Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship

Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Header The Spectrum Health/Michigan State University Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship program at Spectrum Health Frederik Meijer Heart & Vascular Institute is committed to providing the best academic and clinical training program for our fellows. Our cardiology continuum of care philosophy ensures our fellows are provided a tremendous clinical experience in a multi-disciplinary setting. As a fellow in our program, you will pursue your passion in clinical or academic cardiology. For interested fellows, we offer level 2 certification in echocardiography, nuclear cardiology, vascular imaging and diagnostic cardiac catheterization beyond the core cardiology curriculum. We also offer an advanced fellowship for multimodality imaging (MRI/CT/TEE/Nuclear) and ACGME-accredited interventional cardiology. 

Our  network of care that spans 13 counties in western Michigan and our experts perform more advanced lifesaving heart and vascular procedures than any other hospital in Michigan.  We are also a state leader year after year, in percutaneous coronary intervention for STEMI volumes. We always strive to adopt the latest technologies, including WatchmanTM, transcatheter aortic valve replacement, Mitraclip, chronic total occlusion interventions, and the latest LVAD devices. Our high LVAD and electrophysiology volumes allow fellows the opportunity to participate in complex procedures led by expert cardiologists. We also have an active heart and lung transplant program with excellent outcomes. 

Hear From Our Program Director

Nagib Chalfoun, MD, program director for the cardiovascular disease fellowship, discusses highlights of training at Spectrum Health.

Hear From Our Associate Program Director

Michael McNamara, MD, associate program director for the cardiovascular disease fellowship, discusses highlights of training at Spectrum Health.


We are pleased to introduce the Spectrum Health/Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Program at Spectrum Health Frederik Meijer Heart & Vascular Institute. We are committed to providing the best academic and clinical training program for our fellows.
 
Our passion is teaching, and our entire program is designed with the fellow in mind. Our fellows will train at the largest medical center in West Michigan, affiliated with Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. Our cardiology continuum of care philosophy ensures our fellows are provided a tremendous clinical experience in a multi-disciplinary setting. As a fellow in our program, you will pursue your passion in clinical or academic cardiology. For interested fellows, we offer level 2 certification in echocardiography, nuclear cardiology, vascular imaging and diagnostic cardiac catheterization beyond the core cardiology curriculum.
 
We are continuously expanding our fellowship. We now offer a one year advanced fellowship in multimodality imaging (MRI/CT/TEE/Nuclear) following our general cardiology fellowship, and received ACGME approval for our interventional cardiology fellowship in the fall of 2019. Our graduate medical education programs continue to grow and we are excited about the future of cardiac subspecialty fellowships at Spectrum Health.
 
Our tremendous procedural volumes allow fellows to participate in transplant cardiology, cardiac CT/MRI, electrophysiology, interventional cardiology, vascular cardiology, adult congenital cardiology and preventive cardiology. We are dedicated to high quality outcomes and exceptional patient experience. Our dynamic educational conference series focuses on your educational needs. In addition, our cardiovascular research program allows fellows to support novel investigator-initiated research studies. Fellows have the opportunity to be part of a quality program initiative and research.
 
On behalf of the cardiology faculty, our goal is to make your fellowship training the best in the country. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.
 
Sincerely,
Nagib Chalfoun, MD, FACC, FHRS
Electrophysiology 
Spectrum Health Cardiovascular Services
Chair, Education, Frederik Meijer Heart and Vascular Institute
Program Director, Spectrum Health/Michigan State University Cardiovascular Surgery Fellowship
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Michigan State University 


Clinical Environment
Fellows train in our integrated Frederik Meijer Heart and Vascular Institute, comprised of cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, vascular surgeons, cardiac anesthesiologists and cardiac radiologists. Our cardiovascular medicine division consists of advanced imaging, interventional cardiology, electrophysiology, transplant cardiology, adult congenital heart and structural heart.

Our state-of-the-art facilities at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital, Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion set the stage for our comprehensive program. Through our strong collaboration with Michigan State University and Van Andel Research Institute, fellows will discover an environment that prepares them for clinical challenges and rewards ahead. Our strong commitment to patient care, education and research has helped us become a leader in cardiovascular care throughout the region.


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In addition to the many procedures listed above, Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital was one of the first hospitals to introduce the WatchmanTM left atrial appendage closure device. We are also one of 20 locations in the country performing varicose vein treatment with Venaseal technology, and the first Michigan health system to perform Topera 3D Mapping for atrial fibrillation.
   
As a nationally recognized health care system, Spectrum Health provides high quality clinical care to thousands of patients each year. Here are some of our clinical volumes from 2018 – 2019.
 Procedures  2018  2019
Percutaneous Coronary Interventions  1,434  1,463
Diagnostic Caths (includes all diagnostic procedures)  4,767 4,458
Total Ablations 889  918
AFIB Ablations  440  516
Total devices (Includes initial insertion and generator changes) 1,307  1,290
Pacemakers (Includes initial insertion and generator changes) 696  742
ICDs (Includes initial insertion and generator changes) 611  548
     
STEMI volumes 344  366
   Door to Balloon time (non-transfer pts)  57  61
   Door to Door to Balloon time (transfer pts)  120  117
     
CABG (isolated) 653  700
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) 261  317
MitraClip  21  23
TMVR volumes (inlcudes both research [APOLLO] and Sapien in mitral position) 12  4
VAD 36  19
 Heart Transplant  19  21
 ECMO (total number of patients)  93  107
   VA (E-CPR)  71 (12) 88 (9)
   VV  22  19
 
Curriculum
The curriculum of the cardiovascular fellowship training program is designed to meet the goals delineated by the American College of Cardiology Task Force for Training in Clinical Cardiology (COCATS) and the ACGME. The 36-month curriculum gives exposure to the essential rotations in general cardiology including:
  • Four months of cardiac catheterization
  • Six months noninvasive imaging: echocardiography, nuclear imaging, cardiac MRI/MRA, CTA and peripheral vascular imaging
  • Six months general clinical cardiology: inpatient cardiology consultation, CCU, exercise testing, rehabilitation, ECG interpretation
  • In the third year, fellows can devote more time to advanced training in invasive and noninvasive techniques as well as electives. The curriculum is designed in such a way to allow fellows enough clinical months, depending on which electives they choose, to become COCATS level 2 eligible in echocardiography, nuclear imaging, and cardiac diagnostic catheterization.
  • In addition, one block each year will be devoted to research. All fellows are required to complete at least one abstract per year and submit it to a national meeting. Ideally, each fellow should also submit one manuscript to a peer reviewed journal during their three years of training.

 
Didactics
Education has been a long-standing mission of Spectrum Health/Michigan State University and Spectrum Health Frederik Meijer Heart and Vascular Institute. Faculty have designed  a dedicated lecture series designed for fellows addressing basic management of all aspects of cardiology specifically geared towards fellows during their first few months of training. In addition, the faculty have a list of conferences throughout the year that both fellows, attendings and staff are expected to attend.  These include:
  • Meijer lecture series/cardiology grand rounds (monthly)
  • Multidisciplinary heart team (weekly)
  • Imaging conference (weekly)
  • Cardio cath conference (weekly)
  • Dr. Jovinge research academy (monthly)
  • Journal club (monthly)
  • Morbidity and mortality conferences (monthly)
  • ECG teaching conference (weekly)
  • Transplant multidisciplinary meeting (weekly)
  • LVAD surgical selection meeting (weekly)
  • Heart and lung transplant selection meeting
  • Interventional conference (monthly)
  • EP conference (monthly)
  • CCU teaching rounds (daily)
  • Inpatient rounds (daily)
 
Jacob and Lois Mol Cardiovascular Simulation Center  
The Jacob and Lois Mol Cardiovascular Simulation Center trains and educates future physician leaders and staff by utilizing innovative simulation, applied experiential learning and hands-on technology to improve patient safety and outcomes. 
  • 2,700-square-foot design for education, training and outreach activities 
  • 600-square-foot simulated operating room equipped to simulate complex procedures and allow fellows to practice multidisciplinary patient care transitions
  • High-tech communication to provide two-way connectivity between specific Meijer Heart Center ORs, simulated OR and learning labs
  • Dedicated study space for residents and fellows to use throughout their training 
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At the Spectrum Health Frederik Meijer Heart and Vascular Institute, our cardiology faculty are actively involved in innovative clinical research. Clinical research is a part of our key strategic vision and cardiovascular has an active research portfolio that focuses on industry clinical trials, pre-clinical animal studies and investigator-initiated studies. We have a large cardiovascular research department that provides support to our physicians and includes research nurses, coordinators, assistants, statisticians, budget negotiations, financial analysis and Q&A. 

Beside the clinical training in all subspecialties of cardiology we have a specific research academy for our fellows – The DeVos Research Academy. It provides a scientific training program to provide the tools to actively participate in our research projects. We have several research registries within critical care, mechanical circulatory support, electrophysiology and coronary diseases. Grand Valley State University

The Frederik Meijer Heart and Vascular Institute also works in collaboration with numerous institutions across the globe, including Stanford, Karolinska Institute, Bonn University, Van Andel Research Institute, Michigan State University and Grand Valley State University. Our experts are involved in multicenter clinical trials and investigator-initiated studies, in addition to a translational research division. Our clinical volumes have enabled us to become top enrollers in multiple trials such as the global Surgical Replacement and Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation trial, where we were a top two enroller in the country.

Check out our publications from 2017 - present.
All positions for the program are filled through the National Residency Matching Program. Eligibility requirements for our fellowship program:
  • Applications are only accepted through the Electronic Residency Application Service only, paper applications will not be considered
  • All applicants must possess U.S. work authorization or be eligible for J-1 status
  • Applicants must have completed three years of United States postgraduate residency training in an ACGME- or RCPSC-accredited internal medicine program before entry into the fellowship program
  • Applicants must be an MD or DO
  • Applicants must have good communication skills
 
For more information, please contact Liz Charney, cardiovascular disease program coordinator. 
Spectrum Health provides a comprehensive and very competitive benefits package for our residents, staff and their families. In addition, our program provides educational monies to support your ongoing education. Download our salary and benefits document to learn more.

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Teaching Faculty

Our teaching faculty at Spectrum Health/Michigan State University are committed to teaching our fellows to become excellent cardiologists, as well as exemplary physicians. We are very proud of the commitment that every single employed physician within our division has made to become teaching faculty. The cardiovascular disease core faculty serve as the governing team that creates the curriculum, and the day-to-day teaching is performed by our entire division. We are proud of our “all in” commitment in the creation of the fellowship and its success. Core faculty and executive faculty, made up of section chiefs, govern the fellowship creating a well-rounded educational experience. We meet monthly to ensure our fellows have adequate teaching and support. Fellows are taught on a day-to-day basis by the entire division compromised of 50 teaching faculty who have trained at prestigious institutions. Our team is dedicated to professionally challenge and mentor our fellows to become excellent cardiologists.

Click here for our list of comprehensive teaching faculty and training.  


Take a tour with our fellows

Watch as the cardiovascular fellows take you on a tour of Spectrum Health facilities.

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    Get to know our fellows

    Our fellows are a diverse group from a variety of backgrounds with unique experiences and interests. We look forward to getting to know you as well!