Training & Curriculum

Duration of Training

  • 24 months of core clinical training in general and critical care cardiology, heart failure and transplantation, mechanical circulatory devices, cardiac catheterization, electrophysiology, preventive cardiology, vascular medicine, congenital heart disease and noninvasive cardiac imaging including echocardiography, nuclear cardiology, cardiac CT, PET and MRI.
  • 12 additional months devoted to investigative training in basic and translational cardiovascular research.
  • A fourth year is available for those who wish to devote a total of two years to full-time research, funded by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) T32 training grant to the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute (restricted to U.S. citizens and permanent residents).
  • We also accept fellows through the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Research Pathway. These individuals devote 24 months to internal medicine training, 24 months of clinical cardiology training and then 36 months of dedicated research time in cardiology. Candidates can either apply through the Cedars-Sinai Internal Medicine Residency if they have not had any postgraduate training, or as internal medicine residents in their first year (this involves transferring only with permission of the host internal medicine program). The research years are funded in part by an NIH training grant to the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. Because these positions require special consideration and permission, it is essential to contact the cardiology program coordinator before applying through ERAS. More information can be found on the ABIM website.


Diversity of Clinical Training

Cedars-Sinai is a tertiary-care hospital with strong community ties and is ranked as one of the largest nonprofit academic medical centers in the western United States, with 896 beds. In addition, Cedars-Sinai is consistently ranked as one of the country's most prominent hospitals for cardiology and heart surgery.

Because of its location at the intersection of Los Angeles, West Hollywood and Beverly Hills, trainees are exposed to an amazing diversity of patients and care models. This is enhanced by our training program’s partnership with Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center (LAMC).

Our master clinician teachers aim to:

  • Teach the knowledge, procedural skills, clinical judgment, attitudes and values that are essential to the effective practice of cardiovascular medicine
  • Foster humanistic and ethical attributes in our trainees
  • Encourage an appropriate balance between academic and research endeavors and clinical service
  • Develop teaching skills by actively engaging our fellows in teaching activities with medical students, residents and allied health professionals

Fellows receive experience in all facets of cardiovascular diseases, as well as specialized training using the latest therapeutic modalities under the guidance and supervision of a world-class team of faculty members and mentors who have a track record in training fellows. One of the major strengths of the program is the high volume of clinical cases and procedures (among the largest in the nation) available to the fellows.

Rotations comply with Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) requirements and the Core Cardiology Training Symposium guidelines for the clinical core experience of the American College of Cardiology.

A core curriculum of more than 75 lectures covers the basic and clinical fundamentals related to cardiovascular medicine. Advanced ACGME-accredited training programs also are available in heart failure and cardiac transplantation, clinical cardiac electrophysiology, interventional cardiology, and critical care. Non-ACGME-certified advanced training is available in cardiac imaging or women's/preventive health.

The level of psychological and backup support given to fellows is a major strength of the program. Frequent interaction between the fellow and faculty provides opportunities to improve the performance of the fellows and the training program.

The Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute's cardiac transplant program is the world's largest adult program, with a dedicated 52-bed heart failure/transplant inpatient unit featuring invasive hemodynamic monitoring capabilities. Cedars-Sinai has nine cardiac catheterization suites that service the surrounding community as Los Angeles' largest hospital ST segment elevation myocardial infarction receiving center.

Cedars-Sinai also offers an all-inclusive, high-tech program in percutaneous valvular interventions and advanced structural heart disease treatments, as well as advanced peripheral interventions. There are two labs dedicated to providing leading-edge electrophysiology interventions, including atrial fibrillation ablation, supraventricular and ventricular tachycardia therapy, and ICD/CRT/pacemaker device implantation.

The noninvasive echocardiography lab provides complete training in transthoracic echocardiography, stress echocardiography, transesophageal echocardiography and three-dimensional echocardiography.

The world-class cardiac imaging department offers comprehensive training in nuclear, PET, MRI and CT modalities.

Fellows perform one inpatient cardiology consultation rotation and one cardiac catheterization rotation at Kaiser Permanente LAMC. This is a 460-bed tertiary referral center for more than 3 million Southern California Kaiser Permanente members. As with Cedars-Sinai, most Kaiser Permanente attendings involved in fellowship training hold faculty appointments at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Outpatient experiences include a diverse patient population, including the Cedars-Sinai Cardiology Outpatient Clinic (where fellows function as the primary outpatient cardiologist) and at local free clinics for the underinsured. A specialty ambulatory clinic rotation provides additional exposure to outpatient cardiology, and fellows have the option of electing a six-month specialty clinic experience after their second year. During the second or third years, fellows conduct their weekly outpatient continuity clinic at Kaiser Permanente LAMC or general cardiology clinics staffed by faculty in the surrounding community practices.


Research Training

Research training is an integral part of the Cardiology Fellowship training program, and fellows can look forward to dedicated research time in their third year with remarkable mentors. Additional training years are also available through the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute's NIH T32 Training Grant (see below).

With leading-edge facilities, high patient volume and excellence in patient care, education and research, Cedars-Sinai has become the key site for many clinical trials, including recently the CADUCEUS, COURAGE, PARTNER, ISCHEMIA, DYNAMIC and EVEREST trials. In 2012, more than 100 clinical trials were offered through the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. Our fellows typically participate in research projects associated with these trials, but may also participate in studies sponsored by other departments.

  • Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine in Failing Myocardium: Eduardo Marbán, MD, PhD, Timothy Henry, MD, Raj Makkar, MD, Clive Svendsen, PhD, Linda Marbán, PhD, and Eugenio Cingolani, MD
  • Cardiac Excitation-Contraction Coupling and Cellular Electrophysiology in Ischemia/Reperfusion and Heart Failure: Joshua Goldhaber, MD, Robin Shaw, MD, PhD, and TingTing Hong, MD, PhD
  • Heart Disease in Special Populations, Women's Health, Hypertension in African-Americans: C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, Ron Victor, MD, Chrisandra Shufelt, MD, Florian Rader, MD, Puja Mehta, MD, and Janet Wei, MD
  • Structural Heart Disease/Interventional: Raj Makkar, MD, and Saibal Kar, MD
  • Gap Junction Trafficking and Cardiac Biomarkers in Heart Failure: Robin Shaw, MD, PhD, TingTing Hong, MD, PhD, and Jennifer Van Eyk, PhD
  • Atherosclerosis, Inflammation and Vascular Biology: P.K. Shah, MD, Ron Victor, MD, Kenneth Bernstein, MD, Behrooz Sharifi, PhD, and Moshe Arditi, MD
  • Genetics of Arrhythmias: Sumeet Chugh, MD, and Eugenio Cingolani, MD
  • Advanced Imaging in Heart Disease: Debiao Li, PhD, Rohan Dharmakumar, PhD, Louise Thomson, MBChB, Daniel S. Berman, MD, and Sean W. Hayes, MD
  • Heart Transplantation Biology and Outcomes: Jon Kobashigawa, MD, Michelle Kittleson, MD, and Jignesh Patel, MD, PhD
  • Advanced Proteomics and Biomarkers in Heart Disease: Jennifer Van Eyk, PhD
  • Mechanisms of Cardioprotection, Autophagy and Mitophagy, Anthracycline-Induced Heart Failure Mechanisms: Roberta Gottlieb, MD

Fellows participate in one of our research training pathways. These include the Clinical Scholars Program, which is designed to provide fellows with the appropriate statistical background and expertise in clinical research methodology to succeed as a clinical investigator. Alternatively, some fellows may choose the Cedars-Sinai Graduate Program in Biomedical Science and Translational Medicine (leading to a master’s degree or PhD) to gain in-depth knowledge of a particular area in basic and translational cardiovascular science.

A fourth year devoted to research is encouraged for trainees who are engaged in promising research with a mentor in the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, as well as trainees pursuing the PhD in biomedical science. Trainees will have additional years dedicated to completion of the doctoral program. In some cases, these additional years will be made available to qualified NIH T32 eligible candidates (U.S. citizens or permanent residents).

Another option available is the ABIM Research Pathway. This program combines training in research with training in clinical internal medicine and cardiology. Only those physicians who intend to seriously pursue a career in basic or clinical research should participate in this program. Physicians who are interested in teaching or practicing clinical internal medicine should pursue the standard three years of internal medicine training. For information about the pathway at Cedars-Sinai, please contact the program coordinator.


Teaching

Cedars-Sinai is the largest teaching hospital affiliated with the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. More UCLA students rotate through Cedars-Sinai than through any other hospital affiliated with that institution. There are more than 350 residents and fellows at Cedars-Sinai in 60 graduate medical education programs.

Internal medicine residents and medical students rotating through the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit, Intensive Care Unit, heart failure/transplant and cardiology consult services are eager to learn from our fellows, as are trainees in other departments and divisions. Fellows are often invited to lecture to house staff and graduate students and regularly present teaching cases in division conferences. Fellows teach first- and second-year medical students through problem-based learning sessions and laboratory sessions at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Fellows also present their research in the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute's research seminar series.