Interventional Cardiology Fellowship

Interventional Cardiology Fellowship

Goal and Mission

The primary goal of the University of Louisville Interventional Cardiology Training Program is to provide the highest quality training in the field of Interventional Cardiology. All trainees will be required to develop and demonstrate competence in the procedural skills, clinical knowledge, judgment, and most importantly the professionalism required to become an academic Interventional Cardiologist. Upon completion of the training program, each trainee will have acquired the competency to pass the appropriate specialty boards required to practice independently as a specialist in the field.

Objectives

Our Fellows receive training in the evaluation and management of patients with a wide variety of acute and chronic cardiovascular conditions:

  • Coronary Artery Disease (including those with high-risk lesions or substrate)
  • Peripheral Artery Disease
  • Adult Congenital and Acquired Heart Disease (including Valvular Heart Disease)
  • Aortic Disease
  • Cardiomyopathies
  • Pericardial Disease

Currently our program accepts two Fellows each year, with many fellows coming to the program directly from our general cardiology training program. We remain committed to the highest quality of training for the Fellows in our program.

Evaluation

We feel strongly that frequent evaluation and constructive feedback are essential for Fellows to learn and grow during their training. It is therefore imperative that rotation directors discuss goals and learning objective at the start of each rotation. They must also provide feedback and discuss performance with each Fellow, particularly at the end of the evaluation period.

Fellow and faculty evaluations are officially documented quarterly using the web-based evaluation system. Fellows are evaluated by the faculty members with whom they have worked using the standard ABIM competency categories, as well as program -specific learning objectives set forth by the rotation director.

Fellows may review their evaluations and faculty feedback in the system at any time using their password to gain access to the secure program at either their personal computer or at a hospital workstation. To ensure anonymity, faculty members will receive an anonymous aggregated report once a critical mass of comments has been accumulated

Evaluation of performance is based on the following standard ABIM Competencies: Patient Care, Medical Knowledge, Interpersonal and Communication Skills and Professionalism, as well as the learning objectives of the program as set forth by the Director.

On two occasions per year, division faculty as a whole meet to discuss the performance of trainees in each training program. The program director also completes a final evaluation for fellows who are leaving the program each year. The Program Director also monitors a procedure report to make sure that each fellow has participated in the appropriate number of required procedures.

Fellows may speak freely to the program director at anytime if they have a concern about any aspect of their training. At the end of each year, Fellows are asked to evaluate the program as a whole, and are encouraged to offer suggestions for continuous quality improvement. Comments from program graduates are solicited by means of a survey, which is sent after one year, and again after five years, asking them to evaluate their training and request their recommendations for program improvement.

Program Requirements/Curriculum

Our program is accredited for one-year and complies with all Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Educational (ACGME) requirements including the guidelines and recommendations of the American College of Cardiology (COCATS). We accept two to three fellows per year, and our training program in structural heart disease complies with formal training requirements outlined by the ACC/AHA/SCAI statement for clinical competence. Upon completion of our program, Fellows will be equipped with the knowledge, skills and abilities to meet the requirements for certification in interventional cardiovascular diseases, as determined by the ACGME and the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Conferences

All fellows are required to attend the weekly interventional conference, which includes film review, journal club in addition to quality improvement discussion. Numerous other Divisional conferences are held on a continuing basis, including a multidisciplinary research conference, echo conference, and subspecialty conferences in electrophysiology, interventional cardiology, and heart failure/transplantation. In addition, a combined cardiology-cardiothoracic surgery valve conference and an advanced imaging conference are held for all fellows to attend. Fellows are encouraged to attend as interest and time dictate.

Training Activities

All teaching activities are carried out by the faculty (full-time and gratis) within the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and all key faculty are boarded in Interventional Cardiology. The ratio of key faculty to fellows is >3:1.

All faculty are expected to demonstrate the highest standards of patient care, scholarship and clinical knowledge in their capacity as educators and role models for the trainees. Because the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine is directly affiliated with the Department of Medicine and training programs in both Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease, Fellows are able to maintain their skills in the aspects of general internal medicine and those that relate to Cardiology. They will interact closely with the medicine residents and interns as they rotate through the Interventional Cardiology service. Fellows will also maintain close working relationships with faculty and Fellows in other divisions of Medicine and in other departments in their role as consultative physicians. They will also work closely with technicians, physician assistants, nurses and other staff in the division.

Fellows also participate in one weekly outpatient clinic during their year of their training. This important aspect of the training will allow Fellows to apply what they are learning in their clinical training to the actual practice of medicine, under the guidance and supervision of their clinical mentor. Fellows may set up their outpatient clinic with the clinical mentor of their choice at the University of Louisville Outpatient Center (HCOC) or the VA Medical Center.

In addition to providing an intense training in PTCA/PCI, intravascular ultrasound, fractional flow reserve, rotablator and insertion of percutaneous left ventricular assist devices, we are also a regional center for complex atrial septal defect closures (as well as patent foramen ovalve closures), patent ductus arteriosus, ethanol septal ablation, percutaneous valve procedures including balloon valvuloplasty, and transcatheter aortic valve implantation. Fellows also participate in peripheral vascular procedures that with our interventional and vascular surgery staff with exposure to hybrid surgical/endovascular techniques. Our staff perform well over 1500-1700 interventions each year. Each fellow will participate in more than 450 cases.

Training Sites/Facilities

Training activities take place at the Jewish Hospital, University and VA Hospitals. The primary site, the Rudd Heart and Lung Center at Jewish Hospital is a 462-bed internationally renowned, tertiary referral center located in downtown Louisville. The University Hospital is also a regionally and nationally renowned tertiary referral center and Level I Trauma Center. In addition, Fellows will participate in interventional procedures at the VA Medical Center. The primary training site, Jewish Hospital Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, is a state of the art imaging facility performing over 16,500 diagnostic and interventional procedures annually. The cath lab operates 9 procedure rooms and has a hybrid catheterization lab. The Cardiology Section is involved in treating patients with disorders of the heart and vascular tree including coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, valve disease, congenital heart defects, cardiomyopathy, and peripheral vascular disease.

The patient population encountered within the UofL interventional program provides a broad range of cardiovascular disorders. In the course of their training, Fellows will see virtually every known form of adult cardiovascular disorder.

Application

The program accepts applications using ERAS. To apply for the 2015-2016 academic year, please complete the ERAS application (available November 2013). Additionally, applications must be supported by an objective letter of reference from your current Cath Lab Director, Cardiovascular Program Director, and a research mentor.

Applicants must be medical school graduates who have successfully completed three years of Internal Medicine training with certification by the American Board of Internal Medicine. They must have successfully completed or be near completion of a Cardiology Fellowship performed in the United States. Foreign applicants are required to possess or be eligible for appropriate immigration documents. J-1 Clinical Visas, a valid Permanent Resident Card, or valid Employment Authorization Document are acceptable. These documents must be obtained prior to beginning the fellowship or within a reasonable time thereafter.

Once completed applications are reviewed, selected applicants are invited for formal interviews via email. Interviews are held in the spring (March-April).

Sohail Ikram, M.D.

Sohail Ikram, M.D.

Interventional Cardiology Training Program Director

Dr. Sohail Ikram Profile

Karen House

Program Coordinator
Email Karen House
Tel. (502) 852-1845

Financial Support

Fellows are not required to generate any portion of their salary. Fellows in this clinical training program are guaranteed salary support for the year and are supported by clinical funds.

Salary levels for trainees are in line with university required PGY pay scale, and are adjusted on an annual basis.

Fellows are funded to attend one major national conference per year following established University guidelines for reimbursed travel. Travel grants are also made available by several pharmaceutical companies, which may allow additional travel if a Fellow is presenting a paper at more than one professional meeting.

Also provided is a common room, dedicated exclusively to Fellows' activities. This room includes individual workspaces, computers and printers. Fellows are automatically members of the state of the are downtown UofL Athletic Center. On-site parking in the Hospital garage is provided free of charge.