Duties and responsibilities
A pediatric cardiologist is specialist pediatrician who specializes in diagnosing, treating and preventing diseases that mainly affect the heart and blood vessels of children. Their typical responsibilities and duties include:
- Performing examinations on young patients to assess and diagnose their condition
- Discussing the results and explaining procedures with patients and their parents
- Giving advise to young patients on how to look after their heart (e.g., exercise more, eat better foods)
- Writing prescriptions that will treat cardiovascular diseases
- Conducting necessary treatments on patients
- Measuring and tracking the improvement of the patients cardiac health
- Referring the patients to other specialists if necessary
- Analyzing record, reports and test and examination results to diagnose medical conditions
Like all physicians, pediatric cardiologists must complete a bachelor’s degree program before attending medical school. Medical schools are extremely selective, and prospective students must have excellent collegiate grades, get good scores on the Medical College Admission Test, and possess letters of recommendation from professors or other professionals. Once medical school is completed, pediatric cardiologists must complete a residency period that specializes in cardiology. After residency, all physicians must pass the national licensing exam. Cardiologists must pass the American Board of Specialties examination to acquire board certification in cardiology.
Skills and relevant work experience
As well as completing all the relevant medical training, pediatric cardiologists will need skills such as:
- Written and verbal communication skills, as pediatric cardiologists will need to communicate with patients, their families and other medical processionals throughout the whole treatment process
- Compassion, as pediatric cardiologists will be approached by patients in pain or distress and must be understanding and compassionate
- Problem solving skills, as pediatric cardiologists will need to find the solutions to a wide range of cardiac problems
- Attention to detail, as pediatric cardiologists need to spot issues with patients cardiac system, which is complicated
- Organizational skills, as pediatric cardiologists will have to work with multiple patients and instruct multiple team members. Therefore, they will need to coordinate numerous treatment plans and instructions
Most cardiologists will work full time, but part time positions may be available. Pediatric cardiologists may be on call and they may have to work long and irregular hours.
According to salary.com, the average annual salary for cardiologists in the United States was $394,700 as of 2020. The lowest 10% earned less than $251,799 per year and the highest 10% earned over $533,458 per year. Pediatric cardiologist will earn within this region.
There will always be a demand for pediatric cardiologists as children will always have hearts that need special care and attention. Cardiologists may progress further to gather knowledge of cardiology subdivision (e.g., invasive or non-invasive surgery).