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Cardiology involves the care of patients with heart disease, involving all ages from prenatal diagnosis to end-of-life care. Much of the work of cardiologists is the management of patients with clinical manifestations of coronary heart disease and this includes clinical syndromes such as angina and heart attack. Management can involve interventional treatment, including opening up of occluded arteries, improving blood supply using percutaneous or surgical techniques, and the management of cardiac rhythm disorders and heart failure (including pacemaker implantation).
Subspecialties include cardiac imaging, heart failure, interventional cardiology and congenital heart disease and cardiac rehabilitation. Much has been achieved in improving acute outcomes both in survival and in quality of life following heart attack, heart failure, or heart rhythm disorders. More remains to be done in understanding disease processes and in preventing the development of cardiovascular disease.
Cardiology has a strong multiprofessional approach, involving close collaborations with cardiac and cardiothoracic surgeons, specialist nurses, and cardiac physiological measurement technicians. Prevention and early detection of heart disease are of critical importance and this involves working with other hospital specialties and primary care physicians.
Related RCP publications
- Consultant physicians working with patients, revised fifth edition (2013)
- Atrial fibrillation: national clinical guideline for management in primary and secondary care (2006)
- Hypertension: management of adults in primary care. A pharmacological update (2006)
- Managing chronic heart failure: learning from best practice (2005)
- Chronic heart failure: national clinical guideline for diagnosis and management in primary and secondary care (2003)
Map of Medicine
The RCP has been working with Map of Medicine (registration required) since 2008 to produce web-based knowledge support tools. There are 300 evidence-based clinical care maps covering all major areas of healthcare; including care maps for specific specialties. In this specialty, the RCP accredits the following pathways:
|Care map||Specialty||Date of expiry|
|Dyslipidaemia||Cardiology||27 January 2012|
|Bradyarrhythmias||Cardiology||28 February 2014|
|Stable angina||Cardiology||28 February 2015|
For information about specialty training in cardiology, please visit the Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Postgraduate Training Board (JRCPTB) website.
Specialist societies and organisations
2011 Consultant Census
The RCP has completed our census of working physicians in 2011. Attached below is a breakdown of the report with results for this specialty.
|NICE publishes NCGC produced acute heart attack guideline||10 July 2013|
|RCP Wales office - Response to Consultation on Active Travel (Wales) Bill||25 April 2013|
|Medical assessors for Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths||11 January 2013|
|RCP welcomes Joined up Clinical Pathways for Obesity||14 March 2014|
|RCP comments on report linking calcium supplements to significantly increased heart attack risk||24 May 2012|
|One hundred million years of life will be lost by those smoking now||06 March 2012|
|Heart failure: from diuretics to transplantation||05 March 2013|
|Harveian Oration 2012 - Halving premature death (Sir Richard Peto)||18 October 2012|
|Harveian Oration 2011||18 October 2011|