About the Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Program

The Cardiovascular Diseases fellowship programs provides 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.

The program now offers two separate training pathways to accommodate the training needs of each individual fellow—a clinical pathway (three years) and a research pathway.  These are two distinct pathways within GME at VCUMC.  The clinical program will be appropriate for the majority of our fellows and involves a three year clinical curriculum with protected time for scholarly activities.  Graduates of the clinical pathway pursue careers in private practice as well as academic practice, often as clinician educators.

The T32 Training Program within the Division of Cardiology at VCU Health is a 4 year (2+2) CV medicine training program designed to provide cardiology training to post-doctoral physicians-scientists capable of developing new advances in multi-disciplinary translational cardiovascular (CV) research directed toward the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease. Trainees of this program will participate in translational CV science using cellular, small animal, or single and multi-center population cohorts and clinical trials for the purpose of applying this knowledge to design and lead future studies regarding important questions in cardiovascular health.  

Cardiovascular disease fellows in both pathways do clinical rotations at VCU Medical Center and at the affiliated Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center (MVAMC). The fellows will spend approximately 70% of the time at VCU Medical Center over the course of three years.   The range of cardiology services and experiences offered at the MVAMC parallel those offered at VCUMC.  The MVAMC is a full service hospital offering veterans the full range of cardiovascular care including advanced electrophysiology and heart failure therapies (Heart Transplantation).  The research opportunities for the clinical track fellow and T32 fellow are available at both institutions, which together present broad and complementary clinical and research faculties.

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 and transplant/heart failure.

Responsibility for the management of the Cardiology Fellowship Program, and for the successful completion of appropriate training for each fellow, resides in the Division Chief, Dr. Kenneth Ellenbogen, Director of the Pauley Heart Center, Dr. William Gregory Hundley, and the Program Director, Dr. Gautham Kalahasty. Major determinants of the structure of the Fellowship Program are the American Board of Internal Medicine subspecialty requirements for Cardiovascular Disease, and the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Bethesda Conference on Adult Cardiology Training. Additional determinants of program contents include the career plans and special needs of individual fellows, the requirements for adequate clinical exposure to ensure clinical excellence.   Finally, the fellows and faculty continuously contribute to improving program to be at the forefront of the ever-evolving field of cardiology.  Rotations, electives and didactic content is regularly modified to meet the educational needs of fellows maintain the academic and clinical excellence.  

Welcome from the Program Director

Welcome from the Program Director

Welcome from the Program Director

Welcome to the Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Program at Virginia Commonwealth University.   The fellowship program is committed to training world class clinical and academic cardiologists capable of practicing in any setting.  The educational opportunities offered at VCU Medical Center and the associated McGuire Veterans Administration Hospital form the basis for truly comprehensive exposure to modern cardiology practice. 

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The fellows in this program have a remarkable record of scholarly activity.  Below is a sample of recent publications within the last three years.  This list does not include poster presentations or oral presentations as national and international professional society meetings.

All fellows receive a total of 4 weeks vacation, taken in 1-2 week blocks and 1 week during Christmas or New Years.

Night Float
Integrated into the weekly rotation schedule.

Weekend Coverage
Integrated into weekly rotation schedule.

GME Resident & Fellow Well-Being
Graduate Medical Education training is not easy. With the GME Physician Well-being program, we first and foremost assert our commitment to your well-being, resilience and all aspects of a healthy lifestyle. VCU and VCUHealth are dedicated to ensuring that you have the tools you need to be your best. (Learn more)

All About VCU, VCUHealth, and RVA
First things first. We fondly refer to Richmond as RVA.  People love this city because it’s awesome. And Virginia Commonwealth University is in the middle of it all.  Learn more about VCU, VCUHealth, and RVA!

Gautham Kalahasty, MD

Gautham Kalahasty, MD

Program Director

Gautham Kalahasty, MD

Gautham Kalahasty, MD

Program Director

Internal Medicine

Division of Cardiology

Email: gautham.kalahasty@vcuhealth.org

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View Faculty Expertise Profile

Kenneth A. Ellenbogen, MD

Kenneth A. Ellenbogen, MD

Division Chair

Kenneth A. Ellenbogen, MD

Kenneth A. Ellenbogen, MD

Division Chair

Internal Medicine

Division of Cardiology

Email: kenneth.ellenbogen@vcuhealth.org

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View Faculty Expertise Profile

Class of 2023

Dr. Chaturvedi

Abhishek Chaturvedi, MBBS
Medical School:  Pt. B. D. Sharma Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Rohtak, India 
Residency: Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA 

Dr. Chuquin

David Chuquin, MD
Medical School:  Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, VA
Residency:  Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, VA

Dr. Kapoor

Kunal Kapoor, MD
Medical School:  Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, VA
Residency: University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital

Dr. Mao

Yuxuan Mao, MD, MS
Medical School:  University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Residency:  East Carolina University / Vidant Medical Center 

Dr. Mitchell

Brian K. Mitchell, MD
Medical School:  University of Mississippi Medical Center
Residency:  Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, VA

Usman Ghani Piracha, MBBS
Medical School:  King Edward Medical University, Pakistan
Residency: St Luke’s Hospital, Chesterfield MO 

Class of 2022


Rajiv Kabadi, MD, MS
Medical School:  New York Medical College
Residency:  Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University


Dinesh Kadariya, MBBS
Medical School:  Nalanda Medical College
Residency:  Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine


Joseph Nicolazzi, DO
Medical School:  Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, Carolinas Campus
Residency:  Wake Forest University School of Medicine 


Sumon Roy, MA, MD
Medical School:  Boston University School of Medicine
Residency:  Rochester General Hospital 


Anna Tomdio, MD
Medical School:  Ross University School of Medicine
Residency:  Vidant Medical Center/East Carolina University 


Xin Wei, MBBS
Medical School:  Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Residency:  Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Class of 2021


Amar Doshi, MD
Medical School: Wake Forest School of Medicine - WF Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC
Residency: University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH


Ajay Pillai, MD
Medical School: Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, Augusta, GA
Residency: Augusta University Medical Center, Augusta GA


Jaideep Patel, MD
Medical School: American University of Antigua College of Medicine, Antigua and Barbuda
Residency: Medstar Franklin Square Medical Center – University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD


Aaron Schatz, MD
Medical School: Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, VA 
Residency: VCU School of Medicine, Richmond, VA


Zachary Tushak, DO
Medical School: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Erie, PA
Residency: University of Connecticut, Farmington, CT


Chau Vo, MD
Medical School: University of Central Florida College of Medicine, University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Ho Chi Minh City Viet Nam
Residency: VCU School of Medicine, Richmond, VA

Class of 2020


Justin Heizer, MD
Medical School: Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA
Residency: Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine, Charleston, SC


Arehzo Jahangiri, MD
Medical School: Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, VA 
Residency: VCU School of Medicine, Richmond, VA


Pranav Mankad, MD
Medical School: Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA 
Residency: VCU School of Medicine, Richmond, VA


Kunal Sangal, MD
Medical School: Boston University School of Medicine, Boston MA 
Residency: Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Chief Resident: Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC


April Shewmake, DO
Medical School: Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Des Moines, IA 
Residency: University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA


Todd Teigeler, MD
Medical School: VCU School of Medicine, Richmond, VA 
Residency: Brown University, Providence, RI


Eligibility Requirements

A major aim of the Cardiology fellowship is to offer comprehensive training that will prepare fellows for careers in either academic medicine or clinical practice.

We typically have six first year positions to fill; we interview upwards of 50 applicants for the six positions. As you are probably aware, fellowship programs are extremely competitive. The number of applicants is increasing each year. To help guide your decision in applying.  Here are some of our requirements:

1. Fellows must have U.S. citizenship or a permanent or J1 Visa.  YOU MUST POSSESS YOUR PERMANENT OR J-1 VISA AT THE TIME OF YOUR FELLOWSHIP APPLICATION. H-1 Visa will NOT be considered.

2. Graduates of foreign (not U.S. or Canadian) medical schools should have three years of residency in internal medicine in the primary hospital of a university medical school in the U.S. or Canada. We cannot consider candidates without residency in a university hospital.

3. Personal statements should provide background information about you. We are interested in knowing why you have chosen Cardiology and what you plan to do after fellowship. We would also like to know what special interests you have during fellowship so we can include appropriate faculty among your interviews.

4. We judge you most heavily on what is comparable to other members of your cohort, e.g.:

  • Class standing in medical school.
  • Scores on USMLE examinations.
  • The quality of your residency program.
  • Research productivity.
  • Letters of recommendation are required. Please ask letter writers to objectively compare your work with that of your peers. The letter from the Chairman or Director of your residency program should summarize the scores of the latest evaluations of your work by the residency evaluation group, or in some way show where you stand among your peers.

How To Apply

All applications to the Cardiology Fellowship Program should go through ERAS. Starting in 2019, 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 June 7. 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 June 7 when you receive your 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 June 7. When reference letters are requested, we recommend that faculty members be notified that their letters should be ready for submission to ERAS on June 7, if possible.

Required Documentation

All applicants must apply through ERAS and register with the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). Along with your application, we require several documents that ERAS does not scan.

They are: 

  • a 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); and a fourth reference letter. 
  • Social Security number/card.

Our ideal candidate has completed three years of Residency in Internal Medicine in a university hospital.

*** The majority of the documents described in “Required Documents” are required by ERAS. However, ERAS will not scan several of the documents that we require, i.e. social security card, 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 (if selected for fellowship):

VCU School of Medicine
Dept of Internal Medicine
Box 980509
Richmond, VA 23298-0509
Phone: (804) 828-9726
Email: imfellowships@vcuhealth.org

Application Timeline

We plan on interviewing applicants on Thursdays during August through November. 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 August 1.

Interview Information

Interview Days will be approximately 07:30 am to 4:00 pm.  This will include Cardiology Conference, a meet and greet and program overview, interviews with five faculty members and current fellows, lunch and a tour by current fellows and a wrap up with the Program Director.

Attention:  In support of our applicants, we will be flexible in providing virtual and on-site fellowship interview opportunities.  We understand that applicants may have restrictions on travel during this time.  Our interview schedule may change as we approach the late summer and fall.  We appreciate your patience and understanding; we will absolutely work to accommodate all applicants as best possible during the COVID pandemic.

Program Director

Gautham Kalahasty, MD
Phone: (804) 828-7576 
Email: gautham.kalahasty@vcuhealth.org

Fellowship Coordinator

Jeanette Wood
VCU School of Medicine
Dept of Internal Medicine
Box 980509
Richmond, VA 23298-0509 
Phone: (804) 828-9726
Email: imfellowships@vcuhealth.org