By Allston Miller and Jan Thompson


Cardiology is a branch of medicine concerned with conditions of the heart and blood vessels. Doctors who specialize in cardiology are called cardiologists. Cardiologists treat diseases such as heart failure, hypertension (high blood pressure), arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and coronary heart disease.

Interview with Jan Thompson.

Jan Thompson has been a cardiologist for eight years.

Medical School:

First, Jan completed three years of coursework in undergraduate school with a focus on the basic sciences. They she went on to complete four years of medical school. During medical school, she spent the first two years taking courses in basic medicine and physiology. Courses she took cell biology, genetics and immunology. In the final two years, she completed clerkships, diagnosing illnesses and treating patients in clinics.

Postgraduate Training:

After completing medical school, Jan went go on to complete a 3 year residency program in internal medicine. These programs are typically paid and allowed to gain hands-on experience under the supervision of licensed physicians. Following a residency, she underwent up to three years of training in a fellowship program focused on the area of cardiology in which they wish to practice. Schools offer cardiology fellowship programs in a variety of specializations, such as cardiovascular diseases, interventional cardiology and heart failure.

Licensing and Certification Information for Cardiologists

Jan Thompson had to be licensed in order to practice. Prospective physicians must pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). To be eligible to take the USMLE, candidates must hold a degree from an accredited medical school.

I can do this straight out of college after a lot of hard work. She started getting interested in this after her sister had open heart surgery at the age of 16. Jan thompson had many interesting projects but she liked giving open heart surgery. "Its cool to see how the human body works on the inside," she said after a question. She plans on continuing this career.

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