We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Pediatric Cardiologist?

Tricia Christensen
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A pediatric cardiologist is a doctor specializing in heart disease in children. These doctors spend the bulk of their time working with children who have congenital heart defects (CHDs), but they treat some of the acquired heart diseases that occur during childhood. As with many pediatric specialties, it takes considerable devotion, time, and effort to become a pediatric cardiologist.

To become a pediatric cardiologist, an individual obtains an undergraduate degree and attends medical school. Medical school is followed by a three-year residency in pediatrics and a three-year fellowship in pediatric cardiology, adding up to 14 years of training prior to board certification. This path is different than one to become an adult cardiologist, as adult cardiologists don’t complete pediatric residencies and focus principally on acquired adult heart disease. With the growing success of surgical interventions for children with serious heart defects, there is developing integration of the two fields, and some pediatric cardiologists are now specializing in working with adults with congenital heart disease. Cardiologists could also study CHDs to serve an increasing adult population with them.

A pediatric cardiologist might take interest in subspecialties in this field. Some doctors perform interventions and screening with catheterizations. Others use advanced echocardiograms, like transesophageal echocardiograms or fetal echocardiograms for higher level diagnostics. Electrophysiology, another subspecialty, evaluates the heart’s electrical system and employs interventions to restore rhythm. Most pediatric cardiologists are able to perform basic catheterizations, electrical studies, and echoes, but they defer to colleagues with more experience when tests or interventions required are more complex.

One subspecialty area not included in pediatric cardiologist's field is pediatric cardiothoracic surgery. While surgeons and cardiologists typically work closely together in determining patient treatment, their modes of study to arrive at their separate careers are quite different. A pediatric cardiologist is not a surgeon, but will help to determine surgical options, provide before and after care for patients, and be the main doctor who cares for children who have had surgical interventions.

Heart defects are the most common congenital defects, affecting about eight in 100 children born. Many defects are minor and never require surgery, but kids may still need periodic checks with a pediatric cardiologist to determine that health remains good. Most children will have to visit a major hospital to see a pediatric cardiologist, since many of these doctors work in tertiary hospitals with a full complement of pediatric specialists.

Pediatric cardiologists see many patients only once and can rule out possibility of heart defects or heart problems by their examinations. Other times they’ll get to know children extremely well, following them through childhood, and sometimes retaining them as adult patients if they have complex heart problems. The field is an exciting one where refinements in surgical and intervention technique have led to improved survivability of some of the most difficult defects and conditions. It continues to be characterized by an optimism regarding what doctors may be able to do today and also about the ways future developments will lead to improved patient care.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGEEK contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

Discussion Comments

Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen

Writer

With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGEEK contributor, Tricia...
Read more
WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.