Frequently Asked Questions

How is fellows' clinic structured?

Our continuity clinic is designed to expose fellows to a large spectrum of disease while also maintaining autonomy over patient care decisions. Each fellow will maintain their own patient panel at both UK (located in the Good Samaritan clinic) and the VA. Clinics are one half-day per week and alternate week-to-week between UK and the VA. In the past, fellows with specific career goals have also been able to customize their clinic schedules with examples including substitution of a dedicated women's health clinic or a cardiac ICU recovery clinic instead of their traditional UK clinic. In addition to their own continuity clinics, fellows also have the opportunity to rotate through all of our subspecialty clinics throughout their three years.

How much of my time will be spent at the Lexington VAMC?

We are fortunate that the Lexington VA is connected to the main UK hospital via tunnel so even those fellows on VA rotations are never truly "off-site" and are still able to attend conferences and other educational opportunities in person. Rotations at the VA including Nuclear/Stress and Cath Lab are incorporated into the first two years of fellowship. Second year fellows have a VA Echo rotation, during which they will create preliminary echo reports as well as perform TEEs at the VA.  During the 3rd year, senior fellows run the VA cardiology consult team (there is no inpatient cardiology team at the VA). In addition to these rotations, all fellows cover the VA during overnight call, and also maintain their VA continuity clinic throughout their three years.  

What recent changes have been made to the program?

We pride ourselves in being a very proactive and fluid program that is ever-changing. Many ideas and concerns are first discussed at our monthly informal fellows' meeting with the PDs and progress from there. Examples of some of our many recent changes include separation of consult blocks into two weeks instead of four, utilization of APPs to reduce fellows' workload on consults, addition of a dedicated teaching attending for the echo rotation, re-design of the interventional curriculum, and more.

Are there opportunities for the fellows to teach other trainees?

Our fellows are expected to not only seek out learning opportunities for themselves but also grow as educators for those around them. Several of our rotations including CCU, general floor team, and consults have residents, students, and other observers for whom the fellow is able to provide real-time, hands-on teaching. Our fellowship conference schedule also provides numerous opportunities to lead case discussions and structured didactics for co-fellows. In addition, interested fellows have also been invited to be a part of the structured didactic series for medical students and internal medicine residents. If fellows elect to participate in this, our cardiology attendings will observe their lecture and provide feedback on ways to improve as many will then go on to give the same lecture yearly.

What resources are available for fellows to be involved in research?

Our goal is to provide fellows with the tools to meet whatever their desired research goal is. Mentorship is provided both by assigned mentors as well as through our research small groups during which fellows can discuss and troubleshoot ongoing projects in a low-stress environment. Being a part of a large academic center such as UK also provides access to resources ranging librarians to database access to statistical help. Beyond traditional research projects, interested fellows have also been involved in other projects ranging from quality improvement work to becoming site co-investigators on national clinic trials.

What educational resources are available for fellows during their training?

You will have free access for the entirety of your training to ACC Cardiosource and the Online Learning Catalog (e.g. ACCSAP, EchoSAP, CathSAP, EP SAP, HF SAP etc.).  We have access to a wide variety of electronic medical journals and books via the University of Kentucky library. We provide you with access to downloadable software such as Microsoft Office, Adobe products, Endnote, and statistical software.

What electronic medical record systems are used at the University of Kentucky Medical Center?

Clinical EMR is Epic. Hospital PACS is Change Healthcare. Echo/Cath can be assessed via Intellispace. There is also remote access available to the EMR and images.

Are there opportunities to attend a national meeting?

Yes, each fellow has the opportunity and is encouraged to attend at least one major cardiovascular national meeting during their fellowship.  There is also funding to send fellows to meetings at which they are presenting scientific abstracts. We strongly support fellows to participate in national clinical trials and this often allows you to attend investigator meetings as well.

The Kentucky chapter of the ACC invites and sponsors at least 1 fellow / year to participate in visits to congress to meet with lawmakers.

The UK Fellowship leadership nominates multiple fellows annually to attend board review, Mayo Echo Review Courses, and other Grant-related activities. 

How are fellows mentored during their fellowship?

In addition to the standard faculty-fellow relationships that traditionally form around common bonds (clinical practice, research, social, etc) we have a formal mentorship mentor-mentee program where fellows are assigned to a specific faculty mentor for their three years of fellowship. The program director and associate program directors are heavily involved in the development of the fellow’s career path and this may lead to modification of the formal mentor assignment when deemed appropriate.  We have also created research small groups that meet regularly to simulate research lab meetings and foster the initiation, progress, and completion of fellow research projects. 

What does overnight coverage look like?

Overnight coverage is provided by a hybrid night float/call system.  We front load our overnight coverage between first and second years. Every first and second year does four weeks of night float per year. Night float runs Sunday night through Thursday night allowing for multiple days off in between these weeks. That leaves Friday and Saturday calls that are distributed AMONG the remaining first and second years (on non-service months). This results in approximately 8-10 calls/year. There is no overnight call during your third year. Our overnight call is busy, but allows for autonomous decision making with an attending cardiologist always available for support and assistance.

What advanced fellowships are offered at UK?

-- 2 Interventional positions yearly
-- 1 Structural position yearly (taken as a 2nd year after interventional)
-- 1 Electrophysiology position yearly
-- 2 Advanced Cardiac Imaging positions yearly
-- 2 Advanced Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant positions yearly
-- Critical Care Cardiology (critical care training mixed between 3rd year of general fellowship and 1 additional year)