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A Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship Boot Camp improves trainee confidence*

  • Catherine K. Allan (a1), Paul Tannous (a1), Elizabeth DeWitt (a1), Michael Farias (a1), Laura Mansfield (a1), Christina Ronai (a2), David Schidlow (a3), Stephen P. Sanders (a1), James E. Lock (a1), Jane W. Newburger (a1) and David W. Brown (a1)...



New paediatric cardiology trainees are required to rapidly assimilate knowledge and gain clinical skills to which they have limited or no exposure during residency. The Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship Boot Camp (PCBC) at Boston Children’s Hospital was designed to provide incoming fellows with an intensive exposure to congenital cardiac pathology and a broad overview of major areas of paediatric cardiology practice.


The PCBC curriculum was designed by core faculty in cardiac pathology, echocardiography, electrophysiology, interventional cardiology, exercise physiology, and cardiac intensive care. Individual faculty contributed learning objectives, which were refined by fellowship directors and used to build a programme of didactics, hands-on/simulation-based activities, and self-guided learning opportunities.


A total of 16 incoming fellows participated in the 4-week boot camp, with no concurrent clinical responsibilities, over 2 years. On the basis of pre- and post-PCBC surveys, 80% of trainees strongly agreed that they felt more prepared for clinical responsibilities, and a similar percentage felt that PCBC should be offered to future incoming fellows. Fellows showed significant increase in their confidence in all specific knowledge and skills related to the learning objectives. Fellows rated hands-on learning experiences and simulation-based exercises most highly.


We describe a novel 4-week-long boot camp designed to expose incoming paediatric cardiology fellows to the broad spectrum of knowledge and skills required for the practice of paediatric cardiology. The experience increased trainee confidence and sense of preparedness to begin fellowship-related responsibilities. Given that highly interactive activities were rated most highly, boot camps in paediatric cardiology should strongly emphasise these elements.


Corresponding author

Correspondence to: Dr C. K. Allan, Department of Cardiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston Children’s Hospital, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, United States of America. Tel: +1 617 355 7866; Fax: +1 617 713 3808; E-mail:


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Presented at the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute Andrews/Daicoff Cardiovascular Program International Symposium on Postgraduate Education in Pediatric and Congenital Cardiac Care, Saint Petersburg, Florida, United States of America, Thursday, 11 February, 2016 and Friday, 12 February, 2016.



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