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How Do I Get a Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2018
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A pediatric cardiology fellowship typically refers to specialist training undertaken by board certified pediatricians who are interested in treatment of children with cardiac disease like congenital heart defects. In the US, programs last three years, pay a stipend, and usually offer benefits like health insurance. Upon successful completion, the medical doctor takes exams and becomes a board-certified pediatric cardiologist. Gaining one of these fellowships is an extensive process that begins with successful acceptance to medical school.

Since a pediatric cardiology fellowship is, in most cases, for doctors only, medical school students will need to perform well enough to reasonably expect that they will match with a pediatric residency. In the US, students typically submit their preferences through the National Match Residency for a pediatric fellowship, and if interest in cardiology is already known, hospitals with strong pediatric cardiology departments should be considered. In places like the UK, students arrange for pediatric training too, prior to vying for spots in higher specialist training in pediatric cardiology. Just about all pediatric cardiology fellowship types or specialist trainings mean training in pediatrics first.

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Students who plan to go onto the pediatric cardiology fellowship in the US must perform well in their pediatric fellowship and be able to present strong letters of recommendation when they apply to schools or take part in the National Match Registry. It should be noted most students take part in this matching twice: once for pediatrics and a second time for pediatric cardiology. Matching generally takes into account student preference and most students will already have some sense of the best training programs in the field. First choices usually have proven programs, environments that encourage research, support of individual interest, and chances to use the latest technology and diagnostic methods. Programs that lack these features may not provide contemporary training that can help secure work at top hospitals.

A US pediatric cardiology fellowship typically takes three years of clinical practice, teaching, and research. Higher specialist training may vary in its length. The fellowship has the advantage of providing some salary, which ordinarily increases each year.

This salary typically isn’t huge but it should provide enough to pay for ordinary expenses like rent, utilities and food. It normally won’t pay off very much in the way of student loans, which many former medical students carry. The financial benefits of the fellowship accrue later, when doctors have become board-certified pediatric cardiologists. Their extended level of training often correlates to a higher salary.

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