Cardiologists are doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions and problems of the heart and the cardiovascular system. Because of the high prevalence of heart problems and heart disease in the U.S., cardiology is one of the most important and one of the most popular specialties that doctors enter during and after medical school.
Education and Licensing for Cardiologists
Through college and medical school, future cardiologists follow the same trajectory of other doctors – they need to complete an undergraduate degree and then finish medical school, culminating with an M.D. degree. After graduating, though, potential cardiologists have to do their residency – which lasts two or three years – in internal medicine. Once the residency is complete, these doctors still have to complete another fellowship in cardiology or interventional cardiology to become a cardiologist. This fellowship can last up to five years.
To practice medicine in Pennsylvania or Philadelphia, cardiologists have to get their medical license just like any other doctor. However, cardiologists also have to become board certified in internal medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM). After being certified in internal medicine, cardiologists have to get another certification from the ABIM to become a cardiologist.
The Practice of Cardiologists in Philadelphia
Most cardiologists in and around the Philadelphia area are found working in hospitals. There, they treat patients with heart conditions and diagnose new problems with the heart or the rest of the cardiovascular system, including the arteries and veins. Because they are heart specialists, most patients only see a cardiologist after being referred to one by their primary care physician.
While most cardiologists work in hospitals, they rarely work for hospitals. Many hospitals in Philadelphia use cardiologists as independent contractors. While the vast majority of patients do not experience any difference in the care they receive from this setup, a cardiologist's work status as an independent contractor becomes very important if something goes wrong.
Medical Malpractice by Cardiologists
Cardiologists can commit medical malpractice whenever the medical attention they provide falls below the minimal standard of care one would expect from a heart specialist. Because cardiologists focus on diagnosing heart problems rather than fixing them through surgical procedures, most of the instances of medical malpractice involve a diagnostic mistake, like:
- Not administering a diagnostic test that would have discovered a cardiovascular problem
- Incorrectly reading the results of a properly-performed test
- Unreasonably delaying a diagnosis
- Not providing the correct treatment for a correct diagnosis
- Failing to monitor a patient once treatment has been provided
Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Philadelphia at Gilman & Bedigian
A cardiologist's medical malpractice can be among the severe. It imperils a patient's heart health, which can cause severe medical conditions elsewhere in the body. It can also be life-threatening on its own.
When a cardiologist makes a mistake that amounts to medical malpractice, there is little that you can do to avoid the repercussions. Holding them accountable for their actions can recover the compensation you need to deal with the fallout from them. Contact the medical malpractice lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian online.