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VCU Pauley Heart Center

Interventional cardiology fellowship

Cynthia Messmer, Ph.D.The Interventional Cardiology Fellowship Program is designed to train fellows in the use of percutaneous interventional techniques in the management of coronary, peripheral vascular and valvular heart disease. The one-year program is comprehensive, structured and supervised by a Board Certified Staff with collectively over 100 person/years of interventional experience. Fellows train at both McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center.

The training includes didactic conferences, weekly case conferences, and individual fellow and faculty clinical patient reviews (pre- and post-procedure) to discuss risk, benefit, results, treatment strategies and complications.  Fellow experience is very individualized with one-on-one faculty interactions for each procedure. Trainees also assist in teaching diagnostic fellows, medicine residents and other student groups (biomedical, undergraduate, etc.).

Program emphasis is placed on giving fellows ample opportunity to learn appropriate technical skills for safe coronary and peripheral intervention using multiple devices including rotational atherectomy, balloons, stents, filter devices, and to advance and refine diagnostic cath skills. Coronary procedures experience is sufficient to meet required procedure volumes.


The VCU Medical Center has four cath labs.  All are digital linked with a mass storage archival device for easy retrieval of prior comparative studies.  All have “deep throats” for peripheral runoffs.  The McGuire VA Medical Center has two labs with digital acquisition and an archival storage system.  Both institutions have on site cardiac surgery as well as cardiac transplant programs including the availability of destination LVADS and the Total Artificial Heart.

Clinical Program

The clinical programs are very active at the VCU Medical Center and the McGuire Veterans Medical Center, allowing fellows to gain experience with a diverse patient population and a broad array of complex inpatient and outpatient cases. Fellows also have an opportunity for a weekly outpatient clinic to follow select post revascularization patients.  Notable clinical strengths include the wealth of varied patient problems, expert supervision and the skilled support staff that allows the trainee to focus on the interventional experience rather than major clinical management.


During the clinical activities, fellows are encouraged to participate in ongoing research projects and/or to publish on topics of clinical interest.  Current laboratory investigations are focused on improving efficiency and safety of guidewire deployment using a magnetic guidance system. Other ongoing and imminent techniques include using cath lab based CT to enhance assessment of blockages and cardiac function. Finally, the laboratory has a long history of evaluating new technologies, as well as drugs used as adjunctive treatment in association with coronary intervention. Fellows interested in a second specific research year should make the program aware of this desire, as every attempt will be made to accommodate such an interest.


We are fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education for a one-year ABIM Board eligible Interventional training program for three fellows per year.  Board pass rates have been excellent.


Interventional Fellowship Contact Information
Program Coordinator

Jeannette Wood
VCU School of Medicine
Dept of Internal Medeicine
PO Box 980509
Richmond, VA 23298-0509
Phone: 804-828-3149
Fax: 804-628-2436

E-Mail: woodj2@vcu.edu



Fellowship application form



Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center
School of Medicine
VCU Health Pauley Heart Center
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