Thank you for your interest in the Adult Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Program at Cooper University Hospital. Our program is three years in length and accepts six fellows per year. The cardiovascular disease fellowship functions as an integral component of the internal medicine residency program and both programs are currently accredited for the maximum ACGME cycle lengths. The cardiology division has extensive teaching programs in interventional cardiology and electrophysiology, and fourth-year fellowship positions are available in those subspecialties.
Cooper University Health Care is situated in Camden City in Southern New Jersey. The health system was established in 1887 and in 1977 Cooper Hospital became a clinical campus of the University of Medicine and Dentistry/Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, advancing Cooper University Hospital as the major teaching hospital in South Jersey. Rapid expansion marked the 2000’s with a $220 million investment in a Health Sciences Campus, massive expansion of clinical space, clinical programs and patient beds. In 2012, the first new medical school in New Jersey opened on the Cooper Health Sciences campus. Developed in partnership with Rowan University, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University graduated its first class in 2016. In 2013 Cooper University Health Care partnered with one of the nation’s leading cancer centers, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, creating MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper across Haddon Avenue from the main hospital. This partnership has given rise to the Cardio Oncology program.
As a fellow at Cooper you will serve a culturally and socioeconomically diverse population of patients that reside within Camden City as well as the outlying suburbs. We are also the primary source of tertiary care for the some of the most rural areas in New Jersey and accept high acuity complicated transfers from Trenton to the southernmost tip of the state, Cape May. This patient mix provides fellows tremendous learning opportunities from the diverse pathology they encounter on a daily basis. Cooper is a Level 1 Trauma Center, serving a population of two million across southern New Jersey. With more than 2,200 trauma visits annually, Cooper has the busiest Level 1 Trauma Center in the region. We see it all!
The Adult Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship is designed to provide outstanding clinical training in an academic environment. The program consists of three years of broad-based training in clinical cardiology with ample opportunities to participate in research. First- and second-year rotations include the coronary care unit and consultation services, heart failure, cardiac catheterization, electrophysiology, echocardiography and nuclear cardiology. The third year typically consists of a more focused experience in either noninvasive or invasive cardiology. Fellows participate in regular continuity clinic sessions, following their own panel of patients throughout the three years of training. Research experience is also emphasized.
The Cardiovascular Disease Program has an active conference schedule with at least one clinical or didactic conference daily. In addition to a core curriculum, attention is paid to research. The strength of the Cooper program is teaching, and emphasis is placed on education and the promotion of collegial relationships between faculty and fellows. Cardiology faculty hold academic appointments at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU) and are actively involved in medical student education programs at the medical school. There is a high faculty-to-fellow ratio with 33 full time cardiologists employed by the faculty practice plan involved in the education of 18 cardiology fellows. The program offers access to faculty with expertise in cardiac surgery, imaging, cardio-oncology, structural heart/ interventional echocardiogram, congenital heart disease, women's health, intensive care and cardiac research.
We have a high volume, high acuity Interventional Cardiology Fellowship and Structural Heart Program. We lead the region in placement of Mitral Clip and left atrial appendage devices. Our TAVR program was started in 2012 and remains one of the most robust programs in the area. We have been an enrollment site for many pivotal clinical trials in left atrial appendage closure (OPTION, PINNACLE FLX, AMPLATZER, and CATALYST) and valve trials (COAPT, SURTAVI, PARTNER II). This allows our fellows to have ample training in interventional echo and structural heart disease management.
Our Electrophysiology Division provides excellent exposure to basic and advanced EP. Headed by Dr. Andrea Russo, past president of the Heart Rhythm Society (2019-2020), the teaching and didactics are unparalleled as is training in the clinical EP fellowship.
We have a phenomenal track record of placing our graduating fellows in some of the nation’s premier sub-subspecialty training programs; In the last few years fellows have gone on to do advanced heart failure at NYU, Northwestern, and Temple; EP at the Massachusetts General Hospital, the University of Virginia and Cooper; Interventional Cardiology at Cooper, Brown, and Tufts; and Advanced imaging at MedStar Health - Washington Hospital Center. Most importantly, we have been successful in retaining our fellows to stay on as faculty at Cooper as well.
Since Camden is only 10 minutes outside of Philadelphia with easy to access public transportation, many of our fellows choose to live there. However, there are several excellent and affordable nearby suburbs in which to live as well. We are only a short ride from some of the best places in the country, NYC, Washington DC, the Poconos and the Jersey shore.
Perhaps most importantly, every year we attract a great group of fellows that become lifelong friends. As faculty we have the privilege of watching them grow as clinicians, scientists, teachers, and often times, parents! We value comradery and wellness and focus of the big picture of being a successful cardiologist in life which means also prioritizing personal happiness and growth. There truly is a sense of wanting to see each other succeed. Please take a close look at our program and we look forward to seeing you during our interview process.
The following pages provide specific information about cardiovascular disease training at Cooper. We invite you to take the time to explore our program.
Perry J. Weinstock, MD, FACC
Joanne Mazzarelli, MD, FACC
Vivek T. Kulkarni, MD, MHS, EdM