The first year of training consists of introductory rotations including clinical, consult service, cardiac catheterization, echocardiography, electrophysiology and nuclear cardiology. Experiences in exercise testing, outpatient preventive cardiology and the research process also integral. At the beginning of the year, first year fellows are assisted in the transition from internist to cardiologist by a "boot camp" in which faculty introduce them to the basics and subtleties of becoming cardiologists in each of the areas through which they will be rotating.
Second and Third Year
The second and third years provide advanced clinical rotations including the coronary care unit and progressive care unit with more autonomy and further time for electives and research. Exposure is provided to higher levels of subspecialty training.
Graduating fellows can and do typically achieve level II certification in specialty areas depending on their interest including cardiac catheterization, echocardiography and nuclear cardiology.
On the cardiology consult service, fellows have the opportunity to provide consultation for a wide variety of patients admitted across both medical and surgical services. The fellow is provided appropriate autonomy in recommending diagnostic and therapeutic measures.
On the cardiac catheterization service, fellows perform procedures and learn hemodynamics, angiography and a variety of diagnostic techniques. A majority of coronary cases performed at Cooper are via the transradial approach. Cooper's dynamic structural heart program was a pioneer in transcatheter aortic valve replacement, the first PARTNER site in NJ, the first in Philadelphia and one of the first sites to perform left atrial appendage occlusion in the US.
During non-invasive rotations, fellows are involved in both the basics of performing and interpreting echocardiographic procedures as well as basic stress ECG. Senior fellows master more advanced skills, independent performance of echocardiography, trans-esophageal echocardiograms, and nuclear cardiology.
On the electrophysiology service, fellows perform arrhythmia consults, review EP studies and are introduced into the EP lab. Interested senior fellows have the opportunity to receive advanced instruction in radiofrequency ablation, event recorder and permanent pacemaker follow-up.
On the progressive care (PCU) and Coronary Care (CCU) services, the cardiology fellow performs as a junior attending under the direct supervision of the PCU or CCU teaching attending developing the knowledge base, interactive skills, technical skills and learning attitudes to provide high-level care to adult patients with both common as well as the most complex forms of heart disease. Fellows are responsible for supervising and teaching medical residents and students, and learn to develop the professional skills necessary to interact effectively with patients, families and other health care providers.
All trainees are expected to participate actively in research, and protected time is provided for this purpose. Participation in ongoing projects is invited, but the trainee is encouraged to plan and implement at least one project of his or her own design under faculty guidance. Completion of at least one research report is expected and abstracts and/or publication submission is supported.
Fellows are assigned to the outpatient clinic one half day per week throughout the 36 months. On average, the fellow will be on call less often than one night per week and one weekend every two months. One month of vacation is scheduled each year.