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Program History

A Brief History of the Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Program at the Westchester Medical Center

The fellowship program in cardiovascular disease at Westchester Medical Center began as a 2-year program with 4 clinical fellows in July, 1980.   The program subsequently expanded to 9 fellows when the ABIM certification requirements increased the duration of training from 2 years to 3.  As the degree and complexity of the cardiology services provided at Westchester Medical Center continued to grow and expand, the fellowship program grew as well.

Today the program is ACGME-accredited for 22 fellowship positions, including 18 general cardiology fellows, 1 interventional cardiology fellow, 2 electrophysiology fellows, and 1 advanced heart failure and transplant cardiology fellow. Dr. Julio Panza, an internationally-renowned clinician and scientist is the Chief of the Division of Cardiology. The Cardiology Fellowship Program Director is Dr. Howard Cooper, who also serves as Director of Cardiology Inpatient Services. Other key leaders of the fellowship programs include: Dr. Hasan Ahmad, Program Director for Interventional Cardiology; Dr. Gregg Lanier, Program Director for Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology; Dr. Sei Iwai, Program Director for Electrophysiology; and Dr. Wilbert Aronow, Director of Cardiology Research.

Westchester Medical Center sits within a serene 600 acre campus, which also includes the basic science labs of New York Medical College. The basic science labs have a particular strength in vascular biology, hypertension and cardiac stem cell research, and fellows are encouraged to collaborate in these research efforts. Fellows also participate in ongoing clinical trials, and the program hosts the editorial offices for two prestigious national journals (American Journal of Medicine and Cardiology in Review).

It is our practice to mentor our fellows in a collegial, one-on-one fashion. We believe that this approach allows each fellow to learn to the best of his or her ability, experience the excitement of individual research, and to work interactively as an integral member of a team to improve the health of all of our patients.

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