Course ID: MED 797C/997C
Discipline: Medicine
Prerequisites: 8 or more weeks of core clerkships.
Available Sites: Detroit (St. John Hospital & Medical Center), Mount Pleasant, Saginaw, Midland, Detroit (St. John Providence - registration fees apply*)
Duration: 2 or 4 weeks, Detroit and Midland offer 4-week increment only


The purpose of the cardiology elective is to prepare the student to recognize and treat commonly encountered problems in cardiology and to become familiar with diagnostic techniques used to diagnose cardiac disorders including stress testing, cardiac ECHO, and cardiac catheterization. Students will also learn when it is appropriate to initiate a referral to a cardiologist.

Key Objectives

  • Describe the clinical features, physiology, and treatment of common cardiac disorders, such as coronary artery disease, atrial and ventricular arrhythmias, heart failure, myocardial infarction, peripheral vascular disease and preoperative cardiac assessment.
  • Describe the action and pharmacology of common medications used to treat cardiac disorders including, anti-arrhythmic, nitrates, anti-platelet agents, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, cholesterol-lowering preparations, digitalis preparations, diuretics, and vasodilators.
  • Complete a comprehensive cardiology consultation.
  • Interpret basic cardiology testing, including EKG, lab testing for myocardial infarction and heart failure, and heart size and shape on chest x-ray.
  • To observe and gain experience in interpreting nuclear stress testing, cardiac MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging), coronary CTAs (Computerized tomography angiogram), and coronary catheterization.
  • Communicate with primary care physicians as a consultant.
  • Communicate effectively with patients and their families.
  • Demonstrate respect and compassion for all patients.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to professional responsibilities and adherence to ethical principles.Adde
  • Work with the technicians who perform testing as a team member.
  • Incorporate considerations of cost-effectiveness into diagnostic and therapeutic plans.

Assessment Method

College of Medicine standard elective assessment will be completed by supervising faculty at conclusion of elective clerkship.

Scheduling Information

Interested students should contact CMU College of Medicine Department of Distributed Clinical Education at

*Students who request placement at St. John Providence will be responsible to pay a registration fee of $200.  Electives at St. John Providence occur on a monthly schedule rather than a block schedule, and may require additional adjustments to fit the student’s schedule.