Your Pathway into Cardiology training in North Queensland
Entry Requirements for Cardiology
- Completion of Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) Basic Physician Training, including successful completion of the RACP written and clinical examinations
- Employment in an accredited Advanced Training position in Cardiology
- Refer to the Royal Australasian College of Physicians for further information in relation to selection into the training program
Total Training Time
Total: 6 years (full-time)
Basic Adult Medicine: 36 months (full-time)
- 24 months (full-time) core training (including three months general and acute care medicine and 12 months in medical specialities)
- Maximum of twelve months non-core training
Advanced Training: 36 months (full-time) core training
- At least 24 months of Advanced Training in Cardiology must be undertaken in Australia and/or Aotearoa New Zealand. This is to ensure that you receive adequate exposure to local practices and health services.
How to Apply
In order to apply for a specialist training position in cardiology, you will first need to complete Basic Physician training. This can be applied for via the Queensland Basic Physician Training (Adult Medicine) Network.
The Queensland Basic Physician Training (Adult Medicine) Network is a statewide network designed to support Queensland trainees over the 3-year training of basic training and provides comprehensive on-site experience with senior clinicians, access to comprehensive teaching resources and access to a range of RACP-accredited training hospitals.
Queensland Health is responsible for and oversees the Queensland Basic Training (Adult Medicine) Network. In Queensland, approval of basic training is limited to medical officers that have been formally selected into one of the five training networks. To be eligible for a network position prior to commencement of training, an applicant must hold general registration with AHPRA, be eligible for registration with RACP as a basic physician trainee, and qualify as a postgraduate year 3 or greater.
Apply online through the Resident Medical Officer (RMO) campaign. All training positions are managed centrally through the Queensland Cardiology Advanced Training Pathway.
Step By Step Educational Path
- Completion of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) Basic Physician Training – 3 years (full-time)
This program includes broad exposure to a wide range of discipline areas. Learning occurs primarily in the workplace and is supported and supervised by consultants and peers. Within these three years, you’ll gain well-rounded on-the-job experience working with fully qualified, senior clinicians who’ll provide supervision and mentorship throughout the journey. You will also have access to a range of RACP-accredited training hospitals that offer various clinical and procedural experiences.
- Advanced Training in Cardiology in Queensland – 3 years (full-time)
In Advanced Training in Cardiology, you’ll explore in-depth, specialised training into the prevention, investigation, therapy of and research into cardiovascular diseases and defects. You will train under supervision and prepare for independent practice.
Selection to a training position is dependent on the successful completion of the RACP Divisional Clinical Examination. Successful applicants are supported through a three-year training program, where you will undertake a research project, assist in the provision of an after-hours roster, and rotate between more than one hospital or department to complete aspects of training. This position requires you to deliver high-quality clinical service and to participate if requested, in the provision of services in Clinical Service Networks (CSN’s) in the Northern, Southern or Central Zones of Queensland Health.
All training must be completed within eight years, giving applicants a minimum of 40% full-time commitment. Interrupted training is allowed. However, interruptions of more than 12 continuous months may require additional assessments.
- Obtaining a Fellowship Qualification
Once you’ve completed all training requirements and the Advanced Training Committee or ATS in Cardiology has recommended you for admission, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians will invite you to apply for Fellowship.
New fellows receive formal notification from the College of their admission to Fellowship and a letter confirming the successful completion of their training.
You’ll need to meet the annual requirements of the Continuing Professional Development program as a Fellow in active practice in Australia, Aotearoa, New Zealand or overseas.
Applications in Australia close on 15th February for the first half or whole of the current year, and 31st August for the second half of the current year. More information can be found here.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Cardiologist?
Cardiologists are doctors who are trained in diagnosing, assessing, and treating patients with disease or defects of the heart and blood vessels, such as high blood pressure, heart valve disease, arrhythmia, heart failure and more.
While much of the emphasis is on preventing death and improving quality of life post-heart attack or disorder, cardiologists are also concerned with understanding the process of heart disease and relevant prevention strategies. Cardiology also involves palliative care at a patients end of life and collaboration with a broad range of other medicine physicians to provide comprehensive care.
As a cardiologist, you’ll frequently perform physical examinations on patients and conduct electrocardiogram (ECG) tests, x-rays and blood tests when needed. Cardiologists also prescribe medicines and recommend lifestyle changes in diet, exercise, and stress as preventative measures.
Once training is complete, cardiologists can work in both public and private health services.
What abilities are important in this specialty?
If you wish to study cardiology for adult health, you should have most of the following attributes:
- Good visuospatial reasoning
- Ability to cope with stress
- Ability to make quick decisions
- Compassionate & caring
- Working well within a team
How will I be assessed?
You are assessed on your ability to demonstrate key knowledges, experiences, and capabilities.
The ideal applicant will be someone who can demonstrate the following:
- At least three years' recent postgraduate experience in medicine
- Experience in resuscitation
- Experience in inpatient and outpatient care in cardiology
- Demonstrated interpersonal skills which allow effective communication.
- Demonstrated knowledge of quality assurance in the area of cardiology
- Demonstrated clinical and technical expertise in cardiology
- Demonstrated a high level of skill in written and oral communication
Can I break up my training over a number of years?
Most people complete their cardiology adult training in one block. If you have a pause of 12 months or longer, you’ll most likely have to re-sit assessments. If you have a delay of 24 months or longer, you may have to go back and revisit old content and material.
How many applicants get selected per year?
The number of applicants selected per year varies each year. As a rough guide, 13 applicants were chosen to enter their first year of training in Queensland in 2022 from 36 eligible cardiology applicants. There were 299 specialists in Queensland in 2022, with 9 newly fellowed. There are currently 36 trainees in Queensland, and 171 in Australia.
What are my duties during Advanced Training?
During advanced training, your education and research duties are as follows:
- Refine the knowledge of social and ethical behaviour required of a practitioner
- Participate in the education program for patients and their relatives
- Assist in the teaching and mentoring duties of the unit for junior medical staff, medical students, and other junior professionals
- Administration duties
- Compliance with hospital procedures and policies
- Transfer arrangements
- Management of patient records
- Economic use of human and material resources
What does a daily schedule look like for Cardiologists?
It is not uncommon for cardiologists to work long hours; however, the frequency of being ‘on-call is not as high as other physicians. In saying this, the likelihood of being called in is still possible.
What are some heart conditions Cardiologists treat and common services provided?
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart failure
- Heart failure
- Generic heart disease
- Valvular heart disease
- Ineffective endocarditis
- Cardiac oncology
Cardiologists deliver a mix of both invasive and non-invasive therapeutic services, including:
- Exercise testing
- Heart support service (heart failure clinics, exercise training)
- Cardiac MRI and CT
- Coronary Care Unit
- 24-hour blood pressure monitoring
- Ambulatory monitoring
- Intravascular ultrasound
- Loop monitoring
- Intra-aortic balloon-pump insertion
- Left and right heart catheterisation
- Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators
What is it like living in North Queensland?
The Northern Queensland region offers a well-balanced mix of quality education and a relaxed or adventurous lifestyle, depending on your preference. With the convenience of cities close by, but the benefit of reasonable housing costs and vast landscapes a stone’s throw away, Northern Queensland is hard to beat.
Our training region ensures trainees have access to a wide range of hospital and health settings of varying sizes and capabilities offering diverse case load and case mix. These training areas include the following health service areas: Cairns, Central West, Mackay, North West, Torres and Cape, and Townsville.
Networking and industry social opportunities are to be found in the tightknit hospital and health communities. Our vision is to improve the health of communities in the northern Queensland region by addressing the shortage of doctors in the area, a passion that unites the students, interns, junior doctors, and specialists training and working here.
Each regional centre is small enough to escape the hustle and bustle of big city life, but large enough to boast a range of facilities for socialising and entertainment. You can make the most of the great outdoors through rainforest hikes, mountain biking and snorkelling or scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef. Living and working in Northern Queensland offers a great balance for all ages and stages, with short commute times putting more hours back into your workday, and plenty to explore on the weekends.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this website aims to assist medical students and doctors in training with medical career planning. While every effort has been made to ensure the information is current and accurate, all details should be verified through the relevant Specialist College.
NQRTH is an initiative of the Australian Government's Integrated Rural Training Pipeline (IRTP) and is facilitated by James Cook University in partnership with public and private hospitals, Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC), health services, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) and GP clinics.