During their initial interview, cardiologists review the patient's medical history. After taking the medical history, cardiologists then perform a physical examination. This is their first opportunity to listen to the patient's heart. Often, a cardiologist can tell if there is a cardiac problem by listening to the rhythm of the heartbeat. For example, when examining a patient for a heart murmur (an abnormal sound), cardiologists will be able to tell if it is an innocent murmur, or whether it could cause problems.

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