What Are the Requirements to Work in Pediatric Cardiology?

Children who suffer from congenital heart issues and other cardiovascular problems benefit daily from their doctors' involvement. Read on to discover the requirements you'll need to meet in order to work in pediatric cardiology and improve children's heart health. Schools offering Cardiovascular Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Pediatric Cardiology

If you pursue a career in pediatric cardiology, you'll be treating infants, children and adolescents for their heart issues. You'll work as part of a team to diagnose and treat cardiac illnesses. Your work may range from prescribing the proper medication to performing a heart transplant. To become a pediatric cardiologist, you'll need to attend medical school, complete a residency and enter a fellowship program.

Important Facts about Pediatric Cardiology

Prerequisites Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), completion of certain classes, including Biology, Chemistry, and Physics
Degree Level Professional
Continuing Education Requirements to maintain license registration vary by state
Key Skills Communication skills, compassion, leadership, patience, physical stamina

Complete Medical School

Following your graduation from a baccalaureate degree program and your acceptance to medical school, you'll spend four years in medical school studying general medicine both in the classroom and in the field. Your first two years will be devoted to taking courses including:

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology
  • Anatomy
  • Hematology

Your last two years of medical school will be spent completing rotations, which are also known as clerkships. During rotations, you'll get hands-on experience studying core areas such as obstetrics and gynecology, surgery, primary care, pediatrics and psychiatry. The lengths of rotations vary depending on your program, but generally last 6-8 weeks. Other clerkships could include neurology, anesthesia, allergies and radiology. Your pediatrics rotation should prepare you for your residency.

Finish a Pediatric Residency

Your pediatric residency will provide you with opportunities to receive paid, hands-on training in your field of study. Over a 3-year period, you'll rotate through different hospitals, private practices and other medical facilities that have developed partnerships with your medical program. You'll learn how to interact with patients and your team of physicians in different departments. While the length of rotations will depend on your program, they generally last anywhere from one month to one year. You may spend time in neonatal intensive care units, pediatric emergency rooms and clinics. Many residencies also have an academic component, and you may be required to participate in research, attend conferences and go to lecture series.

Enter a Fellowship Program

If you are currently in or have completed an accredited pediatric residency, and if you want to learn more about treating children's cardiovascular diseases, you are eligible to apply for a fellowship programs. If you enter a fellowship program, you will be the primary caregiver to a diverse array of patients with congenital heart disease. In addition, you'll spend three years attending lectures, conducting research and receiving hands-on training. Your duties might include:

  • Participating in cardiology clinics
  • Noninvasive and invasive diagnostic procedures
  • Pursuing research related to the doctor's area of interest
  • Attending academic conferences

Some fellowships will tailor their programs to allow you to pursue your specific cardiology interests. By the time you complete your fellowship, you should be fully prepared to begin full-time practice as a pediatric cardiologist.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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