Physicians with Heart: Dr. Eric Ferguson
Eric Ferguson, MD, grew up in the North Carolina mountains in Maggie Valley. He was a committed athlete in his youth, playing football for Davidson College followed by two seasons with a club team in Deggendorf, Germany, before starting medical school. His football experience culminated in his induction into the Davidson College Athletics Hall of Fame in 2022.
As a medical student, he had a strong interest in practicing international medicine and considered a career in infectious diseases and tropical medicine. However, he became interested in congenital heart disease during his pediatrics residency at the University of Alabama – Birmingham and pursued that passion during a cardiology fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He then did a year of training in advanced imaging at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University School of Medicine and stayed on as faculty at Children’s Heart Center.
Dr. Ferguson maintains his interest in international medicine and continues to travel overseas. He has spent time in Kenya at the Kenyatta National Hospital and in Nepal at a teaching hospital there. He has traveled to Bolivia and Mongolia multiple times on trips with Children’s Heart Project, a charity based in Boone, NC, that brings children from underserved nations to the West for complex heart surgeries.
He also has a research interest in studying athletes with enlarged hearts.
Today Dr. Ferguson sees patients at Sibley Heart Center Cardiology’s Villa Rica clinic and is a part of our fetal cardiology team. He also works in the echo lab at Egleston performing many varieties of echocardiography, including transesophageal echo, fetal echo, transthoracic echo and exercise stress testing. He appreciates the breadth of practice his job provides, from advising surgeons in the operating room to counseling expectant mothers and fathers whose fetuses have heart disease. He still finds the heart and its functions fascinating.
Dr. Ferguson said becoming a father himself has only amplified all the things he liked about medicine. He has three daughters from the ages of 11 to 15. (He notes that he and the dog are the only males in the household.)
“As a parent, you become more in tune with the nuances of family routines and what is doable when you’re talking about managing a child’s condition at home,” he said. “Fatherhood has given me greater empathy when I’m counseling parents about a baby’s CHD. It’s sometimes more meaningful not to get caught up in the anatomical complexities present, though of course that is important. I have found that oftentimes parents are most concerned about how their child’s condition is going to affect the child’s day-to-day life and the family’s life, and of course their futures. I try to emphasize the practical effects of the condition, in addition to explaining the physiology and such.”
As a dad, he enjoys seeing his daughters develop their individual personalities and internal drives and begin to adopt their family values of serving others. He also says they are just fun to be around.
He appreciates the teamwork he finds at Sibley. “Working together to provide the best care for the patient is the priority of everyone here and one of the qualities of our group that I’m most impressed by,” he said. “We try to put ourselves in the patient’s and the family’s shoes and ensure we’re communicating well and helping them understand what’s going on.”
Dr. Ferguson sees his job as helping to alleviate human suffering and elevate the community.
“What we do here can affect the entire lifespan of a child and a family,” he said. “You can help take a child from tragic circumstances to living a long, happy life. There aren’t many other jobs in the world where you can be part of something like that.”
Eric Ferguson, MD
- Medical school: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Residency: University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine
- Fellowship: Mayo Medical School
Areas of Focus
- General cardiology
- Fetal Cardiology
For more information about Sibley Heart Center Cardiology and our pediatric cardiology specialists, click here.