Core Curriculum

mchugh_child.jpgThe UVA School of Medicine and the Department of Pediatrics have a long track record and commitment to training clinician investigators. Clinical training is based on 1:1 interaction with faculty and a "hands-on" approach to learning.

In the research training portion of the program, fellows receive training in either basic science or clinical investigation.

Basic science research training involves both coursework and close work with a primary mentor/collaboration with others. Graduate-level courses and multiple research centers at UVA provide further opportunities.

Trainees interested in clinical investigation enroll in a Master or Ph.D. level graduate program in clinical investigation or public health, and are matched with a mentor to guide their academic training.

All trainees have a scholarship oversight committee consistent with the American Board of Pediatrics guidelines.

Educational Objectives

Specific objectives listed below relate to the six core competencies required by the ACGME. Training in Interpersonal Skills/Communication, Practice-Based Learning, Professionalism, and Systems-Based Practice are designed to complement skills acquired during general pediatric training. In addition, a competency requirement to reflect research training has recently been added.

Patient Care
  • Be able to obtain a complete history and perform a detailed cardiovascular examination on subjects ranging from premature newborns to young adults
  • Be able to evaluate and treat the cardiovascular aspects of critically ill neonates, infants and children including: assessment of the cyanotic newborn, recognition and treatment of shock and low output states, post-operative care following cardiovascular surgical procedures, recognition and treatment of congestive heart failure and hypoxic spells
  • Understand and perform resuscitation techniques including cardiopulmonary resuscitation, cardioversion, temporary pacing, pericardiocentesis, and thoracentesis
  • Understand the techniques, values, limitations, and risks of invasive procedures including diagnostic cardiac catheterization, angiocardiography, electrophysiology studies, and interventional procedures
  • Be able to perform diagnostic right and left heart catheterization and balloon atrial septostomy
  • Understand the principles of diagnostic ultrasound and be capable of performing and interpreting M-mode, two-dimensional, Doppler, and color flow echocardiograms
  • Be familiar with the cardiac arrhythmias of childhood and be capable of interpreting electrocardiograms, ambulatory electrocardiograms, and event monitoring, and in treating cardiac arrhythmias
  • Understand the principles and techniques of exercise testing and be capable of performing and interpreting these studies
Medical Knowledge
  • Understand the basic elements of cardiovascular anatomy, embryology, biochemistry, physiology, and pathology
  • Be familiar with the natural and modified natural history of congenital and acquired cardiovascular disorders in the young and the surgical procedures used in their management
  • Be familiar with systemic diseases involving the cardiovascular system including rheumatic fever, Kawasaki disease, endocarditis, metabolic disorders, collagen disease, and lipid disorders
  • Understand the genetic basis of congenital heart disease and the genetic disorders with a high incidence of congenital heart disease
Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
  • Use evaluations of performance to improve practice
  • Use information technology to optimize lifelong learning
Interpersonal Skills and Communication
  • Communicate effectively with patients and families across a broad range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds
  • Be capable of acting in a consultative role to other physicians and healthcare professionals
  • Know how to maintain comprehensive, timely, and legible medical records
  • Demonstrate empathy, sensitivity, and compassion as a physician
  • Demonstrate high standards of ethical behavior
  • Understand ethical aspects of gifts from industry
  • Understand the elements of patient rights and confidentiality
Systems-Based Practice
  • Learn to coordinate inpatient, outpatient, and field clinic programs in pediatric cardiology, including interaction with social service agencies, school health nurses, and the State Health Department
  • Understand systems of delivery of health care and their financing, including diagnostic and procedural coding
  • Learn to ask fundamental questions and formulate hypotheses
  • Design experiments or trials to test hypotheses
  • Analyze results using appropriate statistical techniques
  • Develop presentation skills for abstracts, seminars and lectures
  • Learn to critically review the scientific literature
  • Learn to write manuscripts and grant applications
  • Understand ethics involved in research