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Life of a Cardiologist

by Chetna Vasishth

This is a transcript of a video ChetChat with Dr.Tilak Suvarna of Asian art hospital, a senior interventional cardiologist and he will tell you everything you want to know about how to become a cardiologist and the life of a cardiologist

Skills Required –

Dr. Suvarna believes that the three key things you require to succeed in this profession are

  1. Your passion towards the field of medicine and cardiology or healing people.
  2. You should be ready to put in a lot of hard work medicine involves lot of hard work long hours long years and your career goes on for a long time
  3. To have empathy which is important to have.

Students should not look at that medicine has of profession to make money but if they do good work, money will come

Why Cardiology –

If you are looking at cardiology as your field of specialty, then you need to remember that  cardiology is difficult and also the most tempting branch of all the branches to pursue since it’s a very dynamic branch to work on the heart when it is beating. It is something which is really exciting since in cardiology you are dealing with life-threatening instances you get an opportunity to save lives and to change the clinical outcome.

It requires a lot of a hard work so you should be ready to put in that kind of a hard work. Also since it is possibly one of the most coveted branches to get into and the toppers probably take up the cardiology seats first so you have to study well

Besides putting in the hard work it will also be a good thing to do a stint in ICU because especially in the smaller towns or if you open up your own Hospital it’s not going to be just

cardiology patients that are going to see you see a lot of patients with acute illnesses may not necessarily be cardiac and you can’t refuse treating them so a stint in the ICU would be very useful.

How to become a cardiologist –

Talking about the career path they do an MD in internal medicine or in Pediatrics, both of which are qualifiers for pursuing an MD or DnB degree in cardiology. You give an entrance test either the common entrance test or some of the colleges have their own entrance tests.

Specialties within cardiology –

some of the options are interventional cardiology or you can take up a career in structural heart disease which is managing just the valves so young children with heart defects can be managed with the interventions. Then there is electrophysiology, so where the there are disturbances in the heart rhythm so these disturbances and or arrhythmias can be set right by procedures like radio frequency ablation. Besides the basic cardiology that one could do that is treat hypertension patients treat patients with chronic stable angina or treat patients with heart failure by doing non-invasive cardiology by using nuclear medicine perhaps

A Day in the Life of a Cardiologist

A typical day in the life of a cardiologist starts very early so it would include some kind of

an exercise regimen early morning, which could be going to the gym and working out or maybe just taking a walk or some of us probably also do yoga. In a city like Bombay or Delhi a lot of time goes in traveling. A couple of hours going and coming back from the hospital. Some cardiologists also visit multiple hospitals. It is useful to have a driver at that time because there’s only time when you get time to read freedom so sit in the car and read or maybe catch a few winks.

Within the hospital there are typically three things that a cardiologist does :-

  1. Intervention – so he goes typically to the cath lab and performs angiography or angioplasty
  2. Looking up patients admitted in the ward, so you take your rounds
  3. Consulting patients in the OPD

And then additionally once needs to be prepared for emergencies which came anytime

Advantage –

It can be very fulfilling to be a cardiologist because you are going to make a difference in people’s life so either you are saving their lives or improving their the quality of their life. I think that the biggest Pro for me and unlike other branches is that the benefits or the changes that you make that result by your intervention are very apparent and very quick so so that’s why it’s very fulfilling but the same time it’s very important to to be balanced because sometimes it gives your false sense of power you start believing that you’re God

Disadvantages-

  1. It is a very demanding profession so your family time does suffer so there’s not much time that you get for your children.
  2. Since you’re dealing with the heart a lot of expectation from patients so that can also lead to stress we should be able to handle the stress and that stress can also affect your heart

Study Medicine in India vs Abroad

I believe so if you want to pursue a career in medicine medicine in India then I think you should you need to study in India it doesn’t make sense to

go abroad study and come back

However, you could go out for a couple of years ready you can refine your area of interest because of the volume of work which is there outside of interventional cardiology you could expose yourself to that those newer trends and then of course you could come back in it. But then that would be for a short time of a couple of years. Besides studying medicine abroad is also very costly.

So, basically it depends on your goal where do you want to be and you need to make that choice very early and then follow the path that will help you. Studying  medicine abroad and then come back to India is only going to frustrate you when you come back here

Work Life Balance in a cardiologist’s life

we need to balance our lives and how we spend so much of our time in our careers that we don’t have time for ourselves or our family. So we must balance our life in such a way that you develop hobbies and you de-stress. I think it’s very important to develop some hobby because at some point of time in your career you’re going to reduce your practice because it’s so demanding also it can affect your health so at that time you should have some hobbies.

Music is a very good hobby that one can pursue, playing the guitar or and or some sports

some kind of sports means some outdoors sports like marathons or trekking can be very relaxing.

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