Saint Louis University Cardiology Fellowship Program
The Cardiology Division of the Saint Louis University School of Medicine enjoys a rich tradition in training future cardiologists. For over 30 years, the faculty of the division has made it a priority to dedicate a significant amount of time and energy toward the cardiology fellowship program. We take great pride in our training program with an emphasis on clinical cardiology.
The fellowship training program is a 3 year program that recruits four new fellows per year. We currently have one advanced interventional cardiology fellow per year as well. All four spots are routinely selected using the match process through the NRMP. The program has maintained full ACGME accreditation without interruption with the last site visit in 2011. Within the 3 year fellowship program, our fellows are all eligible for ABIM cardiovascular disease board certification. Furthermore, many of our fellows are also eligible for advanced certification in echocardiography through the National Board of Echocardiography and nuclear medicine through the Certification Board of Nuclear Cardiology. Currently, the program focuses on inpatient training at St. Louis University Hospital and the John Cochran VA Hospital. Outpatient experiences are also obtained at multiple sites with the St. Louis region.
Within the 3 years of training, there are 2 distinct phases: the first 24 months which are dedicated to provide level I exposure to all elements of cardiology. The last 12 months are set aside to achieve level II procedural expertise in some focused areas of cardiology. The overall length of experiences is dictated by the American College of Cardiology Training Task Force COCATS document. Specifically, the first 2 years include:
4 months: Cardiac cath lab
7 months: Noninvasive imaging labs
9 months: inpatient and consultation services
2 months: Electrophysiology
There are prescribed research months in the first and second year of training. The exact structure of the third year is determined between the trainee and the program director based on specific needs for future practice. For example, trainees wishing to pursue interventional cardiology training may elect to perform more months of catheterization within the third year while those trainees wishing to achieve a higher level of certification in echocardiography spend more time in the noninvasive laboratories.
Conferences and Teaching
The training program maintains a robust noon conference didactic program on and 8-12 months cycle that covers all basic and some advanced cardiovascular concepts relevant to all aspects of cardiology. The July and August timeframe is reserved for basic review of core concepts with lectures during that time principally given by the faculty. There is then a 9 month period which includes a 1 hour/week dedicated to electrophysiology, clinical case conferences, noninvasive imaging conferences, and catheterization conferences. There is also a journal club curriculum where the key aspects of scientific review of the medical literature are covered. There are frequent visiting professors who interact with the division and fellows to supplement the didactic educational program. We are developing a monthly heart failure conference schedule as well as refining a core ECG curriculum to be covered on a monthly basis. The program utilizes the American College of Cardiology In-Training examination administered every fall to monitor trainees’ knowledge base and target areas of weakness, programmatic and individual standpoint.
All fellows are expected to participate in clinical research throughout their 3 years. We currently have multiple ongoing multicenter clinical trials which allow fellows to receive valuable experience in patient recruitment and upcoming therapies not yet available. Furthermore, we have individual clinical research projects in the cath lab, electrophysiology, and heart failure that provide trainees with the opportunity to be successful in designing, conducting, analyzing and presenting a research project. Fellows are encouraged to submit their research for potential presentation at national and regional meetings.Michael J. Lim, M.D., FACC, FSCAI
Cardiology Fellowship Coordinator