Today our featured career is ‘Cardiologist’. Cardiologists are doctors who specialise in the heart and diseases that affect the heart and associated cardiovascular system. Clinically, your role will include both working with patients who have long term heart problems, and responding to emergency situations where a patient develops a heart condition, some of which may be life-threatening. There are many sub-specialities of cardiology, and you may also have the opportunity to carry out fundamental research related to the heart and blood vessels, alongside some teaching.
In order to become a cardiologist, you will need to have resilience, alongside a high level of technical skill and knowledge which means you must first complete a degree in medicine recognised by the General Medical Council. This can either be at the undergraduate level, or by completing Medicine as a Second Degree.
In the video below, find out what it takes to study medicine, and become a doctor. If studying Medicine at university interests you, follow the links in ‘find out more’ below.
Dr Rohan Wijesurendra
Current Role: Clinical Lecturer in Cardiovascular Medicine and Cardiology Registrar, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Stipendiary Lecturer in Clinical Medicine, St John’s College, Oxford
Undergraduate Degree: Medicine MB, Cambridge University
Brief Biography: Dr Rohan Wijesurendra is a Clinical Lecturer in Cardiovascular Medicine and Cardiology Registrar at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Dr Wijesurendra completed his medical training at Cambridge University with several prizes and scholarships including Distinction in Final MB: Pathology and the George Peter Baker prize for the best performance across the University in the written component of the Final MB examinations (also with Distinction). Dr Wijesurendra commenced specialisation in Cardiology in the Oxford Deanery in 2011, and in 2013 pursued a DPhil in Cardiovascular Medicine in Oxford, funded by a competitive British Heart Foundation Clinical Research Training Fellowship. His current post allows him to combine ongoing research in the fields of atrial fibrillation, electrophysiology and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy, with completion of his clinical training in Cardiology and Electrophysiology.
In addition to his research and clinical commitments, Dr Wijesurendra jointly coordinates the Special Study Module in Cardiovascular Medicine, undertakes lectures and seminars for the FHS (3rd year medical students) and Graduate Entry Medicine courses, and provides regular bedside teaching for St John’s College clinical students.
Medical Science & Cardiology
As a cardiologist, it is important to learn how the human heart and blood vessels function, in order to diagnose what has changed in patients with heart conditions or diseases. However, as a doctor it is also important to understand the ethics that guide all medical practice in the UK, and be able to make decisions which place the patient and their wellbeing at the forefront of all your actions. For today’s activities, you will examine the human heart, using a 3D model, and consider what happens when one or more parts doesn’t function as expected. You will also be introduced to the four pillars of medical ethics, and apply these yourself to past and current medical cases.
Want to know more?
To find out more about studying medicine, working as a doctor in a hospital, or a specialist in cardiology, take a look at the following explore-a-career pages:
- Medical Schools Council: entry requirements, resources and further information
- Oxford University Careers Service: Medicine as a Second Degree
- National Careers Service: Hospital Doctor
- PROSPECTS: Cardiologist
To explore other career options that might interest you, there are lots of tool available! We recommend starting by exploring job sectors and occupations on the following websites:
Talking to people who are currently doing a role you are interested in, organising some work experience where you can shadow someone doing this role, or reading first-hand accounts from people working in the area you are interested in can all help you find out more about a particular job!
To find out more about studying a subject at University, you can also talk to current St John’s students using Inspire Chat by clicking here!