Doctors & patients are saying about ''...

" is a great web site for patients, that is unequaled by anything else out there."

Dr. Douglas L. Packer, MD, FHRS, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

"Jill and I put you and your work in our prayers every night. What you do to help people through this [A-Fib] process is really incredible."

Jill and Steve Douglas, East Troy, WI 

“I really appreciate all the information on your website as it allows me to be a better informed patient and to know what questions to ask my EP. 

Faye Spencer, Boise, ID, April 2017

“I think your site has helped a lot of patients.”

Dr. Hugh G. Calkins, MD  Johns Hopkins,
Baltimore, MD

Doctors & patients are saying about 'Beat Your A-Fib'...

"If I had [your book] 10 years ago, it would have saved me 8 years of hell.”

Roy Salmon, Patient, A-Fib Free,
Adelaide, Australia

"This book is incredibly complete and easy-to-understand for anybody. I certainly recommend it for patients who want to know more about atrial fibrillation than what they will learn from doctors...."

Pierre Jaïs, M.D. Professor of Cardiology, Haut-Lévêque Hospital, Bordeaux, France

"Dear Steve, I saw a patient this morning with your book [in hand] and highlights throughout. She loves it and finds it very useful to help her in dealing with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Wilber Su,
Cavanaugh Heart Center, 
Phoenix, AZ

"...masterful. You managed to combine an encyclopedic compilation of information with the simplicity of presentation that enhances the delivery of the information to the reader. This is not an easy thing to do, but you have been very, very successful at it."

Ira David Levin, heart patient, 
Rome, Italy

"Within the pages of Beat Your A-Fib, Dr. Steve Ryan, PhD, provides a comprehensive guide for persons seeking to find a cure for their Atrial Fibrillation."

Walter Kerwin, MD, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA

Physician Credentials: Acronyms and What They Mean for Atrial Fibrillation Patients

While researching EPs who treat A-Fib, you will notice acronyms indicating the physician’s credentials and certifications. Besides the familiar “MD”, you may see one or more common designations following a physician’s name. Here’s what they stand for, and read below what they mean to an A-Fib patient.

Legend to Acronyms

FACC    Fellow of the American College of Cardiology
FHRS    Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society
Fellow of the American Heart Association
CEPS    Certified Electrophysiology Specialist
CCDS   Certified Cardiac Device Specialist
DO       Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
MBBS/MBChB/BMBS  Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery
Castle Connolly Top Doctor EPs selected after peer nomination, extensive research, screening and review

FACC Fellow of the American College of Cardiology: Designates a Cardiologist who has completed a minimum of ten years of clinical and educational preparation and passed a rigorous two-day exam given by the American Board of Internal Medicine. It’s not an absolute requirement for an EP, but most EPs have passed this Cardiology Board exam.

FHRS Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society: Not an academic title and not limited to physicians. Membership is based on peer review. Designates heart rhythm professionals working in the field of electrophysiology and/or pacing, provided that the majority of their time is not devoted to marketing and/or sales. Most EPs in the U.S. with FHRS credentials have also achieved FACC. Internationally this may not be the case.

FAHA Fellow of the American Heart Association: Not an academic title and not limited to physicians. Fellowship recognizes scientific and professional accomplishments and volunteer leadership and service. Open to physicians, scientists, nurses and other healthcare professionals with a major and productive interest in cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

CEPS Certified Electrophysiology Specialist: Physicians earning the CEPS certification have demonstrated a mastery of competency, knowledge and skills in cardiac electrophysiology and have met the certification requirements outlined by the International Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners (IBHRE). They typically specialize in cardiac arrhythmias, ablation and electrophysiological studies. (Pediatric EPs and new EPs coming from overseas often have to pass this certification to practice in the U.S.) (In an ideal world all EPs would be required to pass this test and be re-tested every five or ten years, like other professionals [such as commercial pilots] responsible for people’s lives.)
CEPS-AC means the doctor is certified in Adult Cardiology
CEPS-PC means the doctor is certified in Pediatric Cardiology

CCDS Certified Cardiac Device Specialist: Designates an EP who has passed an exam for cardiac devices such as pacemakers. The exam is given by the International Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners (IBHRE) affiliated with the Heart Rhythm Society. This credential may not be totally relevant to A-Fib ablation.

DO Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine: (Like an MD, DOs are fully qualified physicians licensed to perform surgery and prescribe medication; DOs practice a “whole person” approach to medicine, and receive extra training in the musculoskeletal system.)

MBBS/MBChB/BMBS Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery: Awarded on graduation from medical schools in various countries which follow the tradition of the United Kingdom (The Commonwealth of Nations). (Like a Doctor of Medicine degree, MD, in the U.S.)

CASTLE CONNOLLY TOP DOCTOR We are greatly indebted to Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. for the incredible work they do to help patients find the right doctor. In our directory of A-Fib Electrophysiologists (EPs), we attempt to list EPs whom Castle Connolly has identified as “Top Doctors.”  The doctors included in Castle Connolly’s Top Doctor listings were selected after peer nomination, extensive research and careful review and screening by Castle Connolly’s doctor-directed research team. Doctors do not and cannot pay to be listed as a Castle Connolly Top Doctor. To see more info on how Castle Connolly selects doctors, go to

But don’t rely exclusively on Castle Connolly’s listings. You still have to do your own due diligence to find the right doctor for you. Many of the older EPs listed by Castle Connolly no longer perform catheter ablations. And many EPs have never passed their Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology (CCE) certification, but still perform catheter ablations for A-Fib. There is no law or government body requiring they do so. You have to check Healthgrades, Vitals or other sources to see if they have indeed passed their CCE. (In my opinion, it ought to be illegal for someone who hasn’t passed their CCE certification to perform a catheter ablation for A-Fib.)

Return to: Directory of Doctors Treating A-Fib

Last updated: Saturday, August 5, 2023

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