Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Education


The Cardiovascular Fellowship program is a three-year accredited ACGME program; it provides an additional forth (and potentially fifth) year to increase opportunities for, and productivity in research. The program is committed to the additional years of training for fellows at the time they are accepted; this allows fellows to explore opportunities to build upon the research components of the three-year ACGME program and to develop the foundation necessary for becoming a successful physician-scientist.

The overall goal of the Cardiovascular Fellowship program is to train highly competent clinical cardiologists, who by the time of program completion, are capable of independent practice (i.e. provide state-of-the-art evidence-based prevention, evaluation, management for both inpatients and outpatients with a wide variety of cardiovascular disorders), and prepared for a transition to a productive academic career.

Fellows generally pursue one of two tracks, Clinician-Scientist or Physician-Investigator. Fellows in the Clinician-Scientist track usually focus on a cardiovascular subspecialty and receive additional fellowship (e.g. interventional, electrophysiology, advanced heart failure) training; these fellows receive six months of dedicated research time in their third year. Fellows in the Physician-Investigator track receive nine months of dedicated research time in their third year and an additional year or more in the research lab. Fellows pursuing the Physician-Investigator track may opt to enroll in the Clinical Research Scholars Program (CRSP), a flexible two- to four-year Master's program designed to prepare clinical investigators for leadership roles in academia, government and industry through rigorous didactics coupled with in-depth mentoring experience. In preparation for the Physician-Investigator track, residents may enroll in the Harrington Physician-Scientist Residency pathway that focuses on exceptional clinical and research training early on in a resident career. As part of the training, the Harrington Physician-Scientist pathway includes 24 months of internal medicine residency training, 24 month of general cardiovascular medicine fellowship training, and 36 months of research (80% protected).

The majority of the General Cardiovascular training program fellows, pursued advanced fellowships (including additional research training); after completing the education in the fellowship program half of the graduates are practicing in academic medical centers and half joined a private practice.

The goals and objectives of the fellowship are based on the six ACGME competencies for each year of training. Fellowship is a continuous process of professional and academic growth, with each individual progressing at a somewhat different pace and along a unique path. Nevertheless, the general expectation is that senior fellows will not only master the subject content necessary to care for patients with cardiovascular disease, but will also develop a sophistication and maturity of clinical judgment. Appropriate knowledge of leading-edge and experimental treatments that may be utilized for a patient’s care is another quality desired of senior fellows. As they obtain this sophistication, judgment, and knowledge, fellows play an increasingly prominent leadership role in guiding education and patient care with the house staff and medical students.

The educational goals and objectives of the program are achieved through a combination of clinical rotations, procedures, didactics, simulations, mentored research and guided readings.