logo Click here for the Department of Medicine Home Page Click here for the UC Irvine Home Page Click here for the School of Medicine Home Page

Fellowship Programs

The Division of Cardiology at the UC Irvine Health School of Medicine offers a very competitive three-year Cardiovascular Medicine Fellowship as well as advanced specialty training in a fourth-year Interventional Cardiology Fellowship.

Both programs are certified by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

Fellowship in Cardiovascular Medicine »

UC Irvine's Cardiovascular Medicine Fellowship program is designed to train physicians who are certified or eligible for certification by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) to become excellent clinician-scientists in the field of cardiovascular medicine. We train physicians be autonomous and confident in the clinical practice of cardiology, whether that be in independent practice or  academic medicine. We achieve these goals using guidelines outlined by ABIM and the American College of Cardiology (ACC), as well as the ACGME program requirements for residency education in cardiovascular disease.

Led by Dr. Dawn Lombardo and Dr. Pranav M. Patel, the three-year fellowship program in cardiovascular medicine includes didactic instruction, grand rounds and lectures from the nation’s leading cardiologists. Fellows are exposed to a wide variety of patients and cardiovascular conditions during rigorous training at UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, VA Long Beach Health System and MemorialCare Heart and Vascular Institute in Long Beach. The fellowship is designed to teach state-of-the-art cardiovascular medicine using the most current, evidence-based data. Fellows also are trained in disease prevention and the evaluation and management of patients with a wide variety of acute and chronic cardiovascular conditions.

The clinical curriculum is designed to meet the American College of Cardiology’s COCATS4 recommendations for both procedural volume and training time to achieve competency in treating cardiovascular disease. Clinical rotations emphasize autonomy and clinical decision-making through direct interaction with our faculty. This method enables our fellows to gain independence in clinical judgment and procedural skills.

Clinical rotations include:
  • Adult structural heart disease
  • Cardiology consult service
  • Cardiac catheterization laboratory (Fellows master both radial and femoral approaches)
  • Cardiac imaging
  • Coronary care unit
  • Echocardiography
  • Electrophysiology
  • Heart failure
  • Nuclear cardiology
  • Preventive medicine
  • Vascular medicine

The clinical curriculum is reinforced with daily educational conferences. Didactic sessions include general cardiology as well as subspecialty topics. Fellows also may participate in mentored research projects throughout their clinical years. Throughout their clinical training, fellows are encouraged to initiate and develop plans for research projects.

Cardiovascular Medicine Didactics and Clinical Training »

The first year of fellowship training begins with a “summer school,” a series of daily didactic lectures about cardiovascular medicine. Fellows also attend subspecialty lectures and conferences in cardiac catheterization, interventional cardiology and electrophysiology. They also learn about advanced imaging techniques, including echocardiography, nuclear cardiology, cardiac CT and MRI. Other topics include the American College of Cardiology guidelines, pediatric cardiology, adult structural heart disease, heart failure and research.

Supervised clinical rotations take place at the medical center in Orange and in Long Beach at the VA and MemorialCare. The clinical curriculum is designed to meet recommendations by the American College of Cardiology for both procedural volume and training time to ensure competency in cardiovascular disease treatment.

Rotations include:
  • Cardiac catheterization lab (4-6 months)
  • Coronary care unit (4-5 months)
  • Consult service (2-3 month)
  • Echocardiography (4 months)
  • Electrophysiology (2 months)
  • Heart failure/transplant (1-2 months)
  • Nuclear cardiology/CT and MRI (2-3 months)
  • Structural/adult congenital heart disease and preventitive cardiology (1-2 months)

In supervised weekly outpatient clinics, fellows engage in one-on-one interactions patients under the supervision of faculty cardiologists.

Research in Cardiovascular Medicine  »

Throughout their clinical training, fellows are expected to participate in mentored research projects. Fellows are encouraged to initiate and develop plans for research, including choosing specific mentors and projects. The diverse interests of division faculty members offers fellows a wide range of exciting and challenging research experiences to choose from. 

All fellows receive six months of protected time to participate in clinical or lab-based research. Fellows are encouraged to produce research papers worthy of publication in leading peer-review journals, as well as to write and submit grants. Program directors will assist in targeting appropriate research interests.

Fellowship in Interventional Cardiology  »

The Interventional Cardiology Fellowship is designed to teach fourth-year fellows the indications, contraindications, risks, limitations and complications associated with catheter-based interventions. The interventional fellow is expected to perform a minimum of 250 coronary interventions during the year of training, as well as numerous peripheral vascular, valvular and adult structural heart procedures.

The interventional curriculum follows the guidelines established by the ACGME residency review committee for interventional cardiology. The program provides training, education and experience in the evaluation and management of a wide variety of patients with acute and chronic cardiovascular conditions, including coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction and other acute coronary ischemic syndromes, valvular heart disease, adult structural heart disease and peripheral vascular disease.

Led by Dr. Rex Winters and Patel, the program gives fellows intensive experience in interventional procedures under the supervision of leading UC Irvine faculty cardiologists. Fourth-year clinical training is divided between the medical center in Orange, which has the region’s most advanced cardiac catheterization and electrophysiology facilities at UC Irvine Douglas Hospital and at MemorialCare in Long Beach.

Fellows are expected to develop the skills required to select appropriate patients for specific interventional techniques and to be involved in post-procedural care. They also acquire the skills to perform and interpret coronary angiographic films, hemodynamics, intravascular ultrasound, intracoronary Doppler flow and intracoronary pressure monitoring.

The interventional fellowship program also offers a post-procedure ambulatory clinic for long-term risk factor modification and outcome assessment in patients undergoing coronary, valvular or peripheral vascular intervention. Fellows learn to use intravascular ultrasound, percutaneous transluminal angioplasty, cutting-balloon angioplasty, intracoronary stents, rotational artherectomy, distal protection devices, pressure and Doppler flow wires. Fellows also learn to perform percutaneous coronary intervention with radial artery access. (UC Irvine catheterization labs are primary radial artery access labs.) Fellows also participate in clinical trials on the effects of pharmacological therapies and new interventional devices.

After completing the one-year interventional training program, fellows are expected to be well prepared to earn board certification in interventional cardiology.

Interventional Cardiology Didactics, Training and Research »

Interventional fellows are required to present didactic material during lectures, conferences, journal clubs and/or medical grand rounds. Weekly didactic sessions and conferences provide fellows the opportunity to gain knowledge about the clinical decision-making process.

Interventional fellows participate in on-going clinical and basic research studies and collaborate with Division of Cardiology faculty members. Fellows are expected to assist in the management and follow-up of the research subjects. They also are encouraged to pursue independent research projects.

Application Process »
UC Irvine's Division of Cardiology accepts four incoming Cardiovacular Medicine fellows and one Interventional Cardiology fellow each year. To be eligible for the fellowship programs, applicants must have:
  • Completed residency training in internal medicine
  • Board-certification or board-eligibility in internal medicine
  • A California medical license before beginning the fellowship
  • U.S. citizenship or have fulfilled residency or visa requirements before starting the fellowship. We are not accepting H1B visas at this time.

The division uses the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS), sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges. We no longer accept paper applications. For questions about the application process, go to ERAS online or call 215-966-3940.

ERAS applications should include:
  • Current curriculum vitae
  • A one-page personal statement
  • Scores on the United States Medical Licensing Examination®
  • A current photo
  • Dean's letter
  • Three letters of recommendation, including one from a past or current program director

Applications for July 2017 positions will be accepted beginning July 1, 2016. Interviews are arranged by invitation after a review of completed applications. Interviews will occur in October 2016.

Interview Process »

Applicants are notified by email if they are selected for personal interviews with faculty members.

We recommend that interviewees traveling by air arrive at John Wayne Airport in Orange County. Hotels nearest UC Irvine Medical Center are:

The Doubletree Hotel
100 The City Drive
Orange, CA 92868

Ayres Inn
3737 W. Chapman Ave.
Orange, CA 92868

Salary and Benefits »
The annual salary scale for fellows is:
  • First year — $57,590
  • Second year — $59,783
  • Third year — $61.971
  • Fourth year — $64,053

Fellows receive 21 days of vacation (14 personal days, 7 educational days).

Medical, dental and vision plans designed to meet the needs of the fellows and their families are provided. Life insurance is provided at no additional cost to the fellow.

Long-term disability insurance is offered at an additional cost through the University of California Regents.

Fellows also receive professional liability coverage for all activities that are part of the cardiology fellowship training programs.

Financial support to attend major scientific meetings also is available when the fellow is a first author on a paper or abstract.

Moonlighting as a cardiologist is not permitted. However, for second and third year fellows determined to be experiencing undue financial hardship, moonlighting on weekends may be allowed for no more than 40 hours a month. Time spent moonlighting will count toward the 80-hour a week work limit.

For more information about the fellowship programs, please contact:

Antonella Saturno
Fellowship Coordinator
Division of Cardiology
333 City Blvd. West, Suite 400
Orange, CA 92868-4080
Phone: 714-456-7945
Fax: 714-456-8895