The Children's Heart Center at the Children's Hospital of Georgia has trained fellows in Pediatric Cardiology for over three decades. The goals of our GME accredited fellowship program are to train fellows to be the best, most complete general pediatric cardiologists with expertise in congenital heart disease, cardiac development, noninvasive and invasive diagnosis and hemodynamic evaluation, clinical physiology, and patient-and-family-centered medicine.
The Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship follows a process of graduated responsibilities. The focus of the training program is to develop each of six core competencies: Professionalism, Patient care and procedural skills, Medical knowledge, Interpersonal and communication skills, Practice-based learning and improvement, and System-based practice. During the three-year program, Fellows are closely mentored with an emphasis on their personal and professional growth.
We support two fellows for their 3-year journey, during which time they develop patient care skills throughout the Children's Hospital of Georgia, as well as the adult hospital on occasions when adult congenital heart patients require admission. In the inpatient setting, the Fellow will participate in consults and follow-up for patients in both Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care units along with the regular inpatient care areas and Emergency Department, either in direct patient management or consultation. Each Fellow will have an outpatient continuity experience, mentored on-on-one by an assigned faculty Pediatric Cardiologist. Over the course of the Fellowship, there are scheduled rotations that provide opportunities to develop skills in echocardiographic imaging and interpretation, including fetal echocardiography and intraprocedural transesophageal or intracardiac imaging, cardiac catheterization techniques (diagnostic and interventional), and adjunctive techniques including CT and MRI. Electrophysiologic diagnosis and management learning is accomplished by cooperative efforts involving the Pediatric Cardiology faculty and the adult EP faculty.
Research can be conducted in one of three major areas: The Georgia Prevention Institute (clinical preventive cardiology including physiology, echocardiography and cardiovascular reactivity); human cardiac development (fetal cardiology program); or vascular biology (Vascular Biology Group, including molecular biology and vascular physiology).
During each year, the Fellow has increasing responsibility for the management of patients, always with attending faculty supervision and back-up. It is generally expected that during the last six months of Fellowship, the Fellows are able to independently manage the inpatient-ICU service, perform routine and complex cardiac catheterizations - including basic interventions, and perform and interpret echocardiograms of complex cardiovascular defects. They will be familiar with advanced noninvasive imaging techniques and the general aspects of antenatal diagnosis and expectant management of congenital heart disease, as well as diagnosis and treatment of fetal cardiac rhythm disturbances. They should be competent to interpret diagnostic intracardiac EP studies, and be able to provide emergency arrhythmia management (transvenous temporary pacing and cardioversion).
Fellows who desire additional expertise in interventional cardiac catheterization, invasive electrophysiology or advanced noninvasive imaging techniques - should anticipate a fourth year of training.