What career path can lead to a cardiologist?

Posted by Ronald | August 4, 2012  |  No Comment

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 65 million Americans are affected by high blood cholesterol, a serious condition that increases a person’s risk for heart disease. The higher a person’s cholesterol level is, the greater the risk for having a heart attack or developing heart disease. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death among women and men in the U.S. with over 616,000 people in 2008 dying of it, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

September is “National Cholesterol Education Month.” It is a good time for getting your cholesterol checked, receiving tips for lowering it and learning of appropriate food and lifestyle choices for better cholesterol results. A physician who plays a key role in managing heart health is the cardiologist. The critical questions to be asked are: What career path can lead to a cardiologist? What educational background and professional training are essential for the profession? What influenced Dr. Winston H. Gandy, Jr. to pursue a career as a cardiologist? What advice does Gandy give to students desiring to pursue a career in medicine?

Cardiology is a medical specialty that focuses on the disorders of the heart. The field consists of medical diagnosis and treatment of electrophysiology, coronary artery disease, congenital heart defects, heart failure and valvular heart disease. Medical professionals specializing in the field of cardiology are called cardiologists.

Dr. Winston H. Gandy, Jr. is board certified in the subspecialty of cardiovascular disease and echocardiography, a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine. He sees patients referred initially by their primary physicians at the Piedmont Heart Institute (PHI) or different hospitals to treat medical conditions related to the heart such as high blood cholesterol, chest pains, shortness of breath, dizziness, changes in the electrocardiogram (ECG), etc. As chief medical marketing officer for PHI, Gandy educates and builds relationships with the public on the importance of heart awareness and the importance of a healthy lifestyle for increased life expectancy.

As a native of Glenridge, N.J., Gandy said that as far as he can remember, he always wanted to be a doctor, not only for his love for people, but also for the enjoyment he gains from learning new things. As a medical student, Gandy said that he was influenced to pursue the field of cardiology because it was most challenging to him and he had a passion for it. To become a cardiologist, Gandy received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the University of Maryland and a medical degree from Howard University. He completed a three-year residency in internal medicine and one-year internship residency at Emory University. Gandy serves as medical director for Athlete’s Heart Beat in Bogart, Ga., Dawson County School (AED Program) and Hartsfield Jackson International Airport (AED Project). He is also a staff member at Saint Joseph’s, Northside and Crawford Long Hospitals in Atlanta.

Gandy serves on numerous corporate and community boards, and is a member of numerous professional organizations such as the American Medical Association, National Medical Association, American Heart Association, Atlanta Medical Association, American Society of Echocardiography and American College of Physicians. He has volunteered time and professional services to Saint Joseph’s Mercy Care Services, Rockdale and Chestatee Regional Hospitals. Gandy has held academic appointments at Morehouse School of Medicine and University of Alabama and published professional articles in his field such as “Echocardiography in Coronary Artery Disease” and “Transesophageal Echocardiography.”

While using innovative and advanced technology, an abstract of Gandy’s first publication notes that “echocardiography is a useful tool in the management and diagnosis of coronary artery disease. It is used in the emergency room to aid in the exclusion or confirmation of acute coronary syndromes and in their management. The spreading use of stress echocardiography has greatly expanded the use of ultrasound in the diagnosis and management of coronary artery disease to thallium imaging for the diagnostic screening of coronary artery disease.”

To avoid the risk for having a heart attack or developing heart disease, it is essential to get your cholesterol checked and employ preventive strategies such as dieting, exercising and eating nutritiously to keep your high blood cholesterol at a level recommended by health professionals.

For students who desire to pursue a career as a cardiologist, Gandy’s advice to them is to “be well rounded as possible, perform well in your science courses, have a very broad education base in humanities and arts and have the ability to relate to all types of people.”

We sincerely thank Dr. Winston Gandy, Jr. for sharing invaluable information about his professional training, experience, expertise and involvement in the medical profession.

Dr. Ronald Holmes is the author of two books, “Education Questions to be Answered” and “Current Issues and Answers in Education.” He is president of “The Holmes Education Post,” an education focused Internet newspaper. Holmes is the national superintendent of education for the National Save the Family Now Movement, Inc., a former teacher, school administrator and district superintendent. He can be reached at [email protected]

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