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Department of Internal Medicine

Cardiovascular Health and Disease

Educational Goals

The cardiovascular diseases fellowship is a three-year program designed to train both clinical and academic cardiologists. The evidence-based curriculum is organized to provide increasing levels of responsibility for trainees with respect to patient care and procedure performance.

Adequate progression through the curriculum is assessed by evaluating each fellow’s clinical judgment, clinical skills, medical knowledge, procedural skills, professionalism, communication skills, leadership ability and continuing scholarship.

At all times during training, fellows are expected to conduct themselves professionally with the highest of ethical standards and are expected to display integrity, honesty, compassion and respect to all members of the health care team, patients and patient family members.

Fellows should always be strong advocates for all patients under their care and should utilize the health care system to maximize the benefit to each individual patient while respecting the patient’s autonomy and expressed wishes. The welfare of the patient should be the fellow’s primary concern.

All fellows are expected to be thoroughly familiar with and to abide by all policies set forth by the individual institutions at which they rotate.

First-Year Fellows

The first year of training provides new fellows with a broad exposure to all aspects of inpatient and outpatient clinical cardiology as well as ample introductory experience with a wide variety of invasive and non-invasive cardiac procedures.

Fellows will also be introduced to both clinical and basic science research.

By the end of the first year, fellows will be able to evaluate cardiac patients and initiate care appropriate for a wide variety of acute and chronic cardiac conditions, but will not be expected to be experts in either clinical care or procedural skills.

The major first-year training goals are for fellows to be introduced to the full range of cardiovascular diseases clinical and research opportunities, begin to acquire consultative and procedural skills, be able to appropriately triage and initiate care for cardiac emergencies, identify a specific area of interest and a projected career path, be paired with an appropriate mentor and to select a research project.

Continuing Scholarship

First-year fellows will learn how to write a thorough, informative and instructive cardiac consultation note as well as accurate and detailed procedure notes. First-year fellows will learn to verbally communicate effectively with patients, families and all members of the health care team and will learn the importance of maintaining complete and accurate medical records that are easily accessible to referring providers. First-year fellows will also develop communication skills by presenting to colleagues and faculty members at various conferences.

Second-Year Fellows

Second-year fellows will continue to build upon the knowledge and skills gained during the first year of training and will begin to focus on a particular area of interest.

Second-year fellows will be given greater latitude in patient management decisions and should play a greater role in teaching rounds. Procedural skills are expected to improve, and fellows should be able to perform cardiac procedures safely under the direct supervision of an attending cardiologist.

During the second year, the fellow’s research project should be well-established, and each second year fellow will present his or her activities at the fellow’s research conference.

Depending upon the outcome of their research work, some second-year fellows may be positioned to submit their findings in abstract form to national or regional scientific meetings.

Continuing Scholarship

Second-year fellows will continue to update their cardiovascular knowledge base via critical review of the literature and continued reading of standard cardiology texts. Second-year fellows will be expected to be able to interpret the cardiology literature correctly and to apply it appropriately in an evidenced-based manner to the care of individual patients. Second-year fellows will be expected to have formulated a meaningful research experience in conjunction with an appropriate mentor.

Third-Year Fellows

The third year of fellowship allows trainees to perfect their clinical patient care and procedural skills and to be able to practice evidence-based management for the full spectrum of cardiovascular diseases. By the end of their third year, fellows should be capable of practicing clinical cardiology competently and independently and to safely and expertly perform all procedures for which they seek level II certification. 

Third-year fellows must fully meet all six of the ACGME general core competencies. Additionally, third year fellows will complete their research project and submit the results as an abstract to the appropriate forum. They will also be encouraged to submit full-length manuscripts for publication in clinical or scientific journals as appropriate.

Those interested in pursuing a career in academic medicine may be positioned to submit applications for extramural funding. The faculty will provide guidance and support with regard to such scholarly endeavors.

Continuing Scholarship

Third-year fellows will have a well-established educational program that will continue into their practice. This life-long learning habit developed during training will allow graduates to stay current with the cardiovascular diseases literature.

Third-year fellows will be experts at interpreting and applying new data to enhance patient care.

By the end of the third year, fellows are expected to present their research activities in an appropriate formal setting. This presentation can be an oral presentation to the division of cardiovascular diseases, a written abstract submitted to a local or national meeting or a manuscript submitted to a peer reviewed journal.

Those interested in pursuing a career in academic medicine will become acquainted with the benchmarks of academic success and will gain an understanding of the extramural funding process as it pertains to their specialty area.

Fellow Research Requirement

The research requirement provides each fellow with a basic introduction to biomedical research through active participation in the development, performance and presentation of a research project. In order to meet this requirement, the fellow must demonstrate scholarship as evidenced by the presentation of an abstract (oral or poster) at a local, regional or national scientific meeting, submission of a manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal or presentation of the project results to the division of cardiovascular diseases.

At the beginning of the academic year, first-year fellows will be introduced to available research opportunities via presentations by faculty members involved in research activities and/or during the Introduction to Research rotation.

Current research in the cardiovascular diseases division is conducted at both University Hospital and at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Additional cardiovascular research opportunities are available through collaborations with investigators in other divisions and departments throughout the university.

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Fellowship Contact

Cardiovascular Diseases Fellowship
Div Cardiovascular Health and Disease
College of Medicine
231 Albert Sabin Way, MLC 0542
Cincinnati, OH 45267

Fellowship Program Director:
David Harris, MD

Associate Program Director:
Robin Vandivier-Pletsch, MD

Program Manager:
Eva Meunier
Phone. 513-558-3070