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Clinical Training

The UC San Diego Cardiovascular Diseases Program trains fellows to achieve clinical excellence in a high volume and complex patient population. The program is composed of three years of clinical training with the majority of the third year dedicated to research and elective time. Cardiovascular Disease fellows will achieve competency in the fundamentals of cardiovascular disease, including arrhythmias, acute coronary syndromes, heart failure, heart transplant medicine, mechanical circulatory support, valvular diseases, interventional cardiology, inflammatory diseases of the heart, as well as training in adult congenital heart disease, nuclear cardiology, and advanced cardiac imaging. Fellows are exposed to a high clinical volume and patient complexity to bolster both clinical mastery as well as procedural skills. Fellows can achieve at least level II COCATS requirements for diagnostic catheterization, echocardiography, nuclear cardiology and cardiac CT as well as sufficient experience with ECG interpretation. All fellows will train among the core cardiology and cardiovascular subspecialty services provided at UC San Diego, including:

  • Inpatient Cardiology and Cardiac ICU: fellows will manage a complex patient population with a wide range of cardiovascular disease states ranging from floor level of care to critically ill patients requiring mechanical ventilation, mechanical circulatory support and/or emergent procedures.
  • Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant: fellows will manage a critically ill population including before and after heart transplant / LVAD placement including mechanical circulatory support and ECMO.
  • Inpatient Cardiology Consult Service: fellows provide consultative care for a wide range of cardiovascular disease states to non-cardiology services.
  • Echocardiography: fellows will perform and interpret transthoracic echocardiograms, transesophageal echocardiograms and supervise and interpret stress tests
  • Interventional Cardiology: fellows will perform diagnostic coronary angiography, left heart catheterization, right heart catheterization, percutaneous mechanical circulatory support placement, valve studies, congenital studies, percutaneous closure techniques, and pericardiocentesis.
  • Electrophysiology: fellows will provide electrophysiology consultative care to the inpatient population for advanced arrhythmia care as well as participate in implantable cardiac device placement, generator exchanges, electrophysiology studies, atrial ablations, ventricular ablations, loop recorder placements, pacemaker extractions, and tilt table testing.
  • Adult Congenital Heart Disease: fellows will provide outpatient cardiovascular care to the adult congenital heart disease population.
  • Advanced Cardiac Imaging: fellows will supervise and interpret coronary CT and cardiac MRIs.
  • Nuclear Cardiology: fellows will supervise and interpret nuclear cardiology studies (Myocardial Perfusion Imaging Tests) as well as PET scans.
  • Outpatient Cardiology: fellows will manage their own panel of patients at two continuity clinics located at the UC San Diego Hillcrest location and the VA at San Diego.

Fellows will rotate through all three sites at UC San Diego, including the Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center and the nearby Jacobs Medical Center, UC San Diego at Hillcrest, and the VA San Diego.

Educational Conferences

UC San Diego emphasizes a culture of evidence-based learning through the use of regular educational conferences and colleague-driven discussion. For general fellows, there is a weekly catheterization conference and fellow lecture series that focus on core cardiovascular topics to foster fundamental concept learning and decision-making skills. Additionally, during non-summer months, Cardiology Grand Rounds are held every Friday. Journal clubs and board review sessions are also held periodically throughout the year. Lastly, each subspecialty service including Electrophysiology, Interventional Cardiology, Adult Congenital Heart Disease, Heart Failure and Cardiac Imaging hosts individual educational conferences throughout the week that fellows attend when rotating on a given service. See below for a list of educational conferences. Of note, in light of COVID-19 pandemic, conferences have been temporarily converted to virtual conferences.

Fellow Didactic Curriculum Lecture 
Core curriculum conference for cardiovascular disease fellows
Date: Tuesdays at 7:30 AM
Location: ACTRI, Third Floor

Cardiac Catheterization Conference
Interventional-based conference for cardiovascular disease fellows
Date: Thursdays at 4:30 PM
Location: ACTRI, Third Floor

Cardiovascular Medicine Grand Rounds:
Cutting edge cardiovascular topics presented by world-renown faculty
Date: Fridays at 8:00 AM
Location: ACTRI, First Floor, Grand Auditorium

Interventional Cardiology Conference
Interventional case-base and topic-based conference
Date: Wednesdays at 7:30 AM
Location: ACTRI, Third Floor

Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Conference
Core heart failure and transplant curriculum
Date: Tuesdays at 7:00 AM
Location: ACTRI, Third Floor

Electrophysiology Conference
Electrophysiology topics presented by world-renown electrophysiology faculty
Date: Thursdays at 8:00 AM
Location: ACTRI, Third Floor

Adult Congenital Heart Disease Conference
ACHD topics and case-based presentations
Date: Mondays at 7:00 AM
Location: ACTRI, Third Floor

Science Conference       
Presentations and updates on breakthrough science from leading UCSD scientists
Date: Fridays at 11:30 AM
Location: CNCB Large Conference Room/ Marilyn F. Farquhar Seminar Room