Nature of the work
Paediatric cardiology traditionally includes
the care of patients with congenital heart disease. It originates
from adult cardiology, and is closely associated with the British
Cardiovascular Society (previously the British Cardiac Society).
This specialty grew under the auspices of the Royal College of
Physicians, rather than the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child
Health, although links with the latter remain.
Working in paediatric cardiology
Paediatric cardiologists assess and manage
acute and chronic congenital heart disease, with referral to a
super specialist when appropriate.
The specialty is set to grow. At the end of
2006 there were 81 paediatric cardiology consultants in the UK, and
39 full-time SpR posts. The relatively large number of SpRs
reflects the understaffing at consultant level, which is recognised
by the Department of Health. In 2001, the Department of Health
endorsed the British Cardiac Society (BCS) recommendation that
there should be two paediatric cardiology consultants per
million of the population. In 2005, the BCS increased this
recommendation to three per million, making 180 UK consultants in
Associated sub specialties
Paediatric cardiologists are no longer trained
in the super specialties. Trainees wishing to continue in
super-specialty training will compete for nationally approved
posts, which will be of variable duration depending upon the
specific super specialty.
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