal in preparing for any exam. In medical sciences, understanding of normal physiology is pivotal in understanding the pathology of any disease.
It is always important to utilize available resources to prepare for this exam. Currently, you can benefit from online lectures given by authentic and capable teachers. The best part of this is you can tune in anytime and anywhere. These lectures provide you detailed concepts of any topic under study. It consists of various diagrams which enable any student to understand the topic
As commonly said, you need to practice more to attain the maximum score. As this exam is MCQ-based, you must practice a large number of questions. This practice provides you feedback and self-assessment. Eventually, this practice can help you identify topics you need to study again; This will enhance your chances to get a higher score.