Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship Program | History of Cardiology at Boston Children’s Hospital

Male and female clinicians wear white jackets, also wear ties or blouses

Department of Cardiology staff, c. 1959-60

The Department of Cardiology was established in 1949, 11 years after a major milestone was achieved at Boston Children’s by surgeon Dr. Robert Gross, who successfully ligated the first patent ductus arteriosus in a young girl. It was the world’s first successful surgery for congenital heart disease.

Dr. Alexander S. Nadas, the “father of pediatric cardiology,” added to that history by developing a rigorous pediatric cardiology program, and part of that work included founding the Cardiology Fellowship Program at Boston Children’s in 1950. It is the oldest training program in the country. By the mid-1960s, the hospital had become the largest center for pediatric cardiology in the world, with 15 staff physicians as well as international recognition for cardiac research. But that was just the beginning: To this day, the Department of Cardiology has remained at the forefront of clinical and research training, with major contributions to many of the seminal advances in pediatric cardiology. Today, we have more than 80 staff physicians and nearly 400 fellowship alumni.