About the Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology Fellowship Program
The Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology Fellowship Program aims to provide our fellows with a world class training experience that will enable them to pursue a successful career in cardiac electrophysiology, either in academic medicine or private practice. Trainees spend time at both McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center. We have eight full-time faculty members. Fellows gain extensive experience at each site in a wide variety of procedures, including ablation of supraventricular and ventricular arrhythmias, and gain extraordinary competence in atrial fibrillation ablation. Radiofrequency energy and cryothermal energy are routinely used at our institutions and fellows gain in depth understanding of the biophysics of ablation in both modalities. Fellows will gain enormous experience in ablation of AF and VT including novel mapping technologies as well as ablation technologies like ethanol ablation of ligament of Marshall. All graduating fellows are competent in performing and interpreting intracardiac echocardiographic (ICE) studies. Fellows will be exposed to left atrial occlusion procedures as well.
Fellows' Perspectives on the Program
“The Electrophysiology Fellowship program at VCU offers a perfect balance between teaching, mentorship, research opportunities and practical procedural experience needed to make you well-rounded as an EP when you finish training. The best part of training here is that all of the above happens in a very healthy, positive and supportive work environment. I can undoubtedly say that coming to VCU has been the best decision I have made as a trainee.”
“VCU is an amazing place to train. Superb mentorship, comprehensive hands-on training, and world-class academics. I left training knowing that I was completely prepared to practice.”
Graduating fellows are competent in managing complex issues pertaining to implantable devices. They will gain experience in laser and mechanical extraction of leads with various tools, including femoral snares, goose neck snares, and bioptomes. They will be proficient at implanting His bundle pacemakers, biventricular pacemakers and defibrillators, and subcutaneous ICDs, as well as performing venoplasty, troubleshooting device malfunction and providing leadership and managing complex cases referred by electrophysiologists in the community.
Fellows also get an incredible experience with both endocardial and epicardial approaches to ablation of ventricular arrhythmias. They participate in surgical mapping of ventricular arrhythmias in patients with percutaneously inaccessible VTs. The training program includes the opportunity to evaluate and perform procedures in children with arrhythmias (as young as age 5). Fellows will evaluate patients with autonomic disorders.
Pericardiology and appendology are unique strong suits of our program. Electrophysiology fellows from VCU/MCV are well versed in accessing the pericardial space and the EP service is routinely asked to access pericardial effusions that are deemed too high a surgical risk or too posterior for surgical access.
Fellows are always exposed to novel therapeutics, such as bedside non-fluorosopic stellate ganglion blockade for refractory ventricular arrhythmias and left atrial appendage closure with WATCHMAN or LARIAT suture device.
There are basic science research facilities and collaborative activities at Virginia Commonwealth University with faculty members in the departments of Physiology and Pharmacology and Toxicology, as well as opportunities to do clinical research in most aspects of diagnosis and treatment of clinical arrhythmias with ablation and device therapy. There are opportunities to interact with both faculty and graduate students in the Biomedical Engineering school, and members in the departments of Pathology and Radiology.
Our mission is to provide world class clinical training in all areas cardiac rhythm management, including medical management, device implantation, and multiple modalities of ablation.