Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant/VAD Fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) is a one-year, ACGME-accredited fellowship of the highest caliber. The fellowship trains the premier clinicians and future leaders in the field of advanced heart disease.
The fellows in this program will gain high-quality clinical training in heart failure, transplant/ ventricular assist device cardiology. Fellows learn from world-class faculty and each other to gain experience in the four major components of heart failure evaluation including etiology and contributing factors, hemodynamic status, appropriateness of therapy to relieve symptoms, prevent disease progression, and prevent unexpected mortality, and thoughtful triage for surgical intervention or end of life care. Additionally, fellows are exposed to ongoing clinical investigation in heart failure and transplant/VAD medicine and expected to participate in new clinical projects with anticipated authorship.
Advanced heart failure fellows and cardiovascular disease fellows have access to all cardiovascular patients admitted to BWH.
It is our goal to graduate each fellow with a portfolio of vital clinical skills, tools for thoughtful decision-making, and a commitment to extend and advance the delivery of care for heart failure.
There are four types of clinical experiences throughout the year including the inpatient heart failure service, transplant/VAD service that includes both inpatient and outpatient care, West Roxbury Veteran’s Administration Medical Center (WRVA) service where fellows will consult on outpatients and inpatients with heart failure and the arrhythmia device clinic. Outpatient Specialties include cancer cardiomyopathy clinic, genetic cardiomyopathy clinic, pulmonary hypertension/right heart failure clinic and amyloidosis clinic. During this outpatient rotation, fellows rotate through the heart failure clinic with BWH heart failure faculty, and time will be divided with slightly more than half of the time dedicated to research.
Fellows will maintain an ambulatory heart failure continuity clinic at the WRVA where they see new consultations and follow-up existing patients. The WRVA is the only VA provider of tertiary cardiovascular care for a broad area of Northern New England which includes all of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and significant portions of Connecticut and Rhode Island. This heart failure clinic serves a complex patient population which is in general elderly with multiple comorbidities.
The Advanced Heart Disease Section is a uniquely multidisciplinary team which recognizes and honors the vital contributions of nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, social workers, and colleagues in Pulmonology, Palliative Care, Gastroenterology, Hematology, Infectious Diseases as well as Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery. Learning how to work effectively and respectfully with this team approach is a central component of the work and learning environment.
Since the inception of this fellowship, 27 fellows have completed training in heart failure/transplantation/mechanical circulatory support, of whom 26 (95 percent) advanced directly into full-time academic positions, and 23 (85 percent) are currently in full-time academic positions.
The Cardiovascular Medicine Division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital has a long history of leading clinical and basic research. The proliferation of therapies for heart failure mandates that the major proportion of training during this year be devoted to acquiring broad clinical competence, but a key part of our mission remains the training of the next generation of clinician scholars who will confront the growing heart failure pandemic. Our fellows are first authors of 37 original full peer-reviewed publications based on research performed during their heart failure training here.
Fellows will be provided dedicated research time during the outpatient subspecialty clinic rotations. All fellows collaborate in design and data collection and will share authorship for several prospective projects based on heart failure admissions. A research work-in-progress meeting will focus on the ongoing projects three Fridays each month. Fellows will receive research mentorship from the Program Director, key clinical faculty, and executive director of the Advanced Heart Failure section, who all have extensive experience as investigators in the fields of heart failure, cardiac transplantation and mechanical circulatory support. Recognizing the time constraint, the fellows are nonetheless encouraged to pursue an additional feasible project that may arise with other faculty within the Advanced Heart Failure section, Cardiac Imaging, Pathology or other affiliated fields.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital is a scientific, clinical and academic stronghold with a long history of firsts. Our culture promotes excellence in patient care, teaching and research and affords an exceptional environment for clinical training and participation in exciting advances in research. Brigham and Women’s Hospital Center for Advanced Heart Disease (CAHD) faculty are all board certified advanced heart failure cardiologists with full-time academic appointments at Harvard Medical School. Every member of our faculty is uniquely skilled and focused, with dedication to providing the best in individualized care for each patient. Each is deeply committed to teaching, with a strong apprentice model that includes daily bedside rounds and clinics. While most of the learning is one-on-one, each faculty member will also provide state-of-the-art updates in their special areas.
The fellows receive training at BWH and the West Roxbury Veteran’s Administration Medical Center (WRVA). The state-of-the-art Shapiro Cardiovascular Center at BWH has 136 beds providing the full range of cardiovascular services.
The WRVA is the tertiary cardiovascular referral center for all Veteran’s Administration medical centers in Northern New England. The WRVA is the only VA provider of tertiary cardiovascular care for a broad area of Northern New England which includes all of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and significant portions of Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Applications for the fellowship are accepted November through January from physicians who will have completed a three-year ACGME-equivalent accredited cardiovascular disease fellowship by the time the advanced heart failure and transplant/VAD cardiology program begins in July. All applicants must register and complete an application form.
We require the following documents to be available for download through ERAS for a complete application to be reviewed:
Our deadline for receipt of your application and all supporting documents will be January 31st. We anticipate all decisions on fellow acceptance will be made by March 15th. Please note that admissions are rolling and positions are often filled prior to the application deadline.
Each application is reviewed in its entirety with an eye toward a combination of overall academic excellence, leadership ability, career development potential and personal character. The program accepts two to three fellows per year.
We interview approximately 8-10 candidates for the advanced heart failure and transplant/VAD cardiology program each year. Although we receive applications from many well-qualified candidates, it is not possible to interview all who apply. Every effort is made to notify applicants of their interview status in a timely manner in order to all sufficient time for making travel arrangements. You may let us know if you are traveling to Boston but it is unusual to interview outside the scheduled dates.
The typical interview day begins with the General Cardiology morning conference, a brief tour, and then attendance at the weekly patient review and selection meeting of in the Center for Advanced Heart Disease. Following the morning meetings, each candidate will meet individually with key faculty members at BWH. Our current heart failure fellows will visit informally with the candidates, provide a tour of the facility and have lunch. In the afternoon, applicants will travel to the West Roxbury VA and meet with key faculty and tour the VA facility.
For the purposes of making travel arrangements, applicants may anticipate being finished with all interview and tour activities by 3 pm on the second day.
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