Clinical Fellowship in Interventional Cardiology – Vancouver General Hospital (VGH), Canada
Author & Fellow at VGH, 2010: Dr Mike Seddon (Michael.Seddon @tst.nhs.uk) Consultant Cardiologist, Musgrove Park Hospital
Previous UK Fellows:
- Dr Stephen Hoole (2010)
- Dr Rohit Khurana (2008-2009)
- Dr Percy Jokhi (2007-2008)
- Dr Simon Walsh (2007-2008)
- Dr Cameron Densem (2005-2006)
- Dr Mike O’Sullivan (2003-2004)
The VGH interventional cardiology training program is a competitive, high-volume, fellowship training program that instructs trainees on a broad spectrum of percutaneous interventional techniques to manage coronary, cardiac, and extra-cardiac diseases. Typically, 2 to 4 interventional trainees are in post at any time on a 2-year fellowship program. One-year advance training positions are available for selected candidates with prior basic interventional cardiology training experience.
Interventional trainees can expect to perform ~400-500 coronary PCI yearly via the femoral and radial routes, and are regularly exposed to adjunctive contemporary devices including IVUS, FFR, OCT, and rotational atherectomy. Advance trainees are involved in non-coronary interventions, including carotid stenting, peripheral arterial stenting (lower extremity and renal arterial stenting), PFO and ASD closures, valvuloplasties, as well as the active TAVI (Edwards) program.
Typically, trainees will have 6-7 sessions in the cathlab with 2-3 sessions for CT/ research projects and limited involvement in the management of ward patients or outpatients. Trainees actively participate in on-call duties for primary PCI, clinical case presentations, teaching seminars, and research projects.
In addition, interventional cardiology trainees are strongly encouraged to participate in 1-2 month rotations in cardiac CT angiography at VGH to obtain Level 2 certification, with the opportunity to sit the CBCCT board exam.
Funding for this fellowship has historically been provided via a local funding agreement with Boston Scientific. This funding is no longer provided, but plans were already in place when I left in December 2010 to secure regional (British Columbia) funding for such fellowships and so interested applicants should enquire about the current state of play with Dr Saw. This fellowship is popular internationally and it is therefore necessary to investigate a year or even two in advance. You will be expected to fly out to interview – if so, it would be sensible to explore the funding first.
Whether you are on your own, or with a young family, Vancouver is an awesome city that routinely tops those lists of the world’s greatest places to live. Set between the mountains and the sea, Vancouver blends cultures and landscapes, allowing visitors to enjoy a modern, cosmopolitan city alongside the great outdoors. It is one of the few places you can go to the beach, golf, hike and ski all on the same day. City attractions (to name a few) include Stanley Park, Granville Island, Grouse Mountain, Kitsilano Beach, Gastown, Robson street, and Capilano suspension bridge; the Olympic Ski mountain Cypress is only 30 mins drive from downtown with pistes floodlit until 10pm. Just 90 minutes up the sea-to-sky highway are Whistler and Blackcomb, and within hours you can be in the Okanagan wine region, across the water to Vancouver Island, or across the border into the USA. A little further afield are the spectacular Rocky Mountains.
This fellowship does not require any USA or Canadian exams, but visas are required and the process takes about 3-6 months to sort out. However, with so many previous UK fellows, the process is well-trodden and well organised by firstname.lastname@example.org .