David Schidlow - Provider Spotlight

As a cardiologist at Children’s National, David Schidlow, MD, MMus, brings our organization his passion for providing outstanding cardiac care for infants, children and young adults. He also has a special interest in fetal cardiology — caring for families expecting a child with a congenital heart defect. In addition to practicing fetal and pediatric cardiology at our Sheikh Zayed campus, Dr. Schidlow sees patients in our outpatient facilities in Arlington and Fredericksburg, Virginia, enabling more families to gain access to care. 

Patient and Service Oriented 
A little known fact about Dr. Schidlow is that the “MMus” after his name stands for Master of Music. Dr. Schidlow is an accomplished clarinetist and completed his graduate degree in music history with a specialization in Beethoven. Despite his love of music, Dr. Schidlow was ultimately drawn to medicine because of the commitment to the service of others. He completed his premedical studies while enrolled as a graduate music student at Temple University, where he went on to medical school before training in pediatrics at University of California, Los Angeles and pediatric cardiology at Boston Children’s Hospital.  

Dr. Schidlow was drawn to fetal cardiology because of the combination of technical skills and medical knowledge required to understand the fetal heart and how it needs to be communicated to families in a caring way during a sensitive time. “There are various nuances to evaluating a fetal heart and providing perinatal care to a newborn with congenital heart disease. Communicating that to families in a thoughtful, kind, and clear way is essential,” he says.  

Improving Heart Health around the World

Dr. Schidlow is involved in several initiatives related to pediatric cardiology locally, nationally and internationally. For several years, he has been a part of the National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvement Collaborative (NPC-QIC), a multicenter effort committed to improving outcomes for patients diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), a particularly challenging form of congenital heart disease. Currently he is helping lead the NPC-QIC work to enhance prenatal care for HLHS.  

Dr. Schidlow also participates in the International Quality Improvement Collaborative (IQIC) for Congenital Heart Surgery in Developing World Countries, a global multicenter effort aimed at decreasing mortality and major complications for children undergoing heart surgery in developing world settings with limited resources. “My father is a pediatric pulmonologist who grew up and went to medical school in Chile, so the connection to making a difference in the broader picture of medicine, particularly in Latin America, has always been in my life,” he says. Dr. Schidlow recently published a paper regarding surgery and outcomes for transposition of the great arteries (TGA) in the developing world in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology with IQIC co-authors from six countries.  

Closer to home, Dr. Schidlow works to enhance care for patients at Children’s National, including quality improvement initiatives within the echocardiography laboratory and a new effort focused on enhancing care of infants with heterotaxy, an uncommon diagnosis that requires coordinated multispecialty care. Dr. Schidlow also is a member of the Fetal Heart Society, which was founded by his colleague, Mary Donofrio, MD, Director of the Children’s Fetal Heart Program. The Fetal Heart Society is an important effort to promote multicenter collaborative research to better understand fetal cardiovascular abnormalities.    

Dr. Schidlow is helping to make a difference near and far, but at the end of the day what is most important to him is that our patients and families feel that they have received outstanding and compassionate care. Some of his best experiences at Children’s National happen when Dr. Schidlow sees babies he has cared for grow into happy and healthy children. “Seeing parents show off their beautiful, thriving children is tremendously rewarding and is the motivation for doing what I do.” Dr. Schidlow also praises his colleagues in the Children’s National Heart Institute. “I am fortunate to work with an exceptionally smart, motivated, and collaborative team of health professionals dedicated to providing the best for our patients; it makes me very proud to work at Children’s National.”