Meet Dr. Gerald GreilPediatric Cardiologist in Dallas
- Holder of the:
- Pogue Family Distinguished Chair in Pediatric Cardiology
Gerald Greil, M.D., Ph.D., has dedicated his career to improving the diagnosis and care of infants and children with congenital heart disease.
As Division Chief of Pediatric Cardiology and the Pogue Family Distinguished Chair in Pediatric Cardiology at UT Southwestern Medical Center since 2015, Dr. Greil leads a team that includes more than 25 physicians with specialized expertise in all aspects of pediatric cardiology, who together aim to continue improving treatment for children with heart problems.
“Caring for children with congenital heart disorders is a true team effort,” Dr. Greil says. “For example, a child who requires surgery for a complex congenital heart disease will receive diagnostic imaging before surgery. He or she may need a catheterization procedure or have a heart rhythm problem to be addressed. We all work together to incorporate the newest diagnostic technologies and approaches into the treatment plan and ensure that the child receives the best care possible.”
Dr. Greil and his team provide care at Children’s Medical Center (CMC) Dallas, the flagship hospital of Children’s Health℠ in Dallas. CMC’s Heart Center, which opened in 2015, is one of the most up-to-date facilities of its type in the world. Dr. Greil and his team also provide pediatric cardiology services at Children’s Medical Center Plano, another state-of-the-art facility in the Metroplex.
“Operating rooms, a catheterization lab, non-invasive imaging labs, an intensive care unit – everything needed to treat children with heart problems, from the most straightforward to the most complex, is in close proximity on one floor at CMC Dallas,” Dr. Greil says. “This not only optimizes the quality and safety of care but makes it easier for families to access it.”
A Team Approach to Innovative Care
Even as he devotes hundreds of hours to research that seeks to continually improve the advanced techniques used to treat children with heart disease, Dr. Greil emphasizes the importance of the human touch in the practice of pediatric cardiology.
“A close relationship between the caregiver and the family is essential in our specialty,” he says. “Every patient has an attending physician who is a senior member of the team and is responsible for coordinating care. If the child has a complex condition, we invite the parents to sit down with the entire team and ask all the questions they want. Together we will find the best possible treatment plan.”
Dr. Greil notes that the team’s nurses and child life specialists are especially adept at putting the young patients themselves at ease. They explain to children in a playful way how they will be cared for and help ease their fears. And because a bit of furry friendship can help reduce stress during challenging times, the team also has three therapy dogs available for patients and families.
Whatever treatments a child may require, Dr. Greil always takes the least invasive approach he can to make things as easy and safe for the patient as possible. For example, minimally invasive imaging procedures such as cardiac MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and CT (computed tomography) are preferred over catheterization, and catheterization is preferred over surgery if feasible.
Day in and day out, Dr. Greil is most humbled not by the technical challenges of his specialty but by the trust that families place in him and his team.
“Parents of a child with congenital heart disease allow us to take care of the most precious thing they have,” he reflects. “That is a great honor. And seeing my patients grow up and establish families of their own is so rewarding.
“In pediatric cardiology, you can make a powerful, long-lasting impact on many lives by making the right decisions for your patients.”