Patient Resources

The Patient Resources Section is intended to provide accurate and clear information about cardiac rhythm disorders. Although meant to be general and not intended to cover all aspects of any medical condition, a wide variety of information is available to you. Get started with the topic areas below to learn more.

What is Electrophysiology?

Electrophysiology is a "sub-specialty" of cardiology, the branch of medicine that deals with abnormalities and diseases of the heart. An electrophysiologist (EP) is a doctor who is highly trained in the management of the electrical problems of the heart, and is the most knowledgeable person to deal with the many, often complicated choices for treating heart beat, or heart rhythm, disorders. If you or your doctor feels that you are experiencing a problem related to an abnormal heart beat, seeing an EP may provide you with the best chance of having this problem properly diagnosed and may offer the best options for treatment.

The Normal Heart

The heart is a fist-sized muscle that pumps blood through the body 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, without rest.

Risk Factors & Prevention

Even people who look healthy and free of heart disease can have arrhythmias(abnormal heart rhythms), but those with heart disease are at the highest risk. So, reducing heart disease is important to lowering the risk of arrhythmias.

Heart Diseases & Disorders

Millions of people experience irregular or abnormal heartbeats, called arrhythmias, at some point in their lives. Most of the time, they are harmless and happen in healthy people free of heart disease. However, some abnormal heart rhythms can be serious or even deadly.

Substances & Heart Rhythm Disorders

Thousands of substances may affect the heart's electrical system and change its ability to pump blood through the body.

Symptoms & Diagnosis

Some abnormal heart rhythms can happen without the person knowing it, while some may cause the feeling of the heart “racing,” lightheadedness, or dizziness.  At some point in life, many adults have had short-lived heart rhythm changes that are not serious. 


The underlying cause of any heart rhythm disorder provides the basis for selecting the best treatment plan. In general, the best treatment is the least invasive option that effectively controls the heart rhythm disorder.

Patient Toolkit

Explore our tools to better understand everything about cardiac rhythm disorders.

Find a Specialist

Find physicians who specialize in the treatment of arrhythmias using the Heart Rhythm Society's searchable directory.

Key Resources

The Heart Rhythm Society brings you an online dictionary of common medical terms related to heart, and rhythm problems.

We also provide a searchable directory of Heart Rhythm Society members (e.g., Cardiologists, Electrophysiologists, Interventionists, etc.) who have requested to have their contact and practice information listed for patient and physician referral purposes.