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Welcome to the Westchester Medical Center Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Programs. It is my great pleasure to serve as the Cardiology Fellowship Program Director at Westchester Medical Center, a quaternary referral center set on a beautiful wooded campus in the suburbs of New York City. The Fellowship Program includes the 3-year ACGME-accredited general Cardiovascular Disease program and, for fellows who have completed such training, ACGME-accredited advanced training programs in Interventional Cardiology, Clinical Electrophysiology, and Advanced Heart Failure and Transplantation.

We have over 20 outstanding fellows among these programs, including 6 general fellows/year, 1 Interventional fellow, 2 Electrophysiology fellows, and 1 Advanced Heart Failure fellow. All of our programs emphasize state-of-the-art, evidence-based clinical training, with excellent inpatient and outpatient volumes and a highly diverse patient population (in terms of both socioeconomic backgrounds and pathobiology). We emphasize supportive faculty supervision, integrated didactic instruction, and academic excellence in a highly collegial and close-knit environment. We greatly value our fellows as important contributors to our highly-regarded Heart and Vascular Institute, and are very proud of their consistent accomplishments in clinical care, research, and education during fellowship and beyond. Our fellows remain our lifelong colleagues.

I hope that the information on this website provides you with a helpful overview of our training program, details about our current curriculum and objectives for our fellows, the application process, and an appreciation of the many opportunities for professional and personal growth here at Westchester Medical Center. As you consider your choice of cardiology fellowship programs, we hope that your individual goals and priorities will find a good fit here at Westchester. As our fellows will tell you, I am always available to them, so if you have any questions about our program please feel free to contact me at any time.

Sincerely,



Howard A. Cooper, MD
Fellowship Program Director, Cardiovascular Disease Training Program
Director of Inpatient Cardiology, Westchester Medical Center
Professor of Medicine, New York Medical College 
howard.cooper@wmchealth.org

 

Program History

A Brief History of the Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Program at the Westchester Medical Center

The fellowship program in cardiovascular disease at Westchester Medical Center began as a 2-year program with 4 clinical fellows in July, 1980.   The program subsequently expanded to 9 fellows when the ABIM certification requirements increased the duration of training from 2 years to 3.  As the degree and complexity of the cardiology services provided at Westchester Medical Center continued to grow and expand, the fellowship program grew as well.

Today the program is ACGME-accredited for 22 fellowship positions, including 18 general cardiology fellows, 1 interventional cardiology fellow, 2 electrophysiology fellows, and 1 advanced heart failure and transplant cardiology fellow. Dr. Julio Panza, an internationally-renowned clinician and scientist is the Department of the Division of Cardiology. The Cardiology Fellowship Program Director is Dr. Howard Cooper, who also serves as Director of Cardiology Inpatient Services. Other key leaders of the fellowship programs include: Dr. Hasan Ahmad, Program Director for Interventional Cardiology; Dr. Gregg Lanier, Program Director for Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology; Dr. Sei Iwai, Program Director for Electrophysiology; and Dr. Wilbert Aronow, Director of Cardiology Research.

Westchester Medical Center sits within a serene 600 acre campus, which also includes the basic science labs of New York Medical College. The basic science labs have a particular strength in vascular biology, hypertension and cardiac stem cell research, and fellows are encouraged to collaborate in these research efforts. Fellows also participate in ongoing clinical trials, and the program hosts the editorial offices for two prestigious national journals (American Journal of Medicine and Cardiology in Review).

It is our practice to mentor our fellows in a collegial, one-on-one fashion. We believe that this approach allows each fellow to learn to the best of his or her ability, experience the excitement of individual research, and to work interactively as an integral member of a team to improve the health of all of our patients.

Clinical Training

Cardiology Consultation

The consult service is a busy rotation where the fellow gains knowledge in both “bread-and-butter cardiology” (e.g. afib, supraventricular tachycardias, acute coronary syndromes, CHF, peri-operative management, pericarditis/pericardial effusions) and less-common cardiac disease processes (e.g. cardiac amyloidosis, cardiac tumors, rheumatic valve disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy). The fellow is also responsible for teaching medical residents and students on the consult team.

Coronary Care Unit (CCU)
The Coronary Care Unit provides a challenging and rewarding learning environment for the cardiology fellows.  The CCU is an 8-bed unit, caring for patients with all forms of cardiac critical illness including acute coronary syndromes, advanced heart failure, cardiogenic shock, complex arrhythmias, and structural heart disease.  The CCU medical team consists of a dedicated cardiac intensivist, the cardiology fellow, and internal medicine house staff.  The CCU fellow is responsible for all aspects of patient care, and for supervising and teaching the house staff, and they will gain extensive experience with invasive hemodynamic monitoring and mechanical circulatory support.  Graduated responsibilities will be granted throughout the 3-year fellowship experience.

General Inpatient Cardiology Service
The general inpatient cardiology service is a core experience for the cardiology fellow. Under the supervision of an experienced cardiology attending, the fellow will lead a team of medicine house staff and advanced nurse practitioners in caring for patients on the cardiology step-down unit. Triage for cardiac patients in the ED is also provided by this fellow. This rotation serves to provide the fellow with exposure to a broad array of cardiac illnesses, as well as instill the vital skills of team leadership.

Catheterization Laboratory
Fellows have ample opportunity to participate in both right and left heart catheterizations as well as pericardiocentesis, intra-aortic balloon pump placement, femoral and radial artery access, percutaneous coronary intervention, intravascular ultrasound and fractional flow reserve measurements.  Additionally, we work closely with both our vascular surgery and pediatric cardiology colleagues, giving our fellows broad exposure to the catheter-based procedures in these arenas.  Most recently, we have developed a vigorous TAVR program in collaboration with our cardiac surgical colleagues.  This program is housed in a state-of-the-art hybrid lab.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
Fellows have ample and well-supervised opportunity to participate in both right and left heart catheterizations as well as pericardiocentesis, intra-aortic balloon pump placement, femoral and radial artery access, percutaneous coronary intervention, intravascular ultrasound and fractional flow reserve measurements. Involvement in select structural procedures such as alcohol septal ablation and PFO/ASD closure is also available. Additionally, we work closely with both our vascular surgery and pediatric cardiology colleagues, as part of one combined invasive laboratory, giving our fellows broad exposure to the catheter-based procedures in these arenas. Most recently, we have developed and maintained strong TAVR, MitraClip and Watchman programs in collaboration with our cardiac surgical and electrophysiologic colleagues. Both MitraClip and TAVR are performed in a state-of-the-art Hybrid Lab.

CHF/Transplant/Pulmonary Hypertension
WMC has a very active Heart Failure and Transplant program, performing over 25 transplants each year. The cardiology fellow on the CHF team will follow and manage his or her own set of patients during their month-long rotation. They will learn the nuances of inotropy, mechanical support in intensive care units including LVAD and ECMO, and pre and post heart transplant care.  Weekly interdisciplinary cardiac transplant meetings will introduce the fellow to the team approach necessary for advanced heart failure care.   The fellow will also learn how to perform Swan-Ganz catheter insertion, right heart catheterization and endomyocardial biopsy.

Echocardiography Laboratory 
The echocardiography rotation includes performance and interpretation of transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiograms under the supervision of an expert physician and technologist staff.  Studies are performed in various clinical settings, including the inpatient echo lab, intensive care units, and the Bradhurst outpatient center.  By offering these diverse venues, WMC affords the cardiology fellow a unique perspective on how echocardiograms can differ in style. The fellow is encouraged to do a “wet-read” of echocardiograms after they are done and then discuss their thought-process with attendings. In addition, fellows present these echocardiograms weekly at conference. Along with standard TTE and TEE, the WMC echo lab has significant expertise in the use of real-time 3-Dimensional echocardiography.

Electrophysiology 
Our EP program has become a nationally recognized leader in the care of cardiac arrhythmia patients.  We have two state-of-the-art EP laboratories, in addition to a device implantation room, and access to the hybrid OR.  All types of ablations are performed, including those for atrial fibrillation, atrial tachycardia, and ventricular tachyarrhythmias, utilizing both endocardial and epicardial approaches, as well as “hybrid” ablations. Our device program is also quite robust; our faculty performs pacemaker and ICD implants, including cardiac resynchronization therapy devices, subcutaneous ICD implants, leadless pacemakers, and laser lead extractions, as well as left atrial appendage occlusion devices, in collaboration with the cardiac catheterization lab.  Our cardiology fellows have the opportunity to provide consultations regarding complex arrhythmia issues, provide peri-procedural care, and to have hands-on experience during electrophysiology studies, catheter ablations and device implants. Training in pacemaker and ICD interrogation is provided as well.

Advanced Cardiac Imaging (CT/MRI)
The Cardiac MRI and CT rotation serves as an introduction to these advanced imaging techniques. The fellow will learn the pertinent safety issues (provider and patient) for both modalities, basics of acquisition and post-processing, and an introduction to certain common disease states. A basic understanding of the interpretation of delayed hyper-enhancement imaging and coronary CTA will also be covered.  Clinical cases will be supplemented with a library of hundreds of interesting cases, and a syllabus of the seminal papers for both modalities.  Additional elective rotations are available for fellows interested in a more in-depth imaging experience.

Nuclear Cardiology 
Fellows will participate in at least 2 months of nuclear cardiology during their training.  Stress modalities include treadmill, regadenoson, and (occasionally) dobutamine.  They include EKG and nuclear imaging.  The fellow will decide if the ordered test is indicated and, if so, which modality of stress test should be used. The fellow will work closely with the attending in nuclear imaging interpretation. On a weekly basis, the fellow will rotate through an outpatient teaching practice for nuclear stress imaging interpretation as well as for stress echocardiography.

Vascular Medicine
Fellows will be exposed to many aspects of vascular medicine throughout their training.  Clinical exposure will be complemented by a series of didactic lectures provided by vascular surgery attendings.  Fellows will become facile with vascular imaging, and elective time can be utilized to develop sufficient experience to sit for the vascular imaging certification exam.

Rotations offered as Electives
Research
Congenital Heart Disease
Cardiothoracic Surgery

Outpatient Continuity Practice
The outpatient continuity practice is a key component of the education of our cardiology fellows.  Fellows spend one half day per week caring for a panel of outpatients that they will see throughout their fellowship training.  The fellows see patients under the supervision of an attending cardiologist, in the same world-class private office facility and within the same practice structure as the attending cardiologists.  One-on-one mentoring in a superb environment allows our fellows to develop the skills they will need to practice outstanding patient-centered outpatient cardiology.

Vacation 
Each fellow is allotted 4 weeks of vacation and 4 personal days during each year of training.

Sample Rotation Schedule

First Year Rotations:

 

CCU

4 Weeks

Consult

4 Weeks

General Inpatient

7 Weeks

CHF/Transplant

4 Weeks

EP

4 Weeks

Cath

6 Weeks

TTE

6 Weeks

Nuclear

6 Weeks

Night Float (see below)

5 Weeks

Vacation

4 Weeks

 

Second Year Rotations:

 

CCU

4 Weeks

Consult

4 Weeks

General Inpatient

2 Week

CHF/Transplant

4 Weeks

EP

4 Weeks

Cath

6 Weeks

TEE/TTE

8 Weeks

Nuclear

6 Weeks

Advanced Cardiac Imaging

2 Weeks

Night Float

4 Weeks

Vacation

4 Weeks

Elective

4 Weeks

 

Third Year Rotations:

 

CCU

2 Weeks

Consult 

2 Weeks

CHF/Transplant

1 Week

EP

1 Week

Cath

6 Weeks

TEE

10 Weeks

Nuclear

4 Weeks

Advanced Cardiac Imaging

2 Weeks

Elective

20 Weeks

Vacation

4 Weeks


TEE= Transesophageal Echocardiography
TTE= Transthoracic Echocardiography
CCU= Coronary Care Unit
Cath = Cardiac Catheterization 
EP= Electrophysiology
CHF= Congestive Heart Failure
Electives: Research, Congenital Heart Disease, Cardiothoracic Surgery, or more of the aforementioned rotations.

Conferences:

Mondays:

 

Morning Report

7:30-8:30am

Core Curriculum/Board Review (alternate weeks)

12:30-1:30pm

 

 

Tuesdays:

8:00-9:00am

1st – Imaging Conference

 

2nd & 4th – CHF Conference

 

3rd – Adult Congenital Heart Disease Conference

 

 

 

Wednesdays:

 

Cath and Cardiothoracic Surgery Conference

7:30-8:30am

 

 

Thursdays:

 

Transplant Conference

7:00-8:00am

Nuclear Conference/Echo Conference (alternate weeks)

8:00-9:00am

Cardiology Grand Rounds

12:00-1:30pm

 

 

Fridays:

 

Vascular Conference

7:00-8:00am

EP/Interventional Cardiology Conference (alternate weeks)

8:00-9:00am

EKG Workshop

12:00-1:00pm

Other: Journal Club, Morbidity & Mortality (“M & M”), Research Conference

On-Call

Night Float
We have recently inaugurated a night float call system.  The night float fellows work in 2-week blocks, arriving at 6:30pm and staying through 7:30am, Sunday-Friday.

Saturday Night Call
Saturday night call is a traditional 24-hour call which is front-loaded (i.e. decreases in frequency as you become more senior in the program). 

Call Rooms
Our recently renovated fellows lounge is home to a private call room with a private bathroom, carpeting, desk, chair, phone, Wi-Fi, and computer along with a large common area.

At all times, cardiology faculty members are available for phone or in-person support.

Research Opportunities

All fellows are expected to formulate, carry out, and complete at least one research project during the three year fellowship. The projects will be supervised by a cardiology faculty member and fit into the overall research program of the Department. Formal submission and presentation of the fellow's work in a format suitable for publication is required. Travel is supported for fellows to present their work at regional and national meetings. The Senior Research Mentor for our cardiology fellows is Dr. Wilbert Aronow, one of the most widely respected and prolific clinical researchers in the world. Under his tutelage, our fellows have had tremendous success in the research arena, with presentations at all major national and international venues. We had 10 poster presentations and 2 moderated poster presentations at ACC.18, 2 poster presentations at the 2018 World Congress on Heart Disease, 3 moderated presentations and 3 poster presentations at 2018 London Valve, 2 moderated poster presentations at TCT 2018, and 3 poster presentations at AHA 2018. In addition, every cardiology fellow in the past 17 years has authored at least 1 PubMed publication during their training.

 

Cardiology Fellows for 2020-2021

Third Year Fellows:

Syed Adeel Ahsan, MD 
Residency: Mount Sinai St. Luke’s/West, NY 

Ethan Hoch, MD 
Residency: Montefiore Medical Center, NY 

Juan Carlos Ruiz Diaz, MD 
Residency: Jacobi Medical Center, NY (Chief Resident) 

James Sweeney, MD 
Residency: Drexel University, PA (Chief Resident) 

Srikanth Yandrapalli, MD 
Residency: Westchester Medical Center/New York Medical College, NY (Chief Resident) 

Syed Zaid, MD 
Residency: Westchester Medical Center/New York Medical College, NY

Second Year Fellows:

Ahmed Abu-Haniyeh, MD 
Residency: Cleveland Clinic, Ohio 

Ahmed Hassanin, MD 
Residency: Morristown Medical Center, NJ (Chief Resident)

Risheek Kaul, MD 
Residency: Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio 

Amanda Lloji, MD 
Residency: Westchester Medical Center/New York Medical College, NY 

Parija Sharedalal, MD 
Residency: Drexel University Medical Center, PA 

Jayakumar Sreenivasan, MD 
Residency: Cook County Medical Center, IL 


First Year Fellows:

Atul Bali, MD

Residency: University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, PA

Dhrub Bandyopadhyay, MD

Residency: Mt. Sinai – St. Luke’s West, NY

Akshay Goel, MD
Residency: University of Arkansas Medical Center, AR

Aaqib Malik, MD MPH

Residency: Griffin Hospital / Yale University, CT

Wojciech Rzechorzek, MD

Residency: Mt. Sinai – St. Luke’s West, NY

Ravi Shah, MD

Residency: New York University, NY

Past Fellows

Class of 2020:

Jasjit Bhinder, MD
Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology Fellowship
Yale University Medical Center, CT

Syed Abbas Haidry, MD

Interventional Cardiology Fellowship
Westchester Medical Center, NY

Nitin Kabra, MD (Chief Fellow)

Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology Fellowship
University of California, San Diego

Mohammad Karim, MD

Private Practice
Erie, PA

Pratik Mondal, MD

Interventional Cardiology Fellowship
SUNY Downstate Medical Center, NY

Amer Sayed, MD

Interventional Cardiology Fellowship
University of Cincinnati Medical Center, OH

Class of 2019:

Prakash Harikrishnan, MD

Cardiology Faculty
Augusta University Medical Center, GA 

Mohammed Hasan Khan, MD
Interventional Cardiology Fellowship
Westchester Medical Center, NY

Anna Koulova, MD
Private Practice, CT

Behram Mody, MD
Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology Fellowship
University of California, San Diego

Yogita Rochlani, MD
Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology Fellowship
Montefiore Medical Center, NY

Class of 2018:

Francisco Hidalgo, MD

Faculty, University of Kentucky

Amole Ojo, MD
Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology Fellowship:
Beth Israel Deaconess, MA

Abdallah Sanaani, MD
Faculty, University of Wisconsin

Class of 2017:

David Chabbott, MD
Private Practice, New Jersey

Sahil Khera, MD, MPH
Interventional Cardiology Fellowship:
Massachusetts General Hospital, MA

Sohaib Tariq, MD
Advanced Heart Failure Fellowship:
Scripps, CA

Marcos Valerio, MD
Interventional Cardiology Fellowship:
Lenox Hill Hospital, NY

 


The Academic Department of Cardiology is the most well known in the region for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Physicians in the group were pioneers in the use of coronary balloon angioplasty and stenting for the treatment of acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) and established the first 24/7 coverage facility for the emergency treatment of acute myocardial infarction for patients in the Hudson Valley Region.

The Department comprises -- full-time faculty members, representing all areas of Clinical Medicine cardiology specialization, including cardiac catheterization, coronary angioplasty and stenting, ultrasound imaging, radionuclide perfusion imaging, stress testing, electrocardiography, electrophysiologic testing, arrhythmia ablation, pacemaker and implantable defibrillator insertion, resynchronization and ventricular assist therapy for heart failure and acute and chronic care of heart failure patients. Our group also has an international reputation in the use of drugs for cardiovascular diseases and for the comprehensive assessments of all cardiac patients, including those with hypertension and lipidemia.

Innovative programs are available for the management of patients with pulmonary hypertension and for adults with congenital heart disease. Additionally, the implantation of percutaneous ventricular assist devices for treatment of cardiogenic shock and the medical management of patients before and after heart transplantation are well interpreted by our world famous heart surgeons. Procedures such as percutaneous revascularization of peripheral vascular lesions, renal angioplasty are performed in close cooperation with the Division of Vascular Surgery.

The Department prides itself on its many academic accomplishments characterized by a strong research arm. The discovery of the cardiac stem cell and the birth of the field of cardiac regeneration began on campus through the work of scientific investigation. The Department participates in many Clinical Medicine trials of new drugs and devices and Department members are the most widely published in the state in the peer-reviewed literature. Multiple textbooks on the literature used worldwide are published by members of the Department. The Department is the site for the publication of two national journals, The American Journal of Medicine with 130,000 readers and Cardiology inReview, an affiliated journal of the American Heart Association. Members of the Department were also co-authors of the recent international guidelines on Hypertension in the Elderly.

Faculty:

William H. Frishman, MD – Chairman of the Department of Medicine

Julio A. Panza, MD – Director of the Department of Cardiology

Chhaya Aggarwal Gupta, MD – Attending, Advanced Heart Failure & Heart Transplant

Hasan Ahmad, MD – Medical Director of the Structural Heart Program
and Program Director, Interventional Cardiology Fellowship

Wilbert Aronow, MD – Director of Cardiology Research

Martin Cohen, MD – Director of Cardiac Outreach

Howard A. Cooper, MD – Director of Cardiac Inpatient Services and
Program Director of Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship

Tanya Dutta, MD – Director of Echocardiography 

Daniel Frenkel, MD – Attending, Cardiac Electrophysiology

Anthon Fuisz, MD – Director of Cardiac MRI

Alan Gass, MD – Director of Cardiac Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory Support

Joseph Harburger, MD – Attending, Non-Invasive Cardiology

Sei Iwai, MD – Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology and
Program Director, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology Fellowship

Jason Jacobson, MD – Director of Complex Arrhythmia Ablation Program

Diwakar Jain, MD – Director of Nuclear Cardiology and
Program Director, Cardio-Oncology Program 

Gregg Lanier, MD – Director of Pulmonary Hypertension and
Program Director, Advanced Heart Failure &Transplant Cardiology Fellowship

Avi Levine, MD
– Attending, Advanced Heart Failure & Heart Transplant

Joshua Melcer, MD – Attending, Non-Invasive Cardiology

Srihari Naidu, MD – Director of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and
Director of Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory

Stephen Pan, MD – Attending, Advanced Heart Failure & Heart Transplant

Rhadames Rojas, MD – Attending, Cardiac Electrophysiology

Mala Sharma, MD – Attending, Non-Invasive Cardiology

Daniel Spevack, MD – Director of Valvular Heart Disease Program

Robert Timmermans, MD – Director of Interventional Cardiology

We sincerely welcome your interest in the Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Training Program of Westchester Medical Center/New York Medical College. Here, we emphasize a strong academic foundation in order to produce outstanding cardiologists in both academic and clinical settings throughout the United States.

After being carefully selected, each fellow is intensively trained in an environment that combines rigorous academic and clinical training with the one-on-one direction and collegiality of a dedicated, full-time faculty. Our goal is to train cardiologists who can provide exceptional leadership and compassionate care in a rapidly changing field.

We offer a robust three-year training program in Cardiovascular Disease, as well as the opportunity to pursue advanced fellowships in Interventional Cardiology (1 year, 1 fellow), Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology (1 year, 1 fellow), and Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology (2 years, 1 fellow/year).

Our trainees rotate through the standard cardiology core curriculum, plus significant elective and research time during the second and third years. We seek applicants with exceptional clinical and teaching skills as well as the ability to learn in a fast-paced environment.

Those interested in applying to the program must do so through the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) www.nrmp.org. Applications are accepted through the Electronic Residency Application System (ERAS) using the following link: www.aamc.org/eras.

Our NRMP program code is: Cardiovascular Disease 2157141F0

In order to apply to the program, we require a complete application package to be submitted via ERAS. A minimum of 3 letters of recommendation, including one from your Internal Medicine Residency Program Director, is required.

Please access the Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database (FREIDA) for more information on our programs.

Interviews
The Fellowship Selection Committee will review your application after the required materials have been submitted via ERAS. Interviews will take place during the months of September and October (specific dates TBD).

Visa Sponsorship
WMC will sponsor J-1 Visas. Sponsorship of H-1B Visas will be considered on a case-by-case basis for the most highly qualified applicants and only for those that can secure a visa for the entire 3-year program length.
Tracy Curtiss
Academic Coordinator
Department of Cardiology
Westchester Medical Center
100 Woods Road
Macy Pavilion, Suite 100
Valhalla, NY 10595
914.493.6608
Tracy.Curtiss@wmchealth.org