Education

Training in heart and vascular care at UCSF spans multiple clinical roles, specialties and subspecialties – and is delivered by some of the most noted medical and nursing experts in the world.

Daniel A. Brenner, MD, PhD

Daniel A. Brenner, MD, PhD, clinical fellow in medicine -- cardiology, in the heart and lung transplant clinic.

Cardiology Fellowships Train Physician-Scientists

In the UCSF School of Medicine, physicians can enroll in any of a full array of highly regarded fellowships in cardiology. These fellowships support already licensed physicians who are undertaking training in a medical specialty. Cardiology fellowships include cardiac electrophysiology, general cardiology, interventional cardiology, echocardiography, heart failure and heart transplantation, and cardiovascular research.

“Because we have such a broad range, people can customize their fellowships for their own careers and interests,” says Michael Crawford, MD, director of the cardiology fellowship program. “And we get applicants from all over the world.”

“One of the biggest advantages of coming to UCSF is the opportunity to work closely with peers who are the best of the best, as well as with internationally acclaimed faculty,” says William Grossman, MD, former chief of Cardiology at UCSF and now director of the UCSF Center for Prevention of Heart and Vascular Disease.

The fellowship program is especially interested in training outstanding clinicians who are also outstanding scientists. “That’s one of our primary goals,” says Crawford. “We want to turn out fully trained physicians who can also advance the field, which is why we have our fellows spend time in the many research programs available on this campus.”

UCSF cardiology fellowships include:

  • Adult Cardiology Training Program: This four-year program is the parent program to all other UCSF training programs in cardiology. In their clinical time, fellows cover all aspects of diagnosing and treating heart disease and heart failure. On the research side, UCSF is consistently among the nation’s leaders in National Institutes of Health funding, and established investigators provide support and mentoring to fellows in regard to research projects. 
  • Cardiac Electrophysiology Training Program: Cardiac electrophysiology is a specialty that diagnoses and treats electrical activity in the heart. The fellowship is two years and covers clinical and research work. “In their clinical work, fellows are involved directly with patients and learn highly specialized electrophysiology procedures in a field of heart care that is growing dramatically,” says Jeffrey Olgin, MD, chief of the UCSF Division of Cardiology.
  • Interventional Cardiology Training Program: Interventional cardiology involves the lacing of a tiny tube, called a catheter, through a patient’s circulatory system to address areas of the heart or its surrounding blood vessels that are challenging a patient’s health. Physician-fellows in this program learn their skills at two principal UCSF catheterization laboratories, where interventional cardiologists perform more than 800 procedures annually, using the most advanced equipment and treating some of the most complex patient needs. The program also provides experienced mentors to help fellows develop a research program.
  • Echocardiography Training Program: Echocardiography is a subspecialty in which cardiologists use ultrasound to examine how a heart is functioning – a critical component of diagnosing heart health. Fellows in the echocardiography program do their clinical work at the Adult Cardiac Echocardiography Laboratory of UCSF Medical Center, which performs more than 10,000 echocardiograms each year. The fellowship offers combined clinical and research training.
  • Advanced Heart Failure and Heart Transplantation Fellowship: Effectively managing the care of heart failure and heart transplant patients in the hospital is an essential skill. In this fellowship, participants spend one year working with expert clinicians who are managing patients with advanced heart failure, heart transplants and hypertension. Opportunities for clinical research are also available.

The Nation’s First Vascular Surgery Fellowship

Michael Crawford, MD

Michael Crawford, MD

In 1962, UCSF created the nation’s first fellowship in vascular surgery. “We have a track record of training some of the finest vascular surgeons in the nation through this program,” says Michael Conte, MD, chief of the Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery.

The UCSF Vascular Surgery Fellowship provides comprehensive clinical training in the management of vascular disorders and is dedicated to the development of future leaders in vascular surgery. Vascular fellows are exposed to the approximately 1,000 vascular surgeries performed annually at UCSF Medical Center, from the most common to the most complex. State-of-the-art facilities include a recently opened endovascular suite in the operating room. 

Training Advanced Practice Nurses

“Nurses play a critical role in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, which are the leading cause of death in the United States,” says Kathleen Dracup, RN, DNSc, professor and immediate past dean of the UCSF School of Nursing. The school is recognized for some of the finest training in the world for advanced practice cardiovascular nurses, who play a variety of roles when working with cardiovascular patients. 

The flexible program places students with nationally prominent faculty to pursue interests in everything from health promotion and prevention to cardiac rehabilitation and the management of medical, surgical and critically ill cardiac patients.

Clinical residencies are available at some of the nation’s most prestigious hospitals and medical centers, including UCSF. Students do clinical work in acute care and critical care settings, outpatient clinics, academic settings, physicians’ offices, and biomedical companies. Ongoing faculty research activities provide exceptional opportunities for students interested in a research role.