Pediatric Cardiology is a relatively small field that bears the responsibility for caring for patients with congenital heart disease, the most common birth defect. Congenital heart disease is still associated with the highest mortality of all congenital abnormalities1. At the Children?s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), the Cardiac Center, which consists of the combined clinical services of cardiology, cardiac surgery, cardiac critical care, anesthesia and cardiac nursing, is the largest cost center at our institution; this is due to the highly specialized care that cardiology and cardiac surgery patients require. Outcomes have steadily improved, and yet challenges remain, such as improving the morbidity and mortality for single ventricle patients1, discovering advanced therapies for pediatric cardiovascular diseases, and improving the quality of life2 for all children with cardiovascular disease. To address these unmet needs our NHLBI-T32 program is also addressing an unmet need for more highly trained researchers in pediatric cardiovascular medicine3. This NHLBI-T32 is now in its 19th year, and as a mature research training program has numerous tangible results directly related to our trainees, that are having an impact on improved outcomes.
The aims of our program are to: 1. Identify, recruit and foster research trainees, both CHOP cardiology fellows and scientists interested in the challenges facing pediatric cardiovascular medicine, who are willing to commit to training and career development in this field. 2. Match trainee interests and strengths with mentoring teams. 3. Provide mentor training and support. 4. Provide resources and opportunities for career development, with a goal of graduating trainees capable of independence. Goals?to pursue these aims through a program consisting of: ? Mentored independent research with a team approach, with required mentor training and scholarship oversight. ? Didactic opportunities, including core requirements and individually selected courses designed to provide specific research skills ? Seminars, workshops and a journal club focusing on research and progress in the field. ? Career guidance including independent development plans (IDP), and seminars and workshops focusing on professional development and survival skills. ? To foster a connection with mainstream pediatric cardiology research through participation in CHOP Cardiology research activities.
Congenital heart disease remains a major problem in the United States, as one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in children. The proposed program will train researchers in this field, whose goal will be to improve outcomes for children with cardiovascular disease.
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