Paediatric cardiologists are medical doctors who focus on treating heart conditions, illnesses, and injuries in children. Paediatric cardiologists begin their careers as medical doctors with additional studies in paediatric care and further studies in cardiology. Paediatric cardiologists generally work in hospitals, private practices, clinics, and other medical facilities. A paediatric cardiologist’s salary depends on the facility in which she works and her years of experience in paediatric heart care. Most paediatric cardiologists usually begin their careers earning a six-figure income.
Like all medical doctors (M.D.) and doctors of osteopathic medicine (D.O.), paediatric cardiologists complete four years of college, four years of medical school, and six to eight years of residency and internship. During the residency years, paediatric cardiologists further their studies of paediatrics and focus on conditions of the heart in children.
According to the American College of Pediatrics, paediatric cardiologists evaluate and monitor infants and children for the development of heart problems. Heart murmurs are evaluated by paediatric cardiologists, who determine if the condition is problematic or will heal on its on. Paediatric cardiologists also work as consultants to other surgeons and doctors in the field of paediatrics. In most cases, heart surgeons work closely with paediatric cardiologists in the treatment of heart problems in infants and children.
Depending on the condition, paediatric cardiologists can specialise in consulting and treating particular heart-related conditions in children. For example, the Mayo Clinic website states that its paediatric cardiologists treat congenital valve problems (those conditions affecting the major valves of the heart that an infant is born with), in addition to myocarditis, a thickening of the muscular tissue that lines the heart. Paediatric cardiologists can also specialise in consulting and researching heart transplant procedures.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, paediatricians make up 7.5 per cent of all practicing doctors. Jobs-Salary.com reports that paediatric cardiologists can make anywhere from £58,500 a year to £178,750 (or more) each year (date range for this data is 2005 to 2008). The reason for this difference depends on the facility in which the paediatric cardiologist works (paediatric cardiologists with their own practices tend to earn more than paediatric cardiologists who work in clinics) and the number of years they have been practicing.
In addition to the American College of Cardiology, paediatric cardiologists are also members of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Board of Pediatrics. The American Academy of Pediatrics also offers individual chapters located in each state. Paediatric cardiologists can also become members of various medical associations depending on region or speciality.