Cardiology is the branch of medicine concerned with the study of the structure, function, and disorders of the heart and blood vessels. Cardiology is classified as an internal medicine sub specialty and is commonly divided in the branches of congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease, heart failure, valvular heart disease and electrophysiology.
The term cardiology is derived from the Greek word καρδιά (kardia) meaning heart or inner self.
Cardiologists are physicians (medical doctors) who are certified in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases or conditions of the cardiovascular system (the heart and blood vessels), such as chest pain (angina), irregular heart rhythms, high blood pressure, heart failure, or heart attacks. Knowledge of internal medicine and other specialties is required to obtain certification.
Cardiologists administer tests that indicate how well a person's heart is working, such as a treadmill test (exercise electrocardiogram), and perform procedures such as cardiac catheterization and angioplasty. Some Cardiologists further specialize in interventional cardiology (the use of mechanical treatment methods, such as angioplasty) or electrophysiology (treatments involving the heart's electrical system) and may also specialize in treating specific age groups, such as a pediatric cardiologist, who only treats children.