Pediatric cardiologists are doctors who specialize in pediatrics -- the
treatment of children. They take additional sub-specialty training in cardiology.
Pediatric cardiologists treat diseases and abnormalities of the heart and
circulatory system in children. They are more likely to treat congenital diseases
and defects than cardiologists who deal with adults. A congenital condition
is one that is present at birth.
Enjoying being around children is an important part of being a pediatric
cardiologist, says Dr. Cheryl Cammock. She's a pediatric cardiologist at the
Brenner Children's Hospital in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
"I love my job in general, working with the kids," says Dr. Cammock. "The
rewards are that I get to do something that I really enjoy. Even though it's
a lot of hard work, it's worth it for me. I can't picture myself doing anything
Pediatric cardiologists often do heart catheterizations. In this procedure,
a small tube is used to monitor how the heart is doing. The pediatrician can
take pictures and help relieve any blockage.
Pediatric cardiologists conduct research on heart disease and disorders
involving blood circulation. They also educate students and doctors about
heart diseases, blood circulation problems and heart rhythm disorders in babies
When heart surgery is needed, pediatric cardiologists and cardiac surgeons
work as a team. Pediatric cardiologists work with the patient, family, regular
pediatrician and the heart surgeon.
Pediatric cardiologists should have certain personal qualities, says Dr.
Robert Campbell. He's the chief of cardiac services at the Sibley Heart Center,
in Atlanta, Georgia.
"First and foremost, people skills," says Dr. Campbell. "Number two is
empathy. Number three is oftentimes a 'childish' spirit. Number four is intensity
to deal with complex congenital heart defects and acquired cardiac disease.
Number five would be a personality that I refer to as 'tinker Tommy.' By this
I mean someone who is fascinated with procedures, technology, equipment and