Cardiology is a medical specialty dealing with disorders of the heart. The field includes medical diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease, heart failure, valvular heart disease and electrophysiology. Physicians who specialize in this field of medicine are called cardiologists. Physicians who specialize in cardiac surgery are called cardiac surgeons.
Cardiology is a specialty of internal medicine. To be a cardiologist in the United States, a three year residency in internal medicine is followed by a three year residency in cardiology. It is possible to specialize further in a subspecialty.
Recognized subspecialties in the United States by the ACGME are:
Cardiac electrophysiology : Study of the electrical properties and conduction diseases of the heart.
Echocardiography : The use of ultrasound to study the mechanical function/physics of the heart.
Interventional cardiology : The use of catheters for the treatment of structural and ischemic diseases of the heart.
Nuclear cardiology : The use of nuclear medicine to visualize the uptake of an isotope by the heart using radioactive sources.