Education – Cardiovascular Fellowships
Welcome from the Division Chief
The Fellowship programs in Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of North Carolina provide excellent clinical and research opportunities which serve as a strong foundation for each trainee’s development. The Fellowship programs are balanced and well-rounded, providing an experience that will be enduring and useful whether the physician ultimately elects to embark on an academic career or enters clinical practice.
George A. “Rick” Stouffer, MD
Ernest and Hazel Craige Distinguished Professor of Medicine
Division Chief, Cardiology
Fellowship Programs & Directors
Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship – Lisa J. Rose-Jones, MD, FACC & John Vavalle, MD, MHS, FACC
Interventional Cardiology Fellowship – Joseph S. Rossi, MD, MSCI, FACC, FSCAI
Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology Fellowship – Anil K. Gehi, MD
Advanced Heart Failure & Transplant Fellowship – Patricia P. Chang, MD
Structural Heart Disease Fellowship – John P. Vavalle, MD, MHS
Advanced Cardiovascular Imaging Fellowship – Joseph A. Sivak, MD, FACC
The History of UNC Cardiovascular Medicine
In 1952, three dedicated physicians were tasked with instituting clinical, research, and teaching initiatives within the newly formed division of Cardiology. They had many goals to meet, including:
- Organizing inpatient/outpatient care for cardiovascular patients
- Teaching third-year medical students through a series of educational lectures (at this time, the UNC School of Medicine only offered a three-year medical degree program)
- Launching an electrocardiography and phonocardiography diagnostic lab
- Initiating a training program for Fellows in Cardiology
The Cardiovascular Medicine Fellowship programs at UNC are extremely proud of their long lineage of training physicians in four major areas of cardiovascular medicine:
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Interventional Cardiology
- Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology
- Advanced Heart Failure & Transplant Cardiology
As the Fellowship programs evolved, three major areas were deemed to be vital towards developing highly skilled cardiologists: Teaching, Clinical Service, and Research.
Attending physicians were driven to improve care and strengthen the teaching of fellows, house staff, interns, and residents. To do this, they integrated Cardiovascular Fellows into each of the inpatient teams with great success. The division of Cardiology has also been dedicated to the inclusion of research into the fellowship training programs since their inception.
Today, with its four subspecialty fellowships, the UNC Cardiovascular Medicine program provides many research opportunities that allow for strengthening of research acumen concurrent with immersion in a constantly growing selection of clinical services.
From 1952 through the early 1970s, patients receiving cardiac care did not have dedicated floors or wings within NC Memorial Hospital. In the 1970s, cardiac patients were consolidated in a dedicated treatment area. As the patient needs grew and cardiovascular technology rapidly advanced, more patient beds and outpatient clinics were made available. Fellows are now able to treat a diverse set of cardiac issues with highly trained cardiac nurses and faculty physicians. A dedication to clinical service remains part of each Cardiovascular Medicine fellowship program.
In 2001, the Carolina Cardiovascular Biology Center (CCBC) was founded. Highly skilled faculty were brought to UNC to grow the cardiology division and add to the already-impressive research program. In just four years, the research programs and quality of clinical care eclipsed its previous highs.
As the basic science and clinical research increased, faculty physicians were, and continue to be, awarded with NIH and industry funding to expand the breadth of research. Awareness of UNC as a major research powerhouse allowed many faculty physicians to establish themselves as world-renowned experts in many subspecialties, such as percutaneous ablation of arrhythmias, heart failure, hypertension, vascular medicine, and echocardiography.
With the large number of active clinical trials made available through the division of cardiology, fellows have ample opportunity to engage in meaningful research initiatives.
Source: UNC Department of Medicine History