Q: Is the program a set four years, or are there fellows that have done 3 years and gone onto clinical practice?
A: Our program’s curriculum is flexible to many different pathways of training. Although most fellows choose our program because of their strong interest in an academic career in cardiology and the availability of protected, funded, and mentored research time, we recognize that career plans and priorities can change. Our goal is that all Duke fellows are highly competent (and potentially superior!) in their clinical skills and achieve the type of career of which they can be proud. Thus, we have had a few fellows who have completed all their ACGME Cardiovascular Disease fellowship in 3 years and pursued other opportunities, such as additional training or clinical practice.
As more sub-specialties in cardiology require additional clinical training (interventional, electrophysiology, advanced heart failure and transplantation), we also recognize the increasing duration of fellowship. Therefore, for fellows who wish to pursue such additional ACGME training, we are committed to providing a training pathway here which incorporates general cardiology fellowship, research, and advanced clinical training according to their choices and the requirements of ACGME. In this way, we hope to personalize the training for the individual fellow at Duke.