Position Available Cleveland Clinic Cardiac Imaging Fellowship

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Sep 15, 2018
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For my friends in Diagnostic Radiology considering fellowships...

I strongly recommend and advocate considering Cleveland Clinic (CCF) for your cardiac and thoracic imaging fellowships.

OVERALL STRENGTHS: Dedicated and world renown staff to each sub-subspecialty, combining an "institute" approach where Cardiologist/Radiologist read the list. Enormous volume and depth that combines tertiary and regional disease processes...this is important if you are considering a regional center and need to churn/burn volume expertise than tertiary disease prowess. CCF brings in the best/brightest in didactics, grand rounds, short rounds, and keynote speakers (ie. CEO of IBM, etc). Coordination with Case Western (just down the street) allows for high tech/research collaboration (ie. Fingerprint MRI).

OVERALL WEAKNESS: I believe the Coronary CCTA volume isn't that great...so among us fellows we shared cases and created an xls sheet so we had >75 exams by years end. Single vendor (Siemens) in both departments may/may not be an issue...I love them and they're recognized as probably the best in the business...however I came back to a hot mess of GE (CT/MRI).

ABOUT THE PROGRAMS: CCF has the volume and staff to support separate and high volume 12 mo cardiac and thoracic imaging fellowship programs. These are stand alone programs with separate staff and interview process from their residency program. The staff are literally dedicated to that sub-sub specialty. I requested to combine both programs into a 12mo fellowship.

Cardiac Imaging: PD Dr. Bolen (trained at MGH). They have a dedicated 1.5 and 3T Siemens magnet for CMR and dedicated Siemens Flash CT machines for cardiac and vascular/4D TAVR exams. The volume is tremendous...Roughly 20-25 CMR/day with subspecialty/tertiary referrals for pericardial and Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy among others...this is seriously amazing. The surgical emphasis of CCF allows you to see 1-5 Type A Aortic dissections /week (roughly). The vascular and Cardiothoracic surgeons are world renown. You will have more CTs than you know what to do with.

Work flow is fast and also has depth combining staff/side to side reads with cardiology and radiology physicians. A truly happy symbiosis. There is significant opportunity for research and dedicated departments to this alone.

Thoracic Imaging: PD Dr. Lempel (trained at U Virginia). CCF main campus (Cleveland, OH) is a tertiary referral center with regional feeders...you will see EVERY type of ILD, post transplant, cystic, and oncologic thoracic manifestation possible. An added plus is that this is the midwest...so pneumoconiosis (CWL, etc) are also well represented. The strength of the ILD staff can't be over emphasized...I wish I had more time to absorb the knowledge...

IMHO, the thoracic program's strength is in their biopsy/procedure department. The thoracic imaging fellowship includes image guided biopsies 1-2x/wk. The work up, procedure and post procedure mgt are in your hands...literally.

ABOUT ME: Osteopathy at Touro University, then Family Practice residency at Mayo Rochester...all funded via HPSP Air Force. After 8yrs and 2 wars got tired of patient care and applied for Radiology via the combined Army/Air Force and U Texas San Antonio program. Finished residency in '17 and was interested in cardiothoracic imaging fellowship. Follow on was back to San Antonio as the subject matter expert for the Air Force.

I interviewed at MGH, John Hopkins, UCSD and Cleveland Clinic during the fall/winter of '17. This was a funded position so it did not count against each program's numbers...I was literally free (but paid for by the USAF). I bring this up, because it allowed me to concentrate on joining the BEST program not just the one that would accept me.

****I have not been paid, nor does this endorsement come from DoD/Air Force***** just putting that out there to clarify. I just wanted to share my experience.