Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board recruitment to core medical training 2011


This page contains information on the specialty of cardiology, one of the higher medical specialties participating in coordinated ST3 recruitment.

The specialty

Cardiology is one of the most popular and varied medical specialities, comprising a wide range of sub-specialities including electrophysiology, device therapy, interventional cardiology, imaging and specialist heart failure management.

Cardiological problems account for a large proportion of the medical workload, and by delivering evidence-based care cardiologists can make a real difference to patients.

Cardiology trainee characteristics

Cardiology will particularly suit trainees who are:

  • motivated
  • hard-working
  • able to develop procedural skills
  • keen to engage in clinical research.

Working in cardiology

Within cardiology, physicians can develop a wide range of careers encompassing cardiovascular research, interventional cardiology, electrophysiology & device implantation, specialised heart failure management, advanced cardiac imaging and several smaller sub-specialities.

Sub-specialties/combined training

Working in some sub-specialities involves performing procedures with a high intensity on-call while others are more out-patient based with minimal on-call commitments.

In all these areas the pace of change and development is very rapid, providing a stimulating working life.

Cardiologists may choose to combine their training with general internal medicine (GIM) leading to a dual CCT in cardiology & GIM; or to accredit in cardiology alone.

Widespread requirement

Cardiological input is required in every hospital and consultant appointments are made in both district general hospitals and tertiary centres; sometimes appointments will be made with sessions at both district general hospitals and the local tertiary centres.

Currently most electrophysiology and advanced cardiac imaging posts are within tertiary centres.


Cardiology remains a very competitive speciality, and many trainees will chose a period of academic research leading to an MD/PhD during their training; this is highly encouraged.

Potential cardiologists will need to demonstrate excellence in their career to date, and to show that they are committed to the speciality.

The needs of patients with cardiovascular disease continue to grow and cardiologists can do more and more to help them. Cardiology therefore remains a growing speciality.

Further information