Letter from the Program Director

Dear Applicant

Welcome to the University of California, Davis, Cardiovascular Fellowship Program. We offer a three year cardiovascular training program which is registered with the National Resident Match Program. This program is designed to complete the general cardiovascular training requirements for individuals interested in pursuing a career in clinical, academic, or investigative cardiology.

A strong clinical background and training experience are considered essential for each of these tracks. Our goal is to select the best clinicians and expose them to intensive training and research. Each fellow is encouraged to select a track during the second year (clinical, academic, or research) in general cardiology or in one of the various subspecialties. The completion of that track will assure that their personal training goals will be achieved during the fellowship.

First year fellows rotate on the clinical and non-invasive services. On the clinical inpatient and cardiac intensive care service the fellows are exposed to an extremely busy and active service with eight to sixteen admissions per day. They will be exposed to acute and chronic patients with heart failure, arrhythmias, and coronary ischemia. They will learn how to place temporary pacemakers, right-heart catheters, and intraaortic balloons. They will also manage patients who are being referred for appropriate diagnostic and surgical procedures. On the consult service, the fellows will be exposed to a variety of patients on medical and surgical services who need cardiovascular evaluation. Their treatment often requires both diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in anticipation of surgery. On the non-invasive services, the fellow will be expected to learn how to perform and interpret ECG's, Holter, stress tests, M-mode, 2D, Doppler, color-flow and contrast echocardiography examinations. Approximately 25 echo procedures are performed daily on this service. During the first year, the fellow will also rotate on the cardiac catheterization service to gain an introduction into the cardiac catheterization laboratory.

The second year fellows rotate on clinical, non-invasive, and invasive services. During the second year, the major emphasis is on the development of skills in the cardiac catheterization laboratory and in the electrophysiology laboratory. Fellows are responsible for helping to perform, interpret and report diagnostic coronary angiography, left heart catheterization, coronary angioplasty, diagnostic electrophysiology studies and radio frequency catheter ablations. On the non-invasive services, they will be expected to interpret and perform transesophageal echocardiography in the outpatient, inpatient, and surgical arenas. They will also perform pharmacologic, contrast, and stress echo procedures.

During the third year the fellow will be expected to have selected a track to which they would like further exposure. This year will involve further training and experience in either a clinical, academic, or investigative area. Although the primary emphasis will be on developing and completing that tract they will also continue to be exposed to both outpatient and inpatient clinical responsibilities. The amount of time devoted to research, academic teaching, or clinical exposure will vary considerably depending on the fellows interests and career goals.

The requirements for Level 1, 2 and 3 training are listed in the core curriculum.

During the training program, the fellow will be expected to select a mentor at UC Davis to guide them through their selected tracks. Since UC Davis is a large university, these mentors can be drawn from within the Division of Cardiology, the Department of Internal Medicine, the School of Medicine, the Departments of Chemistry, Biology, Veterinary Medicine, Human and Animal Physiology, and Biomedical Engineering on the UC Davis Campus.

In conjunction with the ABIM training requirements, a clinic consisting of continuous patient care exposure will be offered to the fellow. These clinics are offered both at the university hospital as well as at the VA Medical Center in Sacramento.

In addition to attending the various clinical, invasive, and non-invasive services, the fellow will be expected to participate in both clinical and research conferences that are held on a weekly basis. Weekly conferences include clinical cardiology updates, invasive and non-invasive diagnostic conferences, and cardiology research conferences. Additional didactic conferences are scheduled throughout the month. Fellows are expected to attend, participate and present at these conferences. Semi-annual conferences of one to four days duration are also held throughout the year. All fellows are invited to attend and participate in these general cardiology conferences.

If you have a strong background in medicine and would like to begin a comprehensive cardiovascular training program, we would like to invite you to apply to the UC Davis Cardiovascular Fellowship Program. We believe that the completion of this training program will provide you with the training that you need to successfully pursue your goal in clinical, academic, or investigative cardiology.

Please feel free to contact us at cardiofellow@ucdavis.edu if you have any further questions.


Thomas Smith, M.D.
Associate Professor of Medicine
Director, Cardiovascular Fellowship Training Program