Program Goals and Objectives
The EP fellowship clinical program is extremely active with nearly 2,000 procedures performed yearly at the VCU Medical Center and more than 500 procedures performed at the McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Graduating fellows typically perform close to 1500 procedures during their training and are capable of initiating or enhancing complex ablation programs and lead management programs across the world. We are actively involved in clinical trials of new pacemakers and defibrillators, and radiofrequency and cryoablation for atrial and ventricular tachyarrhythmias. We are involved in implanting left atrial appendage occlusion devices as well. Facilities at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center include one dedicated electrophysiology laboratory, a treatment area and offices. Facilities at the VCU Medical Center and the McGuire VA medical center include 4 electrophysiology laboratories, a noninvasive procedure room, three exam rooms, and physician and staff offices, all within the Cardiac Electrophysiology Department. Both facilities include: phased array ICE, both CARTO ™ electroanatomic mapping and Ensite (VA) systems and laser for lead extraction.
We are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) for the standard one-year program for two fellowship positions. Our two-year program allows us to offer advanced training and provide additional experience for our trainees in more complex procedures. Our program is the recipient of an AT Fellowship Award, which provides funding for advanced training in electrophysiology. This award has allowed us to offer a third fellowship position.
Fellows typically spend 6-9 months during their first year at the McGuire VA Medical Center. EP fellow responsibilities include inpatient EP consults and all device and ablation procedures. Fellows will also participate in clinic, evaluating device and arrhythmia patients. The remainder of the first year will be spent at VCU participating in device and ablations procedures.
During the second year, fellows spend most of their time in the VCU EP lab, continuing to develop their procedural skills with device implantations and complex catheter ablations. They do not have ambulatory clinic responsibilities in their second year. They spend almost all of their time in the EP labs. Consults are typically addressed by general cardiology fellows and EP attending's.
VCU Fellowship program is proud of our robust conference and didactic teaching schedule. On Mondays, electrogram conferences are taught by Dr. Ellenbogen and one of our attending's from the VA Medical Center – Drs. Kaszala, Huizar and Tan. On Tuesdays, Drs. Kron, Shepard, Kalahasty and Koneru teach electrogram interpretation, device trouble shooting and current topics in Cardiac Electrophysiology. This curriculum was designed to supplement the formal lectures and encourage a deeper understanding of core concepts.
Electrophysiology core conferences take place on Wednesday at 7 AM and are attended by all EP faculty, allied professionals, general cardiology and Electrophysiology fellows. This conference includes didactic lectures by faculty on core EP concepts such as Mapping and Recording in the EP lab, Biventricular ICD Implantation, Supraventricular Tachycardia: Diagnosis and Management, Ischemic VT, and Preexcitation Variants. The conference also includes monthly journal club, monthly fellows’ case presentations, and quarterly Morbidity and Mortality conference. The conference schedule is rigorous and has been developed to encompass all aspects of clinical EP over a span of 104 weeks.
2015-2016 EP Fellows Conference Schedule - LINK HERE
Unique Learning Opportunities
Fellow education is a top priority of the VCU EP training program. In addition to twice weekly conferences, fellows have many opportunities to go to educational conferences. In the past few years, fellows have attended Heart Rhythm, AF Symposium, VT Symposium, Josephson and Wellens ECG Interpretation, Josephson and Wellens How to Approach Complex Arrhythmias, and Transvenous Lead Extraction Simulation.
Fellows presenting their research at Heart Rhythm 2015.