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i have just been approached about a cardiology position when i graduate (which is december '07, too!!!!) and i am extremely excited about its possibility. i am doing an acnp program, so want to do hospital rounds, but they want someone that can not only round in the hospital, but also do the stress testing, echos, run a device clinic (for resetting defibs/pacers - which i would love to learn more about), and see clinic patients. it would be so busy and i would love every minute of it. the most appealing aspect is that i would be doing so many different things! i would be pretty much running the show because the hospital i'll primarily be working at (which is of a group of 3, its #3), has only one cardiologist from their group and she is crazy busy at all three hospitals. i'd be her right hand man, he said. i think for my next rotation, i am going to plan to be with their group... so i can see if i like it, get some good cardio training, and then allow them to see if i'd be a good fit! and if so, they can go ahead and start teaching me echos/stress testing, etc. the cardiologist that i was talking to about this was very excited to talk to me and even though i told him i don't finish until december, he still said, "well, we'd be very interested in talking with you further." yea!
however - i've been worried about specializing in an area such as cardio, simply because if i get into it for a few years and decide i want to go back to say, hospital medicine (which was my initial aspiration)... i will have forgotten stuff about gibs or copd, etc. and have to relearn it. i guess the one thing about cardio, though, is that it crosses nearly all other major disease processes... so it'd never hurt to be "expert" in that area. what are your thoughts on this? do you get tired of the same ole same ole heart stuff? i'm thinking that cardio is diverse enough that you wouldnt get in a monotony rut, but how do you feel about that now? and i'm betting they compensate you well for being able to do such a variety of tasks.
and i'm probably going to embarrass myself here, but i have a super hard time identifying/hearing murmurs and other abn heart sounds, i.e. ejection clicks, mvp. any pointers? did you buy those training cds to learn how to hear heart sounds? use a better stethoscope? i have a littmann card ii now. i can tell when a heart doesn't sound normal, but to determine if its a systolic, holosystolic, diastolic, stage ii or iv, im clueless. also... in terms of the devices you're responsible for... how'd you learn that? some mds i have known in the past simply call medtronics reps or whoever instead of dealing with it themselves... just curious as to how you go about training for that. esp since the hiring group is wanting someone to do these things.
what things do you wish you had learned or focused on more while you were in school, before stepping into the cardiology role? tips? advice?