If your primary care provider has recommended that you see a cardiologist or if you’ve already scheduled your first appointment with a cardiologist, you’re probably wondering what to expect.
Don’t worry, it’s natural to feel a mix of curiosity and perhaps a touch of anxiety. And to help ease any of this worry, we spoke with Nimesh Patel, MD, a cardiologist with Bon Secours – Cardiology, about what to expect during your initial visit and why taking this proactive step is crucial for your heart health journey.
Your first meeting with a cardiologist is more than just an appointment.
It’s an opportunity to assess and understand the current state of your heart health. Whether you’ve been referred by your primary care provider or are proactively seeking a cardiovascular evaluation, this visit lays the foundation for personalized care.
“At Bon Secours, we take a holistic approach when it comes to patient care,” Dr. Patel shares. “From evaluation to management of a patient’s cardiology disease, our entire office comes together to provide quality, compassionate care.”
Be prepared to discuss your complete medical history, including any family history of heart disease, past illnesses, medications you’re currently taking and lifestyle factors, such as diet and exercise.
Also, expect a thorough physical examination during your visit. This may include measuring your blood pressure, checking your pulse and listening to your heart and lungs.
“My goal is to make sure during the first visit that the patient and family fully understand their clinical condition and what treatment options are available.” Dr. Patel adds.
Depending on your medical history and the initial assessment, your cardiologist may recommend diagnostic tests, such as an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), stress test or echocardiogram to gather more detailed information about your heart.
Following the examination and any diagnostic tests, your cardiologist will discuss their findings with you.
This is an opportunity for you to ask questions, seek clarification and discuss potential treatment or preventive measures.
“As a noninvasive cardiologist with expertise in heart failure, left ventricular assist device (LVAD) and heart transplants, I treat common cardiology disease,” Dr. Patel shares. “This includes management and evaluation of coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation, valvular heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, hypertension and many more. Sometimes it’s helpful to display pictures and diagrams when discussing diagnoses or treatments with patients, so we do whatever we can to help them feel comfortable and informed.”
He adds, “I would be grateful for the opportunity to treat and help you as my patient – welcome to the family.”
Your first appointment with a cardiologist is a proactive step toward prioritizing your heart health.
Embrace this opportunity to work closely with a specialist who is dedicated to understanding and addressing your cardiovascular needs.
Want to learn more about your heart health? Take our online heart risk assessment today.
Also, learn about the heart and vascular care services we provide at Bon Secours.