Cardiovascular disease fellowship
The goal of our Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Program is to provide our fellows with a comprehensive training experience, which will enable them to pursue careers in either academic or private practice cardiology. Emphasis is placed on both excellent clinical training and a research experience, which is tailored to the individual’s aspirations and previous activities. Clinical training consists of practical clinical rotations, didactic instruction, conference preparation and presentation, and both self-directed and assigned reading. Clinical rotations are designed to provide our fellows with the knowledge base and technical proficiency that they will need to become safe, first-rate practitioners of cardiovascular medicine. Our fellows are provided the opportunity to refine further their skills in supervising and teaching junior physicians.
The program offers two separate training tracks to accommodate the research training needs of each individual fellow: a Clinical Track (3 years) and a Research Track (4 years). The major difference between these two training pathways is the emphasis on research training. We anticipate that the Clinical Track will be appropriate for the majority of our fellows, whether their career plans are to enter practice or stay in academics. We recommend the Research Track for fellows who aspire not only to stay in academics, but also who plan on devoting the majority of their professional effort to research activities.
In the Clinical Track, fellows will spend a minimum of four months during their second year of training involved in a research project with a faculty member. Given the limited period of time, we anticipate that most of these projects will be clinical research involving existing databases. Our expectation is that the efforts of every fellow will result in the submission of at least one abstract for presentation at a national or regional meeting and we would like all of our fellows to be first author on a manuscript that is submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. A formal curriculum has been devised to provide fellows with basic fundamental knowledge about clinical Cardiovascular Research.
As mentioned above, the Research Track is aimed at fellows who plan investigation-based careers. The duration of research training in this pathway will be 20-21 months in order for fellows to acquire sufficient skills and an adequate record of performance to be competitive for obtaining academic faculty positions and for securing extramural grant support for their research programs. In the Research Track, the timing of each fellow’s research experience within his/her overall training is flexible. For practical reasons, the initial fellowship year is usually clinical and fellows are encouraged to begin research in the second year. However, various permutations of clinical and research years are possible depending upon individual circumstances.
Fellows in the Research Track will be expected to choose a hypothesis-driven project with one of our faculty members involved in Basic Science research. Each fellow will receive training in grant writing and will be expected to submit a research proposal to a major funding source, such as the American Heart Association. Enrollment in a formal Biostatistics course offered at Virginia Commonwealth University will be required. Other expectations for fellows in the Research Track will be that they present the results of their work in abstract form at a national meeting and submit a manuscript for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
Incoming fellows will be expected to determine which training pathway they will enter early in their first year of training and will work closely with the Program Director in making this decision. Regardless of which pathway a fellow chooses, our minimal expectation is that this research experience will teach our fellows new ways of independent thinking to be applied throughout their lifetime to evaluate novel medical developments in a rational and critical manner.
Cardiovascular Disease fellows do clinical rotations both at VCU Medical Center and at the affiliated McGuire Veterans Administration Medical Center. Training is provided in all areas of clinical cardiology, including invasive/interventional cardiology, electrophysiology, echocardiography, stress testing, critical care cardiology (medical and surgical), ambulatory cardiology, consultative cardiology, pediatric cardiology, cardiac MRI/CT, post-operative care of the cardiac surgery patient, vascular medicine, and transplant/heart failure.
Our fellows are supervised by a committed cardiology faculty, but they are given autonomy in order to learn and grow. A very large clinical volume provides an excellent environment for training.
Fellowship contact information
Anthony J. Minisi, M.D.
P.O. Box 980051
Richmond, Virginia 23298-0051
Phone: (804) 828-9989
VCU School of Medicine
Dept of Internal Medeicine
PO Box 980509
Richmond, VA 23298-0509
Application to the Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Program
All applications to the Cardiology Fellowship Program should go through ERAS. Starting in 2012, the timeline for application for medical subspecialty fellowships has been modified. The NRMP match for fellowships will move from June of the R2 year to December of the R3 year. Unfortunately, ERAS has not changed their application timelines and will not open for applications until July 1. This will leave very little time for completion of applications, review of applications, and selection of applicants for interviews.
Any interested applicants are urged to start their application process early. Requests for USMLE reports, reference letters, and other supporting documentation should be ready for submission on July 1 when you receive you applicant number from ERAS. We would recommend to applicants that they have all of the information required for the ERAS application form ready for submission on July 1. When reference letters are requested, we recommend that faculty members be notified that their letters should be ready for submission to ERAS on July 1, if possible.
We plan on interviewing applicants on Thursdays during September and October. We will begin to review applications on July 15 and priority will be given to applications that are complete. Our deadline for applications will be July 31.
*** The majority of the documents described in the Documentation link above are required by ERAS. However, ERAS will not scan several of the documents that we require, i.e. copy of Virginia medical license (if you have one), ECFMG certificate; copy of your J1 or green card; medical school diploma (and translation where applicable). Mail all documents to Karla Conway at the above address.