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Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship (ACGME) - FAQ

What is the deadline for applying? When is interview season?

We accept applications through ERAS and participate in the NRMP match. Please refer to the ERAS Fellowship Application timeline for more information.

How many fellows are there in the program?

We accept 3 fellows per year, for a total of 9.

How often will I be on call? Do I have to stay in the hospital for my call?

First and second year fellows are on call on in 1 week days and one weekend every 6 weekends. After each weekend on call, fellows have the following Monday off from clinical duties after sign out in the morning. Call in the third year is reduced.

Call is taken from home, with the expectation that fellows will return to the hospital as needed for STEMIs or unstable patients. Fellows are provided with a laptop and iPhone in order to view EKGs, review charts, and otherwise facilitate call.

What about clinic?

Fellows have outpatient clinic once a week with faculty preceptors. Fellows establish and manage their own panel of patients.

What ancillary services are available to fellows?

We work closely with nurse practitioners, cath lab technicians, sonographers, and others. Sonographers do the majority of the echocardiography imaging and we have nurse practitioners who do most of the device checks in pacemaker clinic. However, there is ample opportunity to obtain scanning and programming skills, and fellows routinely perform echo exams and check devices on night call.

How much vacation time will I get?

Fellows receive 20 days of vacation per year and 5 days of educational leave.

Will I get good training?

Yes! We are fully ACGME accredited and our curriculum follows the breadth described in COCATS 3. We have regular educational conferences and our fellows collectively score very highly on the ACC Fellows In-Training Exam.

What is your board pass rate?

We have a 100% pass rate for the Cardiology boards. Our fellows also successfully take other board exams (i.e. Adult Echocardiography and Nuclear Cardiology).

What changes are foreseen in the fellowship?

While we are constantly striving to improve our program, we do not anticipate any major changes to the fellowship.

I’m going to be so busy. How can I still thrive and stay fit?

Our program values healthy work/life balance. We have very supportive faculty and peers. There are ample outdoor activities in the bay area. There is a free Kaiser employee Fitness Center and the graduate medical education department provides an annual stipend for gym membership. We also have a San Francisco Cardiology intramural basketball team!

How is San Francisco Kaiser Permanente different from other fellowships?

We have excellent attending cardiologists for mentorship who practice evidence-based medicine. The large patient base of Kaiser Permanente allows for excellent training in all facets of Cardiology. Fellows are highly encouraged and fully supported to follow their interests and further their careers. We work in a collegial environment and have regular social outings for fellows and attendings together.

Will I be able to secure a position for subspecialty training?

Yes! With the support of our faculty, our fellows have gone on to interventional cardiology fellowships at University of Southern California, University of Virginia, and Massachusetts General Hospital and advanced heart failure/transplant at Stanford.

Will I be able to get a job?

Yes! The amazing thing about Kaiser Permanente is that after you train with us you will probably want to stay within the system. Our graduates have obtained jobs both with Kaiser and at other institutions. See the Alumni page for more details.

Are there teaching opportunities?

Of course! Fellows in the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Program have opportunities to teach our internal medicine, OB/GYN residency programs at the Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center and the Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center. We interact with interns and residents daily on rounds,  providing formal and informal teaching. Cardiology fellows are also involved in the internal medicine morning reports and noon conferences.

What research opportunities are available to me?

All fellows must be involved with research. One of the perks of being at Kaiser is access to one of the largest and most comprehensive electronic medical record systems, providing great opportunity for population-based research. We work closely with the Department of Research and have both programing and statistical support.

Are away rotations allowed?

Of course! Previous away rotations for fellows have included pediatric/congenital interventional cardiology at UCSF, cardiac MRI at Duke University, cardiac MRI at Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC, Congenital MRI at Stanford, and In-patient consult at Kaiser South San Francisco.

Can I afford to live in San Francisco on a fellow’s salary?

As a highly desirable place to live and work, San Francisco has always had a relatively high cost of living. The majority of fellows live in the city. We receive a housing stipend up to $3,500 to help offset housing costs. The graduate medical education program also pays fellows’ parking fees, medical licensing fees, provides a $1,500 educational stipend each year of fellowship, and a $720 reimbursement for gym membership.

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