Consultation represents the act of providing advice regarding diagnosis and/or management and may comprise a major component of a cardiologist's practice. A frequent cause for cardiac consultation is preoperative risk assessment. With steadily decreasing morbidity and mortality related to noncardiac surgery, cardiovascular management strategies that are known to improve long-term outcomes should guide decision making in the perioperative setting. The preoperative cardiac consultation may represent an opportunity to initiate or modify cardiac care including primary and secondary preventive measures. A stepwise approach to perioperative cardiac risk assessment, as set forth by joint American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association guidelines, should be employed. The hallmark of successful preoperative cardiology consultation is effective communication with referring physicians. A consultant's good clinical judgment will only impact a patient's care if recommendations are communicated effectively. There is no substitution for direct, verbal contact. Recommendations should be kept to less than five when possible, be brief and specific. The consultant should provide contingency plans and follow-up. Good consultative technique increases compliance with recommendations and facilitates efficient patient care.