Last year, 450 applicants applied for just six openings in VCU’s Cardiology Fellows program.
“I think our program attracts top applicants because we have a well-established reputation for being a busy medical center that offers excellent clinical training,” said Dr. Anthony Minisi, an interventional cardiologist and the program’s director for 18 years. “There are not many cardiology fellowship programs that offer such a breadth of experience as VCU.”
Fellows selected for the three-year training program in Cardiovascular Diseases can learn about cutting-edge care in all areas of cardiology—from noninvasive imaging and testing to electrophysiology, invasive/interventional cardiology and heart failure/transplant cardiology. They can take part in research and even rotate through Cardiac Surgery and Pediatric cardiology.
“Having a cardiology fellowship is what makes a place like this an academic medical center–training new minds, new doctors. As director of the program, Dr. Minisi has done a phenomenal job. It’s a first-rank fellowship,” said Dr. Kenneth Ellenbogen, chairman of Pauley’s division of Cardiology.
Before they can start cardiology training, fellows must already hold an M.D. and have completed three years of training in internal medicine. They divide their time between VCU and the Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Hospital. Fellows are given significant autonomy to grow and learn.
Dr. Minisi ensures the program remains in compliance with guidelines set up by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACME) as well as the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. He also reviews applications, takes part in the interviews, oversees the fellows once they are selected and participates in their training.
“Dr. Minisi is a tremendous advocate for the fellows and a fantastic mentor. He has provided me invaluable advice and direction through the course of my fellowship,” said senior fellow Dr. Stephen Rennyson.
As director, Dr. Minisi has overseen the training of nearly 100 cardiology fellows since his tenure with the program began. Over the years, he has received eight Best Faculty Teaching Awards and nine Mentorship Awards from the fellows.
“In the cath lab, he is deliberate, purposeful and uses every moment as a teaching opportunity,” said senior fellow Dr. David Cotoni. “However, what truly makes Dr. Minisi a great physician is that he truly cares about his patients. The love that he has for his work shines in everything he does.”
Dr. Minisi would like to thank Karla Conway, who retired this year after 18 years as program coordinator for the Fellows program.