Fellows seeking a career in academic consultative cardiology or those wishing to subspecialize in a specific area of clinical cardiology (such as interventional cardiology, echocardiography, electrophysiology) are encouraged to identify their area of interest. Such trainees must discuss their career goals with the Program Director and / or Division Chief who will help them identify faculty members with substantial research experience in the particular field of interest within the institution. Fellows are then assigned to those particular services for sufficient time to conduct their research and bring it to conclusion.
Since gaining clinical experience in the areas of interest is also an important component of training for cardiology consultants and clinical subspecialist, fellows are asked to participate in the daily activities of the service as well. However, while it is acceptable for the research experience to include the acquisition of a clinical skill, such as pacemaker implantation or PTCA, it is not acceptable for this to be the only accomplishment of the research rotation. Tangible evidence of scholarship and formal training in clinical research is required. It is expected that during the extended time spent in one service, fellows will have the opportunity to present their data at a national meeting and prepare the final results for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. In the past, many services within the Cardiology Division have provided opportunities for fellows to perform research in this manner. These include electrophysiology and pacing, heart failure, echocardiography, invasive cardiology, and nuclear cardiology.
It has been found useful in the past for fellows to develop a research plan in advance of their rotations. This is generally a written document that is generated in collaboration with the mentor. At the very least a project is outlined and goals defined. The Program Director and/or the Division Chief will review this program. If IRB approval is necessary, attempts are made to obtain this in advance of the period of research time.
The fellow is also expected to review his/her progress on a regular basis with the faculty mentor and, when appropriate, Program Director and/or the Division Chief. As part of the research experience, it is also anticipated that periodic research-in-progress presentations will be made to the appropriate investigative unit (e.g., electrophysiology, echocardiography).