Advanced Heart Failure and Transplantation Fellowship

The Advanced Heart Failure Fellowship at Virginia Commonwealth University is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The fellowship is designed to provide a comprehensive clinical and academic education that covers the management and diagnosis of cardiomyopathies, heart transplantation, mechanical circulatory support and pulmonary hypertension. The fellows will spend their time at the Medical College of Virginia Hospital at VCU for his or her clinical rotations. The heart transplantation program at VCU has a rich history and was one of the first in the country. Successful completion of this program will result in the fellow being eligible to become a UNOS certified Heart Transplant physician and be eligible for the Subspecialty Cardiovascular Board of Advanced Heart Failure and Transplantation.

During the 12-month clinical fellowship, the fellow will spend 6 months (non-consecutive) with primary responsibilities in the inpatient setting and 6 months in the outpatient setting. Please see link for sample rotation schedule.

During the outpatient rotations, the fellow will work in clinics focused on the ambulatory management of mechanical assist devices, heart transplant patients and pulmonary hypertension. These will be in addition to the clinics focused on the ambulatory management of chronic heart failure and cardiomyopathies.

During the inpatient rotation, the fellow will lead the inpatient advanced heart failure service. Additionally, the trainee will round on patients in the cardiology ICU, cardiac surgery ICU and a dedicated the mechanical circulatory support unit. During the fellowship year, the trainee will work closely with 6 dedicated heart failure cardiologists and 3 transplant and mechanical device cardiac surgeons.

Trainees will become experienced in patients selections for advanced mechanical circulatory devices. They will become experienced in the management of left ventricular assist devices, biventricular assist devices, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation pumps and the total artificial heart. They will see and follow these patients with assist devices in the inpatient setting and also participate in the ambulatory management of patients with LVADs and artificial hearts with portable drivers.

The trainee will play an active role during the transplant meetings and multidisciplinary rounds. They will be expected to evaluate and present new patients referred for heart transplantation or assist devices. They will participate in the donor selection and immunological management of these patients after transplantation.

In addition to clinical responsibilities, there will be a weekly clinical core conference focused on advanced heart failure throughout the entire year. The curriculum will be comprehensive, covering relevant materials in the field of advanced heart failure, heart transplantation, assist devices and pulmonary hypertension. Please see this link for sample conference curriculum.

Mission

  • To produce compassionate physicians capable of delivering the highest quality medical care to patients in a variety of settings.

  • To create a collegial and supportive setting for intellectual growth.

  • To partner with our fellows in contributing to the science of medicine through mentorship, research opportunities and dissemination of information.

  • To contribute to the science and art of medical education through innovation in training methods.

  • To partner with our housestaff in gracefully accepting the challenges of providing care to the medically underserved.

  • To promote lifelong learning in the context of a rapidly changing healthcare environment.

Values

Our housestaff and faculty are guided in our work by our commitment to:

  • Clinical excellence
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Scientific Discovery
  • Innovation
  • Collegiality
  • Diversity
  • Equity
  • Integrity
  • Teamwork
  • Transparency