Paediatric and adult congenital cardiology education and training in Europe

Colin J. McMahon (Coresponding Author), Ruth Heying, Werner Budts, Anna Cavigelli-Brunner, Maria Shkolnikova, Ina Michel-Behnke, Rainer Kozlik-Feldmann, Håkan Wåhlander, Daniel Dewolf, Sylvie Difilippo, Laslo Kornyei, Maria Giovanna Russo, Anna Kaneva-Nencheva, Senka Mesihovic-Dinarevic, Samo Vesel, Gylfi Oskarsson, George Papadopoulos, Andreas C. Petropoulos, Berna Saylan Cevik, Antonis JossifGabriela Doros, Thomas Krusensjerna-Hafstrom, Joanna Dangel, Otto Rahkonen, Dimpna C. Albert-Brotons, Silvia Alvares, Henrik Brun, Jan Janousek, Olli Pitkänen-Argillander, Inga Voges, Inguna Lubaua, Skaiste Sendzikaite, Alan G. Magee, Mark J. Rhodes, Nico A. Blom, Frances Bu'lock, Katarina Hanseus, Ornella Milanesi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Limited data exist on training of European paediatric and adult congenital cardiologists. Methods: A structured and approved questionnaire was circulated to national delegates of Association for European Paediatric and Congenital Cardiology in 33 European countries. Results: Delegates from 30 countries (91%) responded. Paediatric cardiology was not recognised as a distinct speciality by the respective ministry of Health in seven countries (23%). Twenty countries (67%) have formally accredited paediatric cardiology training programmes, seven (23%) have substantial informal (not accredited or certified) training, and three (10%) have very limited or no programme. Twenty-two countries have a curriculum. Twelve countries have a national training director. There was one paediatric cardiology centre per 2.66 million population (range 0.87-9.64 million), one cardiac surgical centre per 4.73 million population (range 1.63-10.72 million), and one training centre per 4.29 million population (range 1.63-10.72 million population). The median number of paediatric cardiology fellows per training programme was 4 (range 1-17), and duration of training was 3 years (range 2-5 years). An exit examination in paediatric cardiology was conducted in 16 countries (53%) and certification provided by 20 countries (67%). Paediatric cardiologist number is affected by gross domestic product (R2 = 0.41). Conclusion: Training varies markedly across European countries. Although formal fellowship programmes exist in many countries, several countries have informal training or no training. Only a minority of countries provide both exit examination and certification. Harmonisation of training and standardisation of exit examination and certification could reduce variation in training thereby promoting high-quality care by European congenital cardiologists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1966-1983
Number of pages18
JournalCardiology in the Young
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Adult CHD
  • certification
  • congenital cardiology
  • education
  • paediatric cardiology
  • training

Field of Science*

  • 3.3 Health sciences
  • 5.3 Educational sciences

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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