The training program is conducted by a 30-member, full-time group of cardiologists with staff in hypertension, vascular medicine, pediatric cardiology and cardiovascular surgery also participating. The program design emphasizes the development of a broad-based cardiology consultant with appropriate levels of supervision and progressive responsibility for the trainee. The conference schedule is very active and includes a core curriculum in clinical cardiology taught by staff physicians from Ochsner and invited guest lecturers. Additional conferences include: ECG lecture, board review, research meetings, critically appraised topics, renal vascular conferences, peripheral vascular conferences, cardiac catheterization conference, morbidity and mortality conference and basic science review sessions. Multiple specialties are frequently present at these conferences and include cardiothoracic surgery, vascular surgery, neurology, nephrology, pathology, pulmonary/critical care and pediatric cardiology. An active visiting professor program also allows the trainees to be exposed to academic cardiologists from universities throughout the country. Fellows are given several opportunities during the year to present at various conferences and have additional opportunity for the teaching of medical students and housestaff.
The first year includes a majority of time in the development of the consultant role by assignment to the coronary care unit, the cardiology inpatient services, and the consult service. The second year will emphasize the acquisition of skills in the various noninvasive and invasive laboratories. Trainees will follow their patients throughout the process of cardiovascular evaluation so that an integration of the various data is linked to a particular patient problem. In the third year, there is emphasis on the development of individual interests and the completion of research projects initiated in the first 2 years. During this year electives are available in focused research, cardiac catheterization lab, cardiothoracic surgery, cardiac transplant, pediatric cardiology, advanced electrophysiology, imaging and other approved topics.