UCSF’s Cardiology fellowship program provides a unique training experience for fellows in cutting edge prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disorders. Trainees learn to practice in an environment that offers an incredible array of diverse clinical patient experiences across several different inpatient training sites: UCSF Hospital at Parnassus Heights (UCSF-Parn), Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (ZSFG), and San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center (SFVA). Fellows are exposed to a variety of medical conditions, and patients with different cultures, beliefs and socioeconomic backgrounds. By the end of training, fellows are well prepared for a vast array of career options which include clinical practice, clinical, translational or laboratory research, quality improvement, medical education or work within the industry or helping design health policy.
Our program strives to find fellows with a passion for advancing the field of cardiology and improving patient care. During their clinical training fellows achieve a high level of proficiency in consultative and inpatient cardiology, cardiac imaging and diagnostic catheterization that allows them to practice general cardiology in virtually any setting. Fellows are able to complete all their required general cardiology clinical training within the first 2 years. Within that time many fellows can achieve level II COCATS training in several different areas including echocardiography and nuclear cardiology. Thereafter, fellows choose from a wide variety of subspecialty options, including advanced training in research, which are tailored to each fellow’s career needs. UCSF’s blend of extensive clinical experience coupled with amazing opportunities for training in a chosen scholarly activity affords the best opportunity for our trainees to become tomorrow’s leaders.
Philosophy of Training
Our fellows are treated as junior attendings and have the opportunity to perform advanced procedures early on in training. For example, first year fellows perform TEEs, place in temp wires and do right heart catheterizations at the bedside. They interrogate devices and implant pacemakers. Second years do all of these and are often the first assist in a PCI during STEMIs at ZSFG. At the VA, they assist with imaging during TAVR and Mitraclip cases. We believe in graduated autonomy allowing fellows to function independently with adequate supervision. For many of our rotations fellows are essential to the operations of the hospital, serving a vital role in taking care of patients. As a fellow in our program, you will feel like an essential part of a team helping to make decisions and advance care.
Changes to the Program during COVID-19
COVID -19 has affected many training programs across the country and our program was able to weather the initial impact of the pandemic without a significant detriment to our fellow’s training. All conferences have become Zoom based and during the spring we created an online, stay at home curriculum. Fellows have the ability to do clinic using video and also the ability to read echo and stress tests remotely from home. Our hospital system and the city of San Francisco have been extremely well prepared and have the resources to make quick changes to clinical operations should the need arise.