Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Program 

Training future leaders in the cardiovascular community 

The mission of the Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Program is to train diverse physicians, clinician-educators, and physician-scientists with a solid foundation in clinical care, teaching, research, and leadership and expertise in their chosen field so that they may become leaders in the expanding cardiovascular community.

Upon completion of Internal Medicine training, the Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Program will provide a curricula tailored to each fellow’s needs and goals in accordance with ACGME-established guidelines in order to become board-eligible in adult cardiovascular medicine.

Diverse pathologies and settings

Our fellows are exposed to a broad range of pathologies in a variety of clinical settings at three hospitals — Vanderbilt University Adult Hospital (VUAH), Nashville Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center and Nashville General Hospital. Advanced fellowships are also available in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, Interventional Cardiology, Advanced Heart Failure and Transplantation, Cardio-Oncology, Vascular Medicine, Advanced Cardiac Imaging and Adult Congenital Heart Disease.

Cardiovascular Medicine fellows participate in clinical activities for at least 24 months during the three-year training period, as outlined by the ACGME and American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM). This allows fellows to develop appropriate levels of clinical competence in Adult Cardiovascular Medicine to start their careers.

The training program also actively participates in physician-scientist training via the ABIM research pathway, and adheres to the guidelines outlined by the ABIM. The total amount of clinical training will be individually determined to best meet the career goals of fellows. The content of training and level of training a fellow achieves is based on the American College of Cardiology Core Cardiology in Adult Cardiovascular Medicine (COCATS) requirements. 

Year 1 (Clinical Year)

  • Two to three months cardiac catheterization 
  • Two to three months echocardiography 
  • One month nuclear 
  • One month consults 
  • One to two months electropysiology Consults 
  • One month VA heart failure 
  • One month VA CCU  
  • One month Vanderbilt CCU 

Year 2 (Clinical Year) 

  • One month TEE 
  • One month Imaging (Nuclear and CMR) 
  • One month VA cardiac catheterization  
  • One month electrophysiology consults 
  • One month Vanderbilt heart failure 
  • Two months Vanderbilt CCU 
  • Two months elective
  • One month echocardiography 
  • One month vascular medicine 
  • Two months Consults (VA/EP) 

Year(s) 3 and 4 (Research/Elective Year)

The third year is completely flexible, with the possibility of an optional fourth year. The only requirement is a two- to four-week Adult Congenital Heart Disease rotation. Fellows have the flexibility to pursue: 

  • Clinical electives with the ability to achieve COCATS level 2 in multiple domains
  • Dedicated research time (with some fellows dedicating the majority of the year to research) 
  • Division-funded Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI) classes during third year with a dedicated additional research year 

A variety of basic, translational and clinical research experiences are available to the fellows within the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and the larger VUMC and Vanderbilt University communities. We expect that during training, each fellow will participate in a scholarly project to gain experience in hypothesis generation, IRB submission, data acquisition and analysis, abstract and manuscript preparation, and oral presentation.  

There are multiple conferences designed to equip fellows with fundamental skills to successfully complete a research project, including an intensive two-week Introduction to Research course during the first year of fellowship. In addition, fellows are encouraged to attend working research conferences, including the Cardiovascular Research Series, weekly conferences within the Vanderbilt Translational and Clinical Cardiovascular Research Center (VTRACC), and Journal Club to enhance understanding of ongoing research, research techniques, statistics, and interpretation of literature.  

Fellows interested in research-based careers may conduct full-time mentored research during their third and fourth years of fellowship. Dedicated research years are generally supported by internal and external funding mechanisms. During this time, many fellows pursue additional formal didactic training, including the MSCI, Master of Public Health (MPH), or a Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics.  

Clinical training is augmented by a robust schedule of weekly conferences. The entire division attends Clinical Management Conference, Morbidity and Mortality Conference, Cardiology Grand Rounds and Internal Medicine Grand Rounds. Each subspecialty has a weekly conference that provides a more intensive educational experience within that subspecialty. Fellows participating in these rotations are strongly encouraged to attend. 






7 to 8 a.m. 

Cardiac Surgery 

Clinical Management Conference  

Morbidity & Mortality Conference (monthly) 

Cardiac CT (monthly) 

Nuclear-Cath Correlation (monthly) 



(EGM conference for EP fellows) 

12 to 1 p.m. 

Heart Failure 

Board Review: 

Echo (monthly) 

ECG (monthly) 

Cath (monthly) 

Outpatient (monthly) 

Journal Club/Basic research conference (weekly) 

Cardiology Grand Rounds 


ACHD (monthly) 

Journal Club (monthly) 

Fellows’ conference (monthly) 


Division Research conference (monthly) 

4 to 5 p.m. 

Cardiovascular VTRACC conference 

*Flex includes: Personal and Professional development (PPD), Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI), Women in Cardiology & Cardiac Critical Conference Series 

Applications are only accepted through the  ERAS website, which opens to candidates in July. We accept eight to 10 fellows per year. Interviews for these positions are held in September and October.

For more information, please contact: 

Sylvia Jones 

Program Manager  

Program Leadership

Julie Damp, MD

Professor of Medicine
Program Director, Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Program

Barinder Hansra, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Associate Program Director, Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Program 

Angela Lowenstern, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Associate Program Director, Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Program 

Quinn Wells, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine
Associate Program Director, Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Program