The Student Room Group

How do I become a cardiologist?

Hi there!

I’m currently applying for medicine, I am very interested in becoming a cardiologist after I complete my degree and foundation years.
However, I’m only curious as I’ve not even started my medicine degree!

I read online that after completing a medicine degree and foundation years that you can do speciality training with the NHS. I’ve been left with a few questions.

Would this require a PhD first?
If not would it be necessary for me to get a PhD in Cardiovascular Sciences to become a cardiologist even after this speciality training?
If so would I be able to work towards it whilst in this speciality training?

Thank you!
Original post by Yorkelilian
Hi there!

I’m currently applying for medicine, I am very interested in becoming a cardiologist after I complete my degree and foundation years.
However, I’m only curious as I’ve not even started my medicine degree!

I read online that after completing a medicine degree and foundation years that you can do speciality training with the NHS. I’ve been left with a few questions.

Would this require a PhD first?
If not would it be necessary for me to get a PhD in Cardiovascular Sciences to become a cardiologist even after this speciality training?
If so would I be able to work towards it whilst in this speciality training?

Thank you!

Medical degree -> foundation programme -> IMT stage 1 +2 -> cardiology specialty training (dual with general internal medicine, which is the IMT stage 2 I believe).You can't single CCT in cardiology anymore as I believe it's a group 1 specialty, so you have to dual CCT with GIM and do that as well.

I gather that for big tertiary centres and areas which are competitive (e.g. interventional cardiology) most probably will need to do a PhD at some point in order to get a consultant post. I think it's not uncommon to do this during training though. I've read that for smaller DGH based consultant roles this may be less essential though?

Remember you need to do the whole of medicine throughout the whole medical degree (5-6 years) foundation programme (2 years) and IMT (3 years) before specialising in cardiology. So you will be doing at least 10 years of everything in medicine - so don't set your heart (pun unintended) on a given specialty before you even start! You may well find by the time you get through the first 10 years you aren't that keen on cardiology in the end!
Reply 2
Original post by artful_lounger
Medical degree -> foundation programme -> IMT stage 1 +2 -> cardiology specialty training (dual with general internal medicine, which is the IMT stage 2 I believe).You can't single CCT in cardiology anymore as I believe it's a group 1 specialty, so you have to dual CCT with GIM and do that as well.

I gather that for big tertiary centres and areas which are competitive (e.g. interventional cardiology) most probably will need to do a PhD at some point in order to get a consultant post. I think it's not uncommon to do this during training though. I've read that for smaller DGH based consultant roles this may be less essential though?

Remember you need to do the whole of medicine throughout the whole medical degree (5-6 years) foundation programme (2 years) and IMT (3 years) before specialising in cardiology. So you will be doing at least 10 years of everything in medicine - so don't set your heart (pun unintended) on a given specialty before you even start! You may well find by the time you get through the first 10 years you aren't that keen on cardiology in the end!

Thank you so much that was actually really helpful! Loved the pun, it made me laugh a bit. Yes only curious, nothing is confirmed!
Reply 3
Original post by Yorkelilian
Hi there!

I’m currently applying for medicine, I am very interested in becoming a cardiologist after I complete my degree and foundation years.
However, I’m only curious as I’ve not even started my medicine degree!

I read online that after completing a medicine degree and foundation years that you can do speciality training with the NHS. I’ve been left with a few questions.

Would this require a PhD first?
If not would it be necessary for me to get a PhD in Cardiovascular Sciences to become a cardiologist even after this speciality training?
If so would I be able to work towards it whilst in this speciality training?

Thank you!

To do cardiology training, you do F1 and F2, then apply for Internal Medicine Training which is 3 years, then you do Specialty Training in Cardiology (and General Internal Medicine) which lasts 5 years.

You don't need a PhD to get into Specialty Training. There would be points for a PhD in terms of applications, but most people who do a PhD do it during Specialty Training (they take 3 years out from Specialty Training to do the PhD).

A PhD isn't compulsory in cardiology, but some hospitals might like their cardiology consultants to have a PhD. So it depends where you want to work as a consultant.

Also just to note it is also reasonably common to do a 1 year fellowship in cardiology after completion of specialty training, eg in a centre of excellence for your particular subspecialty.

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