Gerald Greil, M.D., Ph.D., is a Professor in the Division of Pediatric Cardiology and the Pogue Family Distinguished Chair in Pediatric Cardiology at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Dr. Greil studied medicine at the University of Regensburg and the Technical University of Munich, both in Germany. He completed his medical degree at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, then obtained his license to practice medicine at the Bavarian State Department of Labor and Social Security, Family Affairs, Women and Health. He also earned an advanced degree in pediatrics at the University of Tübingen.

After completing his internship at the German Heart Center in Munich, Dr. Greil performed a residency in pediatrics and pediatric cardiology at the Children’s Hospital Tübingen, Germany. After this he finished fellowships in neonatology, pediatric intensive care, and pediatric cardiology at the same institution. From 1999 to 2001 he became a senior clinical fellow in pediatric cardiac MRI at Harvard Medical School Boston Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Greil served for about nine years as a clinical senior lecturer and later as a reader in pediatric cardiology at King’s College London in the U.K. He still holds academic appointments at the University of Tübingen, Germany, and at King’s College London, United Kingdom.

Prior to joining UT Southwestern in 2015, Dr. Greil cared for children with heart conditions as an attending physician at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospital NHS Foundation Trust/Evelina Children’s Hospital in London, U.K., for about nine years.

Dr. Greil is Associate Editor for the journal Circulation. He is an ad hoc reviewer for numerous other medical journals and has contributed chapters to textbooks on topics such as congenital heart disease and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging.

Much of Dr. Greil’s research is focused on novel imaging technologies for noninvasive assessment of the cardiovascular system and the use of advanced imaging in diagnostic and interventional cardiac catheterization procedures. He has been an invited lecturer at conferences and symposia in nations including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Meet Dr. Greil

Pediatric Cardiologist in Dallas

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.”

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Education & Training
  • Medical School - Technical University of Munich (1989-1994)
  • Internship - German Heart Center Munich (1994-1995), Pediatric Cardiology
  • Residency - University Children's Hospital Tubingen (1996-1998), Pediatrics
  • Fellowship - Children's Hospital of Boston (1999-2001), Cardiac Advanced Imaging
  • Fellowship - University Children's Hospital Tubingen (2001-2006), Pediatric Cardiology
  • Other Post Graduate Training - University of Tubingen (2001-2006), Pediatrics
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • Royal College of Physicians (MRCP) (2007)
  • Society of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (SCMR) (2008)
  • Pool of Scientific Advisors on Risk Assessment of European Union (2008), (ScientificCommittees and Experts set up by Commission Decision 2008/721/EC)
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Paediatrische Kardiologie (DGPK) (2008)
  • Association of European Pediatric Cardiology (AEPC) (2008)
  • Editorial Board, European Heart Journal, Cardiovascular Imaging (2011)
Honors & Awards
  • Local Clinical Excellence Award (LCEA) 2011, Guy's & St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London
Books & Publications
  • Virtual and real reproductions of heart specimens/virtual surgery
  • The use of Multidetector Computed Tomography (MDCTP) in patients with acquired and congenital heart disease
  • Patient-specific cardiovascular modeling and simulation
  • Morphology and function assessed by whole heart imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance Coronary Angiography (MRCA)
  • Interventional Cardiac MRI, MRI hybrid laboratories (XMR) and MRI compatible catheter material
  • Improved diagnosis in patients with acquired and congenital heart disease (CHD) using contrast agents

Q&A by Dr. Greil

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