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Curriculum

Pediatric cardiologists discuss electrophysiology tests at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Mayo Clinic's three-year Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship is designed to prepare individuals for a full-time academic career in pediatric cardiology. It includes two years of intensive clinical training and one year of clinical or laboratory-based research.

Clinical training

Two years of the fellowship are designed primarily for the trainee to develop the clinical skills necessary for practicing pediatric cardiology. During these two years, the trainee works in the pediatric cardiology clinic, both in Rochester, Minnesota as well as outreach sites, where more than 6,000 pediatric cardiology patient visits take place yearly. Of these, more than 1,000 are new patients, ensuring the trainee gains extensive experience in using clinical examination skills.

In the regular continuity clinic, each fellow evaluates and manages a panel of patients with increasing levels of responsibility, designed so you can maintain a continuous relationship with your patients during the entire three-year Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship.

Fellows also complete training at Mayo Clinic Hospital, Saint Marys Campus, where more than 500 pediatric cardiology patients are admitted annually. Approximately 450 congenital cardiac operations are performed yearly, of which 350 are open heart procedures, including five to 10 heart transplantation operations.

Each trainee performs about 100 cardiac catheterizations and has the opportunity to be involved in interventional cases.

With an annual congenital echo volume of more than 12,000 studies, fellows enjoy ample exposure to all aspects of congenital echocardiography, including transthoracic, transesophageal (including intraoperative), and fetal echocardiography. 

Rotation schedule

Each academic year is divided into 13 four-week blocks. See below for a typical rotation schedule for each program year:

Year 1

RotationLength
Inpatient cardiology 3 blocks
Cardiac catheterization 3.5 blocks
Echocardiography 3 blocks
Cardiovascular ICU 1 block
Exercise physiology 0.5 block
Research 2 blocks

Year 2

RotationLength
Inpatient cardiology 2 blocks
Cardiac catheterization 1 block
Echocardiography 2 blocks
Cardiovascular ICU 1 block
Electrophysiology and pacing 1 block
Adult congenital heart clinic 1 block
Research 5 blocks

Year 3

RotationLength
Inpatient cardiology 2 blocks
Echocardiography 1 block
Cardiovascular ICU 1 block
Electrophysiology and pacing 1 block
Research/Elective 8 blocks

Electives

Elective time is available for additional training in any of the core rotations or areas outside of the standard curriculum, such as:

  • Heart failure and transplant
  • General outpatient and outreach cardiology
  • Basic cardiovascular research
  • Computer tomography scanning and magnetic resonance imaging
  • Nuclear cardiology

Educational conferences

Mayo Clinic's Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship has an extensive didactic training program that includes:

Weekly conferences

  • Multidisciplinary case conference with cardiac surgery, adult congenital and imaging specialists
  • Echocardiography
  • Electrocardiography and electrophysiology
  • Fellow's core conference
  • Pediatric cardiology board review

Monthly conferences

  • Angiography and invasive hemodynamics
  • Exercise testing
  • Cardiac physiology
  • Cardiac pathology
  • Cardiac surgery

Quarterly conferences

  • Morbidity and mortality conference
  • Journal club

In addition, informal "chalk talk" conferences are held with pediatric residents, interns and medical students doing clerkships in pediatric cardiology.

Research training

Research experience is an integral part of the training of an academic pediatric cardiologist. Cumulatively, one year of pediatric cardiology fellowship is devoted to basic science or clinical research, as required by the American College of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Research "blocks" are generally scheduled throughout the three years of fellowship training. 

Past trainees have been uniformly successful in research, with all fellows successfully submitting and presenting abstracts for poster or oral presentation. All past trainees have had more than one first-author publication by the conclusion of the fellowship.

Each year, fellows present reports on current research projects to division members for critical review. Mayo Clinic provides travel and registration support for fellows to present their research at any scientific meeting at which they have an accepted abstract. As a fellow, you can also attend one national cardiology meeting for educational purposes during your training.

Teaching opportunities

During the three-year program, you will assume increasing responsibility in care of patients and supervision of junior fellows, pediatric residents, and medical student clerks. Each trainee has opportunities to provide training lectures for pediatric residents and medical students as well as participate in the annual congenital echocardiography course at Mayo Clinic. As a fellow, you will complete one or more projects in clinical or cardiovascular laboratory research in collaboration with members of the faculty.