Under the direction of Bruce W. Usher, Sr., M.D., the Division of Cardiology’s fellowship programs continue to grow. A position in the program is highly competitive, with over 200 applications annually for the four available slots (six slots beginning academic year 2008). Graduates of the three-year General Cardiology Fellowship Program have a greater than 98 percent pass rate on their Cardiology Boards.
Upon completion of the program, fellows may opt to continue their education by participating in an interventional or electrophysiology fellowship. The three fellowship programs recently were unconditionally accredited for an additional five years. Michael R. Gold, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Division and the Medical University of South Carolina’s (MUSC) Heart & Vascular Center, recruited J. Marcus Wharton, M.D., in 2003 to coordinate initiatives in electrophysiology.
Under Dr. Wharton’s leadership, the Electrophysiology Fellowship Program was accredited and accepted its first two fellows in 2003. Under the leadership of Christopher D. Nielsen, M.D., the Interventional Fellowship Program was accredited and accepted its first two fellows in 2001 and currently accepts three fellows for the year of training.
Division faculty members provide extensive teaching services and hold leadership positions across the MUSC campus. Peter C. Gazes, M.D., Distinguished University Professor, serves as Associate Dean of Alumni Affairs for the College of Medicine. Donald R. Menick, Ph.D., a basic scientist in the Division, serves as director of the Molecular and Cellular Biology and Pathobiology Program (MCBP), and director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Summer Research Program for Minority Medical Students.
The division currently offers both three-year and four-year fellow training programs in Cardiology, with emphasis on highly developed clinical skills. Each general Cardiology fellow is required to participate in clinical research through a research mentorship program. Basic science research opportunities are available and require a four year commitment (two-year clinical track and two-year basic research track).
Quarterly assignments during the first two fellowship years provide intensive training in inpatient care to include coronary care unit, echocardiography, radionuclide studies, clinical electrophysiology and pacemakers, congestive heart failure/transplant management, imaging (64 slice CT angiography,MRI, PET scan) and consultive cardiology. Each fellow participates in a continuity clinic on a weekly basis. The third fellowship year is tailored to the needs and long term goals of each individual fellow.
The program's first year includes a three-month assignment to the Medical University Hospital's cardiac catheterization laboratories. Fellows electing advanced training in interventional cardiology spend their final year in invasive laboratories at Medical University Hospital and at the V.A. Medical Center in preparation for additional training in interventional cardiology.
For more information on these programs, please contact Paulette Okurowski, Program Coordinator for the Cardiology Fellowship Programs at email@example.com.