Fellows have broad exposure to all aspects of mechanical circulatory support and cardiac transplantation, including:
- Preoperative patient selection
- Implantation of ventricular assist devices (HeartMate II, HeartWare HVAD, DuraHeart, and CentriMag)
- Harvest and implantation of donor hearts
- Postoperative care
- Outpatient clinic follow-up evaluations
Participation in multidisciplinary patient selection conferences and transplant rounds is encouraged.
You will meet with the program director and your mentor to devise a training schedule that matches your level of training, as well as mutually agreed upon goals and objectives.
A detailed and comprehensive didactic curriculum is offered for fellows in this program.
Fellows are encouraged to participate in clinical research projects. These are usually retrospective studies of specific topics. Mayo Clinic has many resources — including libraries, computers, statistics and audiovisual aids — available to fellows to assist them in their projects. As a result of these studies, fellows are expected to generate work suitable for publication in a major cardiothoracic journal, as well as at a cardiothoracic society conference related to mechanical circulatory support and cardiac transplantation. The fellowship supports travel for a research presentation.
You will be expected to participate in hospital call during this fellowship. This includes intensive care unit call on weekdays and weekends, in-hospital call, and out-of-hospital call on weekends. On average, duties include one call every five to six days. If appropriate, fielding calls for suitability of potential donor hearts may be part of your educational experience.
Formal seminars on thoracic and cardiovascular surgical topics are scheduled several times a week. Opportunities include:
- Monday morning case presentation and journal club
- Tuesday morning congenital case conference
- Wednesday morning grand rounds
- Transplant conference, every other Tuesday morning
- Monthly transplant grand rounds
Fellows are also encouraged to attend seminars and lectures in general surgery and allied medical fields.
To ensure you gain proficiency and develop the corresponding technical skills, your performance will be monitored throughout this fellowship. You will be formally evaluated by your supervising faculty member following completion of each clinical rotation. The program director reviews these evaluations and assigns a satisfactory or unsatisfactory grade. In addition, you will regularly evaluate the faculty to ensure your educational goals are being met.