May 01, 2012

Carly Fifer, MD: Taking care of kids in every stage of life

Carly Fifer, MD
What do you do at UMHS?

I’m a pediatric cardiologist with the Congenital Heart Center at the University’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. My area of clinical expertise is echocardiography, or imaging of the heart using ultrasound. I have a special interest in fetal echocardiography, or imaging of the heart in babies before birth. I also recently accepted the position of director of the Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship training program at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Our training program is one of the largest and most well respected in the country, and our graduates are leaders in pediatric cardiology across the nation.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I love taking care of children during every stage of life. I meet many of my patients before they are born! I help their parents learn about their baby’s heart, I follow the babies after birth through their heart surgeries and recovery, and continue as they grow up. I find so much joy in seeing the young people they become!

When you’re not working, what do you do?

I hang out with my husband, Kirk, and my son Gordie (age 6). Gordie loves sports, and we spend a lot of time watching him play soccer, hockey, or whatever the latest activity is! We love doing anything outdoors, like taking our dog Rosie (a Vizsla) for long runs in the woods. I’m also an avid rower with the Ann Arbor Rowing Club. During the season, I row at 5:30 a.m. at least three times a week. I compete with the club in Master’s regattas, and I’ve even rowed in the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta four times in the past decade. 

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

I established the Prenatal Heart Program at the U-M children’s hospital. In the 12 years since its inception, the program has seen tremendous growth. We now perform more than 700 fetal echocardiograms and follow more than 150 babies with heart problems every year. Our highly specialized team performs fetal cardiac interventions for certain heart defects, where we intervene even before babies are born to help improve their outcomes.

What was the last book you read?

I’m always reading a book, and I love fiction of all kinds. I just finished The Wind Through the Keyhole, a Dark Tower novel by Stephen King.

What’s your favorite spot in Ann Arbor?

Besides my own backyard, I love sitting outside on a warm spring evening at any one of the restaurants in town, but especially Dominick’s by the law quad.