Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship
Strong clinical focus
Training in public and private hospital settings
Experience with advanced heart failure and transplant programs
Clinical research opportunities with two dedicated foundations
About the Program
One-On-One Training in Public and Private Teaching/Research Hospital Environments
Physicians choose the Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship at HCMC for its outstanding focus on clinical training and research, and its dual-site program, which showcases the full range of cardiovascular services and patient pathology in both public and private teaching/research hospital settings.
Our fellows rotate at HCMC, one of the leading Level I Trauma Centers and public training hospitals in the country, and at the Minneapolis Heart Institute® of Abbott-Northwestern Hospital, an internationally recognized private teaching/research hospital. At both locations, our fellows work one-on-one with practicing faculty, utilizing the latest technology to treat patients of all backgrounds.
A high staff to fellow ratio ensures individual attention and a true voice in the program for each participating physician. Working together, we train cardiovascular disease specialists with superb clinical skills, a lifelong commitment to learning, and the ability to function as leaders in their medical communities.
About Our Curriculum
Building Clinical Proficiency through Training, Research
Individual attention, hands-on procedural training, and emphasis on clinical research define our program curriculum. Our small size enables each fellow to work one-on-one with a faculty member during all clinical rotations, refining their skills and seeing firsthand best practices in cardiovascular disease diagnosis, management, and processes. Fellows also hone their teaching and leadership skills by supervising the activities of residents and medical students. Our dual-site program maximizes experience with training in both private and public hospital settings.
Clinical resources are abundantly available in both institutions. In addition to the latest imaging and cardiovascular technology, fellows practice real-life medical situations and procedures in a state-of-the-art simulation environment in HCMC’s Interdisciplinary Simulation and Education Center.
Both organizations maintain a long tradition of clinical research, with numerous faculty and two research foundations, the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation and the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, available to support our fellows’ projects. Recent clinical trials at HCMC include acute coronary syndromes, atrial fibrillation, acute and chronic heart failure, lipid management, hypertension, and sleep apnea. The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation’s researchers conduct over 100 studies annually and are at the forefront of emerging stem cell technology. In the last 5 years of the program, our fellows have published 28 papers, 58 national presentations, and 2 book chapters.
About Our Educational Experience
Didactic Opportunities with Dedicated Research Time
The Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship requires all fellows to participate in scholarly activities. Scheduling allows fellows to perform research concurrently with clinical activities, as well as one month of dedicated research time. Following are details on our general required conferences, our research curriculum, and other didactic activities.
Minneapolis Heart Institute Grand Rounds:
- Mondays, 7-8 a.m.
- Meets at Abbott-Northwestern Hospital, Education Building, Watson Room.
- This clinically based conference features invited speakers who are experts in their fields.
- Fellows are required to attend all conferences in person or through video conference.
Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory Conference:
- Tuesdays, 7:30-8:30 a.m.
- Meets at HCMC, Room R5.252.
- This case-based clinical conference highlights evidence-based medicine and implementation of new guidelines for treatment, outcomes, and quality.
- Features clinical cases and recent advancements noted in the literature.
- Topical experts will speak and/or moderate discussion.
Core Curriculum Conference:
- Thursdays, 12:30 to 4 pm
- Alternates between HCMC and Abbott-Northwestern Hospital.
Access to the Jesse R. Edwards Registry of Cardiovascular Disease:
- Meets weekly during Cardiovascular Prevention and Vascular Disease rotation
- Fellows gain access to more than 21,000 cardiac specimens of congenital and acquired heart disease, including many sudden cardiac death cases and rare conditions
- Specimens are available for hands-on research and study
Research is a key component of our curriculum; skills taught include:
- Critical review of literature
- Clinical trial design
- Hypothesis testing
- Ethical concerns in human subjects research
We pair each fellow with a research advisor during the first year (PGY-4). The Program Director’s office will track the nature of scholarly activities and academic productivity in terms of projects, clinical trials, grants, abstracts, presentations, papers, and book chapters.
About Our Faculty
Study with Active Practitioners and Clinical Researchers
More than 70 providers from HCMC and Abbott-Northwestern Hospital actively participate in the Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship. These specialists are leaders in their fields and work directly with our fellows. At HCMC, our faculty hold leadership positions within our healthcare system as well as teaching positions at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Abbott-Northwestern Hospital faculty manage one of the nation’s leading private heart institutes. Many are actively pursuing clinical research at their respective facilities.
- Dr. Bradley A. Bart, Program Director, Chief – Cardiology Division, HCMC; Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Minnesota
- Dr. Kevin M. Harris, Site Director, Abbott-Northwestern Hospital/Minneapolis Heart Institute
Areas of Expertise
Every day our faculty share their dedication and expertise in a variety of key disciplines:
Dr. Rehan Karim
Dr. Fouad Bachour
Dr. Woubeshet Ayenew
Cardiovascular CT and MRI
Dr. John Lesser
Dr. Kevin M. Harris
Dr. Marc Newell
Dr. Kasia Hryniewicz
Dr. Ivan Chavez
Professional Leadership and Awards
Faculty members have served in state and national organizations at all levels. These include:
- John Lesser, President, Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography
- Investigator, International Registry of Acute Aortic Dissections (IRAD)
- Stem Cell Network, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
- Minnesota Heart Failure Consortium
- United States Renal Data System (USRDS) CV Lead Researcher
- Associate Editors
About Our Graduates
In the brief history of our program, 5 graduating classes (10 graduates), 3 have gone on to prestigious interventional fellowships at Beth Israel (Kalra), Duke (Kohl) and MHI (Sandoval). One has gone on to heart failure fellowship at Methodist –DeBakey (Miranda).
5 of the 10 graduates are in traditional academic positions:
- Case Western (Kalra)
- Med College of WI (Thordsen)
- Mayo Clinic (Sandoval)
- HCMC (Carlson, Kohl)
About Our Rotations
Every day during clinical activities, the program pairs each fellow with one faculty member. This approach provides individual attention to strengthen learning and ensure appropriate supervision.
We structure all rotations to comply with duty hours; there is no in-house call at night. Fellows take night call from home 1-2 times per week, not to exceed the 80 hours per week standard. All rotations include one day off per week.
- Inpatient rotations include cardiology consultation at both HCMC and Abbott-Northwestern Hospital and advanced heart failure at Abbott-Northwestern Hospital. Each fellow and their paired faculty member round daily. Faculty are also available nightly for emergencies. During inpatient consultation rotations, fellows also serve as team leaders and supervise residents and medical students. Duties include bedside teaching, interpreting diagnostic studies, developing treatment plans, interacting with family members, helping prepare written and oral presentations, and distributing pertinent articles from published literature.
- Imaging rotations include echocardiography and TEE, nuclear cardiac imaging, cardiac CT, and cardiac MRI. Experienced faculty supervise these rotations. For each imaging study, faculty perform interpretations side-by-side with fellows to review anatomy, physiology, and clinical application.
- Cath lab rotations have one-on-one faculty supervision and interaction with fellows. Faculty review the fellow’s pre-catheterization workup and confirm appropriate indications and safety assessments. Faculty directly supervise and guide all aspects of a procedure, and review findings after the case.
- Ambulatory clinics include one-on-one staffing, where fellows and faculty review the diagnosis and treatment plan for each patient.
Our policy permits three weeks vacation per year.
Advanced Heart Failure (Abbott-Northwestern Hospital)
Fellows will round five days a week on the inpatient Advanced Heart Failure service. Working directly with a faculty member, each fellow will see patients with severe heart failure and learn the multidisciplinary approach needed to manage these complex patients.
Advanced Imaging (HCMC and Abbott-Northwestern Hospital)
Fellows work five days a week with faculty assigned to nuclear cardiac imaging, cardiac CT, and MRI. Key learnings include indications and appropriateness criteria for these important diagnostic tests, various imaging protocols, instrumentation, and clinical correlates of test results.
Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory (HCMC and Abbott-Northwestern Hospital)
Fellows will participate in diagnostic cases in the cardiac catheterization lab, including coronary angiography, left ventriculography, right heart catheterization, invasive hemodynamic monitoring, assessment of valvular heart disease, and pericardiocentesis. An opportunity exists for some exposure to peripheral arterial angiography.
Cardiovascular Prevention and Vascular Disease Elective (HCMC and Abbott-Northwestern Hospital)
Includes a variety of clinical experiences, including cardiac rehabilitation, vascular clinic, smoking cessation clinic, lipid clinic, and review of cardiac anatomy at the internationally acclaimed Jesse R. Edwards Registry of Cardiovascular Disease, with rotations split between locations.
Continuity Clinic (Variable across the HCMC and Abbott-Northwestern systems)
All fellows will participate in continuity clinic one half-day each week throughout the three-year program.
Echocardiography Laboratory (HCMC and Abbott-Northwestern Hospital)
Fellows will advance their skills in transthoracic (TTE), transesophageal (TEE), and stress echocardiography in our high volume echo lab. Expect to perform and interpret all three modalities. Rotations occur at both locations.
Fellows may customize their learning experience with rotations arranged to suit their individual career development plans. Possible electives include Cardiology Subspecialty Clinics (available at HCMC or Abbott-Northwestern Hospital), Echocardiography Laboratory, and Electrophysiology.
Electrophysiology (HCMC and Abbott-Northwestern Hospital)
Fellows study EP during the first half of the second year, and again during the third year of training. Rotations include consultative electrophysiology, involvement in cardioversions, tilt table testing, pacemaker and implantable defibrillator interrogation with follow up in a dedicated pacemaker clinic setting, diagnostic electrophysiology studies and ablations, and insertion of temporary pacemakers.
Inpatient Cardiology Consultations (HCMC)
Fellows will provide comprehensive cardiovascular consultative services to all patients at HCMC.
Inpatient Cardiology Consultations (Abbott-Northwestern Hospital)
Fellows will round five days a week and on scheduled Saturdays on the inpatient consultative service. Working directly with a faculty member, each fellow will experience a wide variety of cardiovascular disease representative for a typical inpatient consultative subspecialty service.
Advanced Clinical Training with an Individual Approach
Fellows complete 18 months of rotations each at Abbott and HCMC sites. In addition to the ACGME required rotations, the fellows can individualize their curriculum according to their interests and career goals. It is possible to gain level II training in multiple disciplines. Fellows can elect up to 6 months of dedicated research time and/or a 1 month international cardiology experience.
What Sets Us Apart?
Commitment to education.
Training isn't a sideline at HCMC; it's a core part of our culture, reflected in our emphasis on learning, innovation, and collaboration. Nearly 300 physicians study with us each year as residents, fellows, and medical students. After 40 years of educating cardiovascular specialists in partnership with the University of Minnesota Medical School, we launched our own Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship and enrolled our first fellows in 2011.
Focused clinical approach.
Cardiovascular education at HCMC means practical, hands-on training to produce the best specialists in the field. From day one, our fellows experience the full spectrum of cardiovascular cases, including advanced heart failure and transplants at Abbott-Northwestern Hospital, and cardiothoracic surgery, peripheral arterial disease, and cardiovascular diagnostic and interventional procedures at HCMC.
Individual attention and leadership.
Our program offers unprecedented learning and leadership opportunities. Every day, we pair each fellow with a faculty member for all clinical activities. In addition, HCMC's role as a major public teaching hospital allows fellows to consult with patients and providers across the organization, and to act as a resource for residents, medical students, and subspecialty fellows.
Cutting-edge equipment and procedures.
Our facilities and our curriculum integrate the latest technology. Fellows learn and utilize our advanced cardiovascular imaging system, including myocardial perfusion imaging, CT, and MRI, integrated Epic electronic health records, Interdisciplinary Simulation and Education Center, new electrophysiology lab, and other state-of-the-art tools.
Diverse case mix.
Few settings offer the range of clinical experience available in our program. At HCMC, the region's safety net hospital and the State's busiest emergency department, fellows work in a high-volume setting to treat patients from varied ethnic and economic backgrounds. Practice at Abbott-Northwestern Hospital exposes fellows to a private teaching/research cardiology practice that is the primary referral center for more than 100 clinics and 11 hospitals in Minnesota.
Clinical research opportunities.
Our fellows learn and conduct clinical research as a key component of their education. Both organizations host active research programs and maintain their own research foundations.
Applications Due August 15
Prospective candidates must show completion of a three-year residency in internal medicine at an ACGME-accredited institution.
Your application must include:
- Medical school transcripts
- Curriculum vitae
- Three letters of recommendation
- Personal statement
Non-resident applicants must possess a J1 visa or green card; this program does not accept H1B visas. Non-resident candidates should submit an ECFMG certificate and results of Step I and II (required) and Step III (if completed) along with their application.
- Submission: Submit your application through the Electronic Resident Application System (ERAS). Contact your medical school’s student affairs or dean’s office for instructions. We do not accept applications through the mail. The Cardiac Disease Fellowship will contact selected candidates individually; we do participate in the National Resident Matching Program.
- Scoring: Each applicant will be scored based on these criteria:
- Medical school transcripts
- Demonstrated clinical excellence and professionalism
- Honors and accomplishments
- Letters of recommendation
- Interviews: Selected applicants will be invited for interviews. We conduct interviews in September and October.
- Decision: The Cardiac Disease Fellowship will contact selected candidates individually; we do participate in the National Resident Matching Program.
About Our Facility
Fellows rotate equally between two leading hospitals in Minneapolis to experience firsthand the day-to-day operations of a major public hospital and a privately-owned cardiology practice.