Are you wondering how to find the right cardiologist for you? Regardless of your philosophy when it comes to medicine, there comes a time when it’s vital to go to a professional. Reputable cardiologists should have several traits that you can identify before you even sit down for an appointment with them. Dr. Cynthia Thaik and the Holistic Heart Health Center have some pointers on how to make sure you’re only working with heart doctors that are going to provide the best quality care you can get.
4 Essential Cardiologist Traits
- In-depth Knowledge of Medicine & Cardiology — This is the most important trait. Your doctor should be board certified in internal medicine, cardiology, or both. Never put your trust in an uncertified medical professional. If you are curious about the status of a health professional, you can check the American Board of Internal Medicine’s website. Another solid indication of their status is checking to see if they are a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. In this case, doctors will generally put the letters “FACC” after their name.
- Perceptive, Curious and Detail-Oriented — A good cardiologist should never overlook details. Accurate diagnoses depend on attention to the most minute of irregularities. Even a slight chest pain should give your cardiologist insight into what kind of problem you might be facing, and an idea of the right treatment for you.
- Familiar With Newest Medical Advances — Medical technology advances quickly these days, with revolutionary solutions for many ailments that puzzled or frustrated doctors even a generation ago. If a cardiologist cares about their job and their patients, they will constantly be familiarizing themselves with the newest cardiac care techniques and integrating them into their own health care services.
- Caring and Compassionate — It should go without saying, but a cardiologist should always have a big heart themselves. If the well-being of their patients is not their top priority, they may not be the right doctor for you.
How to Find a Top Cardiologist
When you know what you’re looking for in a cardiologist, it’s time to reach out. A great place to start is with the referral list from your primary care doctor. Feel free to ask family, friends, even other healthcare professionals for recommendations. Research doctors’ credentials and experience online. Once you have a shortlist, call in to their offices so you can arrange a consult appointment for you to meet and interview them.
Choosing the right doctor can be a case of looking for someone with experience with your particular issue. If the most lauded cardiologist in your county is a genius when it comes to preventing heart attacks, but you need someone focused on reducing high blood pressure, maybe you should prioritize specialism over fame.
You may feel more comfortable with a cardiologist who is the same gender as you. Men’s and women’s heart problems do have some substantial differences. These days, it’s easier to find a doctor who specializes in women’s heart disease. Some hospitals even have women’s heart centers.
Communication & Location
Another issue is communication. It’s important to be perfectly candid with your cardiologist and to feel like they are being honest and straightforward with you. This aspect of finding the perfect cardiologist can be a matter of personal taste. Who a friend or family member recommends as a relatable cardiologist may instead come across as condescending or patronizing.
At your initial meeting with a cardiologist, it’s a good idea to ask for extra time to talk through your concerns in the depth they need. Bring detailed notes on any medication you’re on, as well as results of tests and explanations of any procedures you’ve had, such as stents. Details to include are when the procedure was performed, by whom, and where in your body it was done. Besides being more efficient, it is difficult to judge a cardiologist’s performance when they’re functioning without the whole of the story regarding your medical history.
Of course, the workplace and location of a cardiologist can be a significant influence on your decision, too. Should you choose a moderately experienced cardiologist at your smaller, local hospital, or the more experienced one at the large hospital one city over? It can depend on your condition. If you are at significant risk of heart failure, a local cardiologist should be more than capable of providing the quality of care you need for coronary artery disease or a number of other common complaints. If you happen to have a problem that requires a specialist, your local cardiologist will likely be better situated than you to identify the exact nature of that problem and refer you to the necessary specialist and/or heart center.
Choose Dr. Cynthia Thaik for Cardiology in Burbank & Valencia
Cynthia Thaik, M.D. is a Harvard-trained cardiologist who practices in the greater Los Angeles community. Her holistic health centers in Burbank and Valencia provide a variety of services but were founded with the principal goal of improving heart health for the people of Los Angeles County. Dr. Thaik authored the book Your Vibrant Heart: Restoring Health, Strength, and Spirit from the Body’s Core. Officially one of the Top 3 Cardiologists in Burbank, Dr. Thaik possesses many certifications as a highly-accomplished and lauded doctor in the American heart health community, but is particularly popular with her patients. Call (818) 514-9599 to arrange an appointment with the Holistic Healing Heart Center in Burbank, or (661) 417-0803 to arrange an appointment with Valencia’s Holistic Healing Heart Center.
(originally published October 2018 and completely updated)