Fellowship training occurs over the course of 3 years. Two hospitals participate in this program: the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and the Iowa City VA Medical Center. The training program offers advanced training in clinical subspecialties of cardiology (nuclear cardiology, echocardiography, cardiac catheterization/interventional cardiology, electrophysiology, heart failure/transplantation) as well as academic research training. All fellows must be involved in a research project during the course of their fellowship (typically during the second year of training). Throughout all 3 years of fellowship training, fellows maintain half day continuity clinics usually alternating every week between UIHC and the Iowa City VAMC. Fellows rotate on a variety of inpatient and outpatient services as well as through the invasive and non-invasive laboratories and usually spend 12 months in a research laboratory or pursue clinical research during the course of the training program. All fellows will achieve level 1 certifications outlined in COCATS 3. An additional year of training is required for certification in Interventional Cardiology, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, and Heart Failure.
The organization of the training program is flexible, and may be tailored to individual fellow’s goals and interests. However, all fellows are required to complete 24 months of clinical training. For most fellows, time is allocated for research during the second year of training. In occasional cases, specialized research training may occur prior to clinical training as a part of the fellowship training program. It is the intent of the fellowship administration to individualize training within the framework of ABIM, COCATS and ACGME guidelines to optimize each fellow’s experience to achieve excellence in academic cardiology.
The core clinical training for the program is based on the ACC Revised Recommendations for Training in Adult Cardiovascular Medicine Core Cardiology Training 3 (COCATS 3) initially published in 1995, updated in 2002 and again revised in 2008. A copy of the Executive Summary of COCATS 3 is available for review. Training is conducted in compliance with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) program requirements for general fellowship education in the subspecialties of Internal Medicine and the specific requirements for fellowship education in Cardiovascular Disease. These guidelines were last updated in July 2005 and can be reviewed on the ACGME website (www.acgme.org) under the ‘Residency Review Committee’ tab (these are to be updated July 2012).