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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2005 Sep 6;46(5):893-8.

Variations in adult congenital heart disease training in adult and pediatric cardiology fellowship programs.

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Division of Cardiology, Department of Pediatrics, Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate adult congenital heart disease (CHD) training among U.S. cardiology fellowship programs.


Although training recommendations for caring for adults with CHD exist, the educational patterns and numbers of specialists remain unknown.


We surveyed U.S. directors of 170 adult cardiology and 45 pediatric cardiology (PC) fellowship programs. Adult program surveys contained 1 single-response and 10 multiple-choice questions; pediatric program surveys contained 1 single-response and 13 multiple-choice questions.


Ninety-four adult cardiology fellowship directors (55%) and 34 PC directors (76%) responded. Of adult programs, 70% were in university hospitals and 40% were associated with PC groups. Those with PC-affiliation had more adult CHD clinics (p < 0.02) and more adult CHD inpatient (p < 0.02) and outpatient (p < 0.002) visits than those without PC affiliation. Most PC programs were in children's hospitals (38%) or children's hospitals within adult hospitals (50%). Eighty-two percent had associated adult cardiology programs. Pediatric programs followed adult CHD patients in various care settings. Over one-third of adult and pediatric programs had < or = 3 lectures annually regarding adult CHD. Nine adult and 2 pediatric programs offered adult CHD fellowships, and only 31 adult and 11 pediatric fellows pursued advanced CHD training in the last 10 years.


Adult CHD didactic and clinical experiences for cardiology fellows vary widely. Few programs offer advanced CHD training, and the number of specially trained physicians is unlikely to meet projected workforce requirements. Adult cardiology programs with PC affiliation have increased CHD experience and might provide good educational models.

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