Cardiovascular Medicine Fellowship

The Cardiovascular Medicine Fellowship Program is a multifaceted, multidisciplinary and comprehensive program providing training in all areas of Cardiovascular Medicine.

Program Overview

Mission Statement

The mission of the USC Cardiovascular Medicine Fellowship Program is to educate fellows in the comprehensive assessment and management of patients with cardiovascular disease processes for subsequent careers in academic or community-based practice. The Cardiovascular Medicine Fellowship Program is a multifaceted, multidisciplinary and comprehensive program providing training in all areas of Cardiovascular Medicine.

The unique strengths of this program include:
  • A rich, comprehensive clinical experience combining training at the Los Angeles General Medical Center, one of the largest medical centers in the country, and at Keck Hospital of USC, a tertiary-care academic university hospital. Both facilities are located on the same physical campus as the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
  • A curriculum with training and exposure to all aspects of Cardiovascular Medicine, including Clinical Cardiology, Cardiovascular MR, Cardiovascular CT, Echocardiography, Nuclear Cardiology, Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiac Intervention, Congenital Heart Disease and Congestive Heart Failure
  • Exposure to the full array of cardiovascular surgical approaches, including minimally invasive and robotic surgical approaches, provided by the USC Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Opportunities for clinical and basic science research through the division of cardiovascular medicine
CVM Infographic

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The division of cardiovascular medicine is heavily involved in the education of house staff residents and medical students. Medical students are assigned to the CCU and the Cardiovascular Medicine Consultation Service and participate in all rounds and educational activities. There are eight interns and eight residents assigned to Cardiovascular Medicine on a monthly basis who take care of cardiac patients under the supervision of the fellows and staff on the medicine ward, CCU and Consult Service. The residents also participate in the outpatient clinic. In addition, residents spend elective time on cardiovascular medicine in the inpatient areas.

The division has a full conference schedule available to students and faculty on a weekly basis, including Cardiology Grand Rounds, Visiting Professor Rounds alternating with the Griffith Professor Rounds, M & M Conference, Research Conference, EP Morning Conference, Cath Conference, EP Lecture alternating with Echo Lecture, and the Invasive Cardiology Conference. The Journal Club is held twice a month. Recent articles are selected by a faculty member and presented and discussed by the fellows. This conference provides fellows with the ability to critically analyze the literature and helps to familiarize them with biostatistical methods. The division also sponsors occasional special lectures featuring well-known visiting cardiologists who offer our medical students, residents and fellows their unique knowledge and experience.

At the beginning of each academic year, a series of 20 lectures, known as the Core Curriculum, are given by the cardiovascular medicine faculty to the fellows on basic and clinical topics in cardiovascular disease.

We are a comprehensive clinical- and research-oriented cardiology training program with the aim of providing a wide variety of exposure to the different subspecialties of cardiology: Interventional, Electrophysiology, Adult Congenital, Echocardiography, Nuclear and Advanced Cardiac Imaging, Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplantation. Our ultimate goal is to educate and train cardiology fellows to not only meet the basic requirements of evidence-based cardiovascular clinical practice, but to greatly exceed these requirements to meet their full potential as doctors. We want our fellows to thrive in both academic- and community-based medical institutions and to become leaders in cardiology. We want our cardiology fellows to be exemplary role models for professional medical practice at Los Angeles General Medical Center and Keck Medical Center of USC.

  1. Thursday Morning Education Day
    The Core Curriculum for all subspecialties, focused topics on echocardiography and other imaging modalities, cardiology basics, in-training sessions for VADs, PPM/ICD interrogation, IABP and LifeVest
  2. Tuesday Morning Cardiac Catheterization Conference
  3. Cardiovascular Research Topics by Dr. Kloner
  4. Advanced Imaging Rounds with Dr. Shinbane on Monday and Thursday mornings
  5. Monthly Journal Clubs moderated by Dr. Elkayam
  6. EKG Conference with Drs. Ostrzega and Konecny
  7. Monthly Interventional Cardiology Didactic Series: Thursday mornings
  8. Vascular Medicine Didactic Series
  9. Electrophysiology: Friday mornings
  10. Congenital Lecture Series with guests from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
    Guest Lecture Series
  11. Cardiology Grand Rounds
  12. Combined Emergency Department/Cardiology Conference held each quarter
  13. Visiting Professorships

L. Julian Haywood, MD Visiting Professorship


Gary Gibbons, MD
Director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

“Advancing Discovery Science for Public Health Impact”


Jackson T. Wright Jr., MD, PhD, FACP, FASH, FAHA
Emeritus Professor of Medicine,
Case Western Reserve University
Director of Clinical Hypertension Program,
University Hospitals Case Medical Center

“Hypertension Management – 2017: What We Know. What We Need To Learn.”


Clyde W. Yancy, MD
Vice Dean, Diversity and Inclusion
Magerstadt Professor of Medicine
Professor of Medical Social Sciences
Chief, Division of Cardiology
Northwestern University
Feinberg School of Medicine and
Associate Director
Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute
Northwestern Memorial Hospital

“Heart Failure in African Americans: A Journey from Bench to Bedside to Community”


Kim A. Williams, MD
Chief, Division of Cardiology
Rush University Medical Center
President, American College of Cardiology

Heart Disease and Diet

Shahbudin H. Rahimtoola,
MD Visiting Professorship


Melvin Scheinman, MD
Walter H. Shorenstein Endowed Chair in Cardiology
Chief of Cardiology Genetics Arrhythmia Program
Cardiac Electrophysiology
University of California, San Francisco

“Treatment of Cardiac Arrhythmias Then & Now: The Role of Catheter Ablation”

Uri Elkayam,
MD Visiting Professorship


James S. Forrester, MD
Emeritus Professor, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Professor of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles

“Current Perspectives and Future Directions in Cardiology”

Los Angeles General Medical Center
Coronary Care Unit
Consult Service (Con A, Con B)
Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory
Nuclear Medicine
Advanced Imaging
Keck Medical Center
Heart Failure Service
Consult Service
Advanced Imaging
Nuclear Medicine
Merije Chukumerije, MD
Leah Raj, MD
Sumit Patel, MD
Lena Awar, MD
Kristen Burton, MD
Jonathan Natttiv, MD
Peter Xu, MD
Pooya Banankhah, MD
Wesley Ghasem, MD
Wilson Kwan, MD
Grace Liu, MD
Stephen Yau, MD

Recent Cases from Los Angeles General Medical Center and Keck Medical Center of USC

Dr. David Shavelle’s “AngioVAC Case RA Mass


Applications for a General Cardiology Fellowship are available in early July via ERAS. The deadline to submit an application is September 1. Please visit ERAS to apply.

Application Requirements: MD degree and at least three years of residency before fellowship begins.
Applications accepted only through ERAS. All parts of the ERAS application are required (Common Application Form, CV, Personal Statement, three letters of recommendation (one must be from your program director,) MSPE (dean’s letter), medical school transcript and USMLE.

Foreign Medical School Graduates

International Medical Graduates interested in a fellowship must be certified by ECFMG and enter the training program on a J-1 visa, unless they are a citizen of the United States.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I am a foreign medical graduate, how do I go about obtaining a Letter of Evaluation from the Medical Board of California?
In order to complete a fellowship here, you must be board-certified or board-eligible in medicine. If you are licensed in another state, you do not need to obtain a letter of eligibility. If you are not licensed, obtaining the letter is very similar to applying for licensure. Please contact the Medical Board of California for more information and to receive the letter or license.

Does your training program accept visas?
We can only support J-1 visas for our clinical trainees.

When will interviews be held?
We typically hold interview dates in September and October. Interviews are by invitation only. Notification of which applicants will be offered interviews is provided in late August.

Sleep Alertness and Fatigue Education in Residency ACGME Required Presentation

Helga Van Herle, MD
Director, Cardiology Fellowship Program
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
Keck School of Medicine

Sarah Luna
Fellowship Coordinator
Phone: (323) 442-7419

Ajay Vaidya, MD
Associate Program Director, Cardiology Fellowship Program
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
Keck School of Medicine