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Matthew Gerdisch Fellowship in Arrhythmia Surgery

Applicant Requirements: Deadline ends at 11:59pm Eastern on 7/1/2024

Career Stage: Early Career Surgeons, Residents

Program Type: Fellowship

Specialty: Cardiac

Status: Closed

Opens: April 15, 2024

Deadline: July 2, 2024

Program Overview

The Matthew Gerdisch Fellowship in Arrhythmia Surgery will be awarded annually to qualifying fellows and will have a significant impact on the careers of future leaders in arrhythmia surgery. This program will support fellows interested in completing a year-long program at training institutions in North America that have established Arrhythmia (ART) surgeon mentors.

Program Goals

During the year long experience at the selected institution, it is expected that fellows will achieve proficiency in the following:

  • Recognizing the importance of restoration of sinus rhythm and the relationship to cardiac performance, and symptom resolution
  • Pathophysiology of arrhythmia
  • Electrophysiologic mechanisms of arrhythmia
  • Key cardiac anatomy associated with arrhythmia and surgical treatment
  • Foundational and contemporary peer-reviewed literature on the disease and treatment options
  • Heart Rhythm Society Consensus Guidelines for arrhythmia classification and reporting success
  • Diagnosis and screening for arrhythmia in patients referred for structural heart procedures
  • Co-morbidities associated with arrhythmia | Depressed EF, HF, Atrial Cardiomyopathy, Stroke
  • The impact of lesion set and energy source on outcomes
  • Different approaches and considerations for concomitant and sole therapy procedures
  • Decision making and surgical approaches to treatment
  • Left atrial appendage (LAA) management and the concept of arrhythmia-related stroke arising from the LAA
  • Postoperative care of patients including rhythm assessment
  • Collaborating with cardiologists and electrophysiologists in arrhythmia treatment
  • Consequence of undertreatment and impact on life expectancy

In addition, the fellow must be involved in the following educational objectives and participation:

  • Participation at educational programs | attend Fellows courses
  • Complete didactic and hands-on training (synthetic and/or cadaveric training)
  • Grand Rounds | Journal Clubs
  • Data collection | clinical research
  • Arrhythmia treatment adoption and growth
  • Speaker and educator development
  • Mentoring with establishing a practice and career through training in:
    • Interviewing, contract negotiating, reimbursement, coding, networking and partnering with other specialties
    • Proficiency and familiarity with clinical research techniques
    • Manuscript writing skills
  • Presentation skills training
  • Formal certification and assistance in transition to clinical practice

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for an award, applicants from North America must meet the following minimum requirements for consideration:

  • Current Status: Applicant must be in an approved CT training program and seek to develop exceptional skill and knowledge in the field of cardiac arrhythmias and become a future leader in the field.
  • Language Requirement: English.
  • ACGME or non ACGME approved CT residents are able to apply
  • Travel Requirements: : Candidate must satisfy all necessary licensure and credentialing criteria required by the host center.
  • Applicant must plan to complete the fellowship at an institution which meets the following criteria:
    • Centers that have demonstrated excellence in treating arrhythmia patients
    • Demonstrated commitment to partnership in arrhythmia treatment with EP and other heart team members
    • Offer a multi-disciplinary collaborative approach to treating the patients’ disease-state and recognize the consequences of not treating the patients’ arrhythmia
    • Have experience in training arrhythmia (ART) surgeons
    • Interested in creating a demand for arrhythmia (ART) fellowship programs

Application Process

In addition to a formal online application, candidates will also be required to upload the following materials:

  • Applicants should provide a curriculum vitae with a full description of their surgical experience.
  • Letter of support from the chief/chair of their current institution or their training program.*
  • One to two-page narrative to include:
    • What they hope to accomplish during their fellowship.
    • How they will utilize the skills they have learned at their home institution, if applicable.
    • Relationship of the planned study to the applicant’s prior experience, preparation and professional goals.
    • A statement of future career goals.
    • Identify the number of arrhythmia cases observed during training or in current practice.
  • Candidate is required to work with institution to develop curriculum for the year. Within the application, the following information must be received from the institution to be input by the applicant:
    • An outline of the institution’s current practice as it relates to arrhythmia surgery (Examples of information that should be included are as follows:# of CABGs, # of surgical valve procedures, how many are ablated, what clinical trials is the department currently involved in, etc…)
    • An educational plan for the year-long fellowship including the expected competencies achieved upon completion of the fellowship
    • Identify the number of arrhythmia cases completed annually
    • A letter describing why the institution should be selected to host this fellowship, how it will be beneficial to the program, and the anticipated career development provided to the fellow
    • A budget of how the funds will be utilized**
    • Institution must agree to hosting the fellow for a full year and providing supplemental salary as needed

*For those looking to send letters of support for the candidate directly to the AATS Foundation, please email foundation@aats.org.

**Acceptable Uses of Funding

Salary support for non-ACGME fellows, travel funding to visit major centers to achieve specific exposure and educational experiences with direct access to AATS mentors, clinical research support to enhance fellowship, and travel to arrhythmia dedicated meetings. Other uses will be considered, if included in educational plan. Requests for clinical research support may not be used for basic or translational laboratory research – any research initiative should be to enhance the clinical program and any request for research funding should be included in applicant’s budget. Examples of acceptable uses of funding include stats support, payment of fees for publication, and clinical research.

Review Process

Applications will be reviewed by the AATS Foundation’s North American Early-Career Scholarship Review Committee and graded on all aspects of the award criteria. All applicants will be notified of committee’s decision upon final review.

All applicants will be notified with an official letter from the AATS Foundation within 2-3 months of the program deadline. Should you have any questions regarding your status prior to receiving this notification, please contact foundation@aats.org.

A quarterly progress report is due to AATS Foundation Board of Directors and Sponsor of program highlighting what has been accomplished to date during fellowship. At the conclusion of the training a final report from both the host and the selected fellow describing the fellowship experience and its application to clinical practice will be required for submission to the AATS Foundation and the fellowship’s sponsor.

A selection of one of the following two levels will be awarded:

  • Level One: Awards of up to $25,000 for ACGME fellow, to be paid directly to institution.
  • Level Two: Awards of up to $50,000 for non-ACGME fellow, to be paid directly to institution.

Supported By

Program past deadline:

Deadline has passed for applying for this program.