Training Structure

We offer a three-year traditional track which includes two years of clinical training and one year of scholarly activity (research training or graduate degree education), and a four-year scholarly track which includes two years of clinical training and two years of scholarly activity. The organization of the training program is flexible, and is tailored to individual fellow’s goals and interests. However, all fellows must complete the following core rotations in compliance with guidelines from the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), and the American College of Cardiology Revised Recommendations for Training in Adult Cardiovascular Medicine Core Cardiology Training 4 (COCATS 4) in order to achieve excellence in academic cardiology and eligibility for board certification. All fellows will achieve level 1 certifications outlined in COCATS 4 after completing core rotations, but almost all fellows will choose to achieve level 2 certifications in certain areas using elective blocks.

Clinical training is provided at an integrated clinical cardiovascular center, the Heart and Vascular Center, within the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and at the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Health System. The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is owned by the university, and has integrated leadership with the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. It has 811 beds, admits approximately 37,000 patients each year, offers both primary and quaternary care services, has over 1,700 faculty physicians, and has over 15,000 staff. Forbes Magazine ranked The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics as the seventh best employer in the health care industry. The Iowa City Veterans Affairs Health System is located adjacent to the university, and shares the same faculty as the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Core Rotations

Rotation 4-week blocks
Adult Congenital Heart Disease 1
Cardiac Catheterization 4
Consultations 2
Cardiac CT and MRI 1
Cardiovascular Intensive Care 2
Echocardiography 3
Electrophysiology 2
Heart Failure and Transplant 2
Nuclear Cardiology and Stress Testing 2
Vascular Medicine 1
VA Inpatient Service 1

Fellows will also have two “flex” rotations, during which they will be able to select experiences in outpatient clinics, imaging, or research. However, during these rotations, they will be available to cover for unexpected absences by fellows on certain other services.

Elective Rotations and Scholarly Activity

Fellows will have four blocks to schedule elective rotations. They may use these electives for additional clinical training to achieve level 2 certifications in selected areas, or they may use these electives for scholarly activity. Fellows must request clinical electives in February of the prior academic year to be scheduled into the rotation calendar. Generally, this elective time will be available in the second and the third years.

Fellows in the three-year traditional track will receive six blocks dedicated for scholarly activity, generally in their second and third years. Fellows in the four-year scholarly track will receive 18 blocks dedicated for scholarly activity, generally in their second, third, and fourth years, and they may also use their elective and flex time for scholarly activity. In some cases, specialized research training may occur prior to clinical training as a part of the fellowship training program.

Scholarly activity may involve basic, translational, clinical, or population science research at the world-renowned Abboud Cardiovascular Research Center or in other divisions, departments, colleges, or research centers at the University of Iowa. The Abboud Cardiovascular Research Center has the longest funded cardiovascular NIH T32 training grant, which supports research training for clinical and postdoctoral fellows. We also closely collaborate with other colleges at the University of Iowa, including the College of Public Health and the Tippie College of Business, allowing our fellows to obtain graduate degrees, including Master of Clinical Investigation, Master of Medical Education, Master of Public Health, Master of Health Administration, and Master of Business Administration.

Fellows with an interest in education have ample opportunities to lead didactic teaching sessions. Fellows are expected to give didactic lectures at catheterization conferences, echocardiography conferences, clinical conference lecture series (cardiology grand rounds), board review lecture series, and morbidity and mortality conferences. Fellows participate in teaching part of the electrocardiography course material to medical students under the direction of Dr. Donald Brown, and have the opportunity to teach in other sessions in the undergraduate medical curriculum. In addition, fellows are involved in direct clinical teaching of medical residents on the inpatient cardiology services (cardiovascular intensive care unit, heart failure service ,and consultations service) and assist in the early training of new cardiology fellows. The Fellows as Clinician Educators (FACE) Program is designed to introduce future clinician-educators to a set of skills that will be useful in their careers. The program presents concepts of educational design and research, lecture development, evaluation, observation and feedback. At the conclusion of the program, FACE participants are required to develop a teaching portfolio.


Throughout all years of training, fellows maintain half-day continuity clinics alternating every week between the Heart and Vascular Center within the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Health System.

Call Duties

Each weeknight and weekend day, there is one fellow on call in house for the cardiovascular intensive care unit (CVICU night float) and one fellow on call from home for all other cardiology services at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Health System. Over the course of the entire fellowship program, each fellow is responsible for approximately 40 CVICU night float calls and 70 home calls for a total of 110 calls. CVICU calls are covered by more senior fellows, who also provide backup for the more junior fellows who are on home call. Fellows who are on dedicated scholarly time are generally exempt from call duties.


Several conferences take place throughout the week, and a repeating core curriculum lecture series is completed each year. In addition, a journal club is held weekly and provides a forum for critical review of the literature and debate of current topics in cardiology. Support is provided for fellows to attend at least two national or international conferences during their fellowship, in addition to conferences at which they are presenting their research.


Fellows receive three weeks of paid vacation each academic year, which they make take together as one three-week segment, or as a combination of a one- and a two-week segment. Vacation time is requested in February of the prior academic year and is scheduled into the rotation calendar.