As one of the top heart centers in the country, CAMC has led the way in advancing cardiac care in our region for decades. Continuing in this tradition, CAMC was proud to welcome the first two physicians to the new cardiovascular disease fellowship program this summer.
The program provides comprehensive training and exposure in all major areas of cardiovascular medicine. "Our goal is to provide an experience that will be enduring and useful whether the physician ultimately elects to embark on an academic career or enters clinical practice," said Sharon Hall, president of the CAMC Institute.
Fellows work within a team of noninvasive and invasive cardiologists alongside physicians who are fellowship-trained in peripheral vascular and structural heart disease.
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education approved the fellowship program in September 2017.
"Through the years CAMC has led the way for cardiovascular innovation in West Virginia and many of these pioneering efforts have also been recognized nationally," said Mark C. Bates, MD, cardiovascular disease fellowship program director. "The fellowship expands on this legacy and provides an opportunity for young talented physicians to obtain the necessary skills to continue this rich tradition. More importantly, we believe the physician of tomorrow must have strong core values and interpersonal skills that foster kind, compassionate patient centered care."
"I think this fellowship is critical to the future of CAMC," said Don R. Lilly, MD. "It is a great boost to improving cardiac care in southern West Virginia. It traditionally has been very difficult to recruit in West Virginia. That's why the fellowship is so important."
Elise Anderson, DO, and Ali Farooq, MD, started the program in July. Dr. Anderson completed her internal medicine residency at Marshall University and Dr. Farooq completed his internal medicine residency at CAMC.
"For me, it means I can continue my training in my local area and help people of my own community who have helped raise me and given me the opportunities to be where I am," Anderson said. "It means I can give back to a community that has given me so much."
"Having this fellowship in Charleston means I can get trained in a center that has large patient volume and a comprehensive training program in a very friendly environment while enjoying staying close with my friends," Farooq said.
Training programs require all members of the teaching faculty to be up to date on advanced cardiac care.
"This means better overall care of patients," Anderson said. "Having fellows means easier access to care because there are more doctors in training in the area. Because we are training, it means more time with individual patients learning about them and their disease process."
"This fellowship will provide opportunities to improve cardiovascular health on a large scale," Farooq said. "Cardiovascular medicine is an ever-evolving field, and having the fellowship in Charleston will be critical to drive evidence-based changes to enhance cardiovascular health care at a population level."
"This fellowship ups the caliber of cardiovascular care," Lilly said. "The whole atmosphere becomes more academic with a greater emphasis on evidence-based cardiac care. It also increases the pool of residency applications because the residents have a better chance of getting a cardiovascular disease fellowship in the same institution where they do their internal medicine training. Basically, you grow your own and you know how knowledgeable they are and what their work ethics are."
Both doctors are planning to continue their training after completing the fellowship.
Pictured: Elise Anderson, DO, Mark Bates, MD, and Ali Farooq, MD