Curriculum

Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship

The educational goals and objective of this fellowship are achieved through a combination of clinical rotations, didactic and interactive classroom sessions and guided readings.

Clinical Rotations

  • Adult congenital heart disease
  • Cardiac critical care/CCU
  • Cardiology consultation
  • Outpatient VA (ambulatory care and imaging: MRI, echo, cardiac PET)
  • Electrophysiology, pacing and arrhythmias (inc. Holter Interpretation)
  • Noninvasive cardiology/ctress testing (inc. nuclear cardiology, pharmacologic stress, EKGs)
  • Echocardiography I (transthoracic echo-doppler)
  • Echocardiography II (transesophageal, stress and dobutamine stress echocardiography)
  • Cardiac catheterization laboratory
  • Research
  • Cardiac MR
  • Cardiovascular surgery
  • Vascular medicine
  • Electives (4 months)

Classroom education

Averages one hour per day, including:

  • Fellow presentations (journal club, research conference, board review, clinical conference)
  • Interactive conferences (cardiology morbidity/mortality, valve conference, morbidity/mortality, clinico-pathologic correlation, cardiac cath conference)
  • Didactic lectures - tracts including:
    • EKG/arrhythmias/pacing
    • Cardiac ultrasonography
    • Non-echo diagnostics
    • Therapeutics/pharmacology
    • Critical care
    • Structural cardiovascular disease
    • Heart in noncardiac disease
    • Basic sciences
    • Prevention/epidemiology
    • General cardiology and consultation
    • Investigation
    • Business administration
    • Patient relations

Readings

Resources include compendia formulated for each clinical rotation, a fellows' library of hard copy and CD-ROM references, on-line computer resources, teaching DVD programs and additional references provided by the teaching faculty.

Additionally, fellows receive exposure to hospital medical staff committee work, teaching skill development programs, medical administrative skills and other training to aid their development into clinical academic cardiologists.

Support

Fellows are provided multiple tiers of support in their clinical activities. All patients seen by a fellow (clinic, emergency department, CCU, consult services) are immediately reviewed with a faculty member to discuss diagnosis and treatment plans. During interventional procedures (cath and echo labs), the staff cardiologist is present throughout each procedure. All diagnostic studies are reviewed by an attending cardiologist with the assigned fellow. Two or three faculty take night call to support fellow/clinical activities, while a senior fellow is available as back-up to first-year fellows taking night call. Finally, two fellows make hospital rounds on weekends/holidays to disperse the work load. These factors combine to maintain on call activities as effective learning experiences. All incoming fellows will be assigned a faculty advisor to further assist them in any additional areas.

Feedback

For each clinical rotation/experience, fellows receive a face-to-face meeting with the responsible faculty member and a written evaluation from each faculty member encountered. Fellows as a group meet monthly with the program director to review issues in the program and work on implementing change. Fellows meet individually with the program director twice yearly to review their files, procedure logs, lecture attendance, research project progress and to receive career counseling. Problem areas are addressed, with specific plans for remediation as necessary during these meetings and additionally if needed.

Fellows are provided many opportunities to evaluate and effect change in the training program, faculty performance and learning environment. Fellows anonymously submit evaluations of individual attending's, clinical rotations, program administration, facilities, support services, equipment and all other areas impacting their experience. Also, fellows are represented by the chief fellow, who meets regularly with the program director and attends all regularly scheduled cardiology division meetings where topics relevant to the fellowship program are discussed.

Research

To complete the requirements of training, each fellow must perform an independent clinical research project under the supervision of a UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville faculty mentor. Successful completion of this project is facilitated by investigation tract didactic lectures, monthly fellow research conference, project review during semi-annual program director meetings and protected research time (two months in the second year and two or more months in the third year). Fellows are free to select a topic of interest and have the division of cardiology's resources, clinical sites and non-cardiology faculty at UF available to them.

Additionally, fellows may carry out more than one independent project or serve as site co-investigator on one or more of the many ongoing clinical trials within the division.