The mission of the Vanderbilt Advanced Heart Failure/Transplant Fellowship Program is to inspire and train fellows to become leaders inthis rapidly evolving field of advanced heart failure, cardiac transplant, and mechanical circulatory support. We attract outstanding graduates of ACGME general cardiology training programs and provide them with the strongest foundation in clinical care, teaching, research, and leadership.

Our principal goals are:

  1. To provide fellows with a broad experience and deep knowledge base to support them as clinicians and leaders in the management of advanced heart failure.
  2. To demonstrate and instill a multi-disciplinary approach to management of patients with advanced heart failure, with fellows working as an integral part of different teams in the environment of value-based care linking inpatient and outpatient settings.
  3. To encourage a scholarly approach to collecting and interpreting medical data and contributing to quality improvement to improve delivery of optimal care at the local and national level.

Our program has enjoyed record growth in clinical volume and advanced heart disease faculty, serving as a major referral center across Tennessee and the Southeastern United States for patients seeking cardiac transplantation and mechanical circulatory support, evaluation of new and established cardiomyopathies, with special emphasis on inherited diseases, adult congenital heart disease, amyloidosis, cardio-oncology, and collaborative invasive strategies for heart failure with valve disease or arrhythmias. In 2020, the Vanderbilt program performed 125 adult heart transplants, one of the busiest transplant centers in North America. Twenty-five VADs were placed in 2020, with 133 total patients with durable devices managed over the year.

Our  Advanced  Heart Disease fellowship is  directed  by  Lynne Warner Stevenson, MD with Associate Director Lynn Punnoose, MD, in collaboration with Kelly H. Schlendorf, MD, MHS, who is Director of the Advanced Heart Failure Section at Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute. Their combined mentorship experience embraces over 80 fellows in advanced heart disease, the majority of whom currently hold academic faculty positions in Advanced Heart Disease programs.

Lynne Warner Stevenson, MD, Director Lynn Punnoose, MD, Associate Director Kelly H. Schlendorf, MD, MHSDirector of the Advanced Heart Failure Section at Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute

This is a one-year clinical fellowship designed to prepare graduates for an academic career in Advanced Heart Disease and to meet all ACGME qualifications to take the board examination for certification. Fellows rotate between Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which is adjacent to the beautiful Vanderbilt University campus and arboretum, and the Nashville Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center, which is one of only 5 national VA heart transplant centers and is located across the street from Vanderbilt. Clinical rotations provide intensive exposure to inpatient and outpatient management of heart failure, cardiac transplantation early and late, and short and long-term mechanical circulatory support. Specialty clinic rotations offer exposure to cardio-oncology, adult congenital heart disease and pulmonary hypertension, inherited heart disease, amyloidosis, and cardiopulmonary exercise testing. Research exposure includes 2-4 weeks of focused research time with mentored participation in ongoing research and quality improvement projects throughout the year. Special areas of interest include biomarkers for profiling, outcomes with extended criteria for donor hearts, implantable hemodynamic monitoring, and Vanderbilt's Main Heart Registry and Biorepository. Bioinformatics, pharmacogenomics, and vascular research are additional special strengths at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which also offers unique opportunities for collaboration with an academic Emergency Department sponsoring an extensive research program for acute heart failure triage.

The continued growth of our clinical volume and Advanced Heart Disease faculty has supported our recent expansion to 3 fellowship positions annually. To apply for the fellowship, you must have completed an ACGME approved 3-year Cardiovascular Medicine Training Program prior to starting the Advanced Heart Disease fellowship.

All slots have been filled for fellowship starting July 1, 2021.

Applications for July 2022 will be accepted only through the ERAS website, which opens June 2021. For more information regarding AHFTC registered programs, please visit the HFSA website. The anticipated Match Day is in December 2021.

Our virtual interview dates are planned for August 27th and September 3rd, 2021.

Please send the following documents to ERAS when applying:
  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation (one preferably by program director)
  • Personal Statement
  • Medical School Transcript
  • Medical Student Performance Evaluation / Dean's Letter
  • J1 or H1B Visa applicants, send copy of  DS-2019 and Visa status
  • Wallet Size Color Photograph attached to your Application
  • USMLE Transcript - Transmitted by the NBME  (International Medical Graduates only)
Address Correspondence to:
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Advanced Heart Failure Fellowship Training Program
ATTN:  Charlene Thompson
2220  Pierce Avenue
383  Preston Research Building
Nashville,  TN  37232-6300

Advanced Heart Failure Faculty:

Douglas Marshall Brinkley, MD

"Dr. Cecelia Hung"

Rebecca Hung, MD

JoAnne Lindenfeld, MD,

Jonathan Menachem, MD

Allen Naftilan MD 

Henry Ooi, MD

Dawn Pedrotty, MD, PhD

Suzanne Sacks, MD

Mark Wigger, MD

"Dr. Sandip Zalawadiya"

Sandip Zalawadiya, MBBS