A recent study identified 7 domains of clinical excellence on the basis of interviews with "clinically excellent" physicians at academic institutions in the United States: (1) communication and interpersonal skills, (2) professionalism and humanism, (3) diagnostic acumen, (4) skillful negotiation of the health care system, (5) knowledge, (6) taking a scholarly approach to clinical practice, and (7) having passion for clinical medicine. What constitutes clinical excellence in cardiology has not previously been defined. The author discusses clinical excellence in cardiology using the framework of these 7 domains and also considers the additional domain of clinical experience. Specific aspects of the domains of clinical excellence that are of greatest relevance to cardiology are highlighted. In conclusion, this discussion characterizes what constitutes clinical excellence in cardiology and should stimulate additional discussion of the topic and an examination of how the domains of clinical excellence in cardiology are related to specific patient outcomes.
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