What kind of doctors will I see if I have cardiovascular disease?

A primary care doctor, such as your family doctor, an internist, or an obstetrician/gynecologist, may be the first to determine that you have risk factors for cardiovascular disease and to recommend tests or treatments. This doctor might recommend that you undergo tests to further assess your cardiovascular health. Depending on your health status, he or she may also recommend lifestyle changes or prescribe medications. Or your primary care doctor may refer you to a heart specialist (called a cardiologist) for further diagnosis and treatment.

If you are referred to a specialist, your primary care doctor will remain a part of your care team. Keeping your heart and arteries healthy is truly a team effort. Your care team will involve medical professionals working with you on prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation, if necessary. All of these professionals must communicate to be sure you are receiving the most appropriate care. Throughout this process, your primary care physician will continue to have an important role, coordinating your care with specialists and various support teams.

While your primary care physician remains constant, other care team members will vary depending on the severity of your risk factors and the types of treatments that are recommended.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.