Cardiologists specialize in diagnosing and treating problems relating to the heart and blood vessels. These disorders include coronary heart disease, hypertensive heart disease, rheumatic heart disease, infectious heart disease, and heart defects present at birth. A Cardiologist performs a variety of specialized tests as indicated by the patients' symptoms. At GRMC, these include an electrocardiogram (EKG), echocardiogram, and cardiac stress test.
Most of the patients a Cardiologist sees are referred from general practitioners or other specialists. Typical complaints of cardiology patients include shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitations, bluish skin color, fainting, and swelling of the feet or ankles. After the Cardiologist has completed an examination and tests to evaluate the extent of the disease, often the patient is referred back to the patient's regular doctor with a report of the findings and recommendations for continuing treatment. If surgery is indicated, the Cardiologist will work with the regular physician in preparing the patient for treatment.