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Matthew Gerdisch Fellowship in Arrhythmia Surgery

Career Stage: Early Career Surgeons

Program Type: Fellowship

Specialty: Cardiac

Status: Upcoming

Opens: The next opening date is being determined.

Program Overview

The Matthew Gerdisch Fellowship in Arrhythmia Surgery is awarded annually and will have a significant impact on the careers of future leaders in arrhythmia surgery. The selected fellow will spend time at some of the leading atrial fibrillation programs in the world, learning from the best multi-specialty teams and participating in focused arrhythmia research projects. In addition, the recipient will be given the opportunity to attend both the AATS Annual Meeting and Surgical Treatment of Arrhythmias & Rhythm Disorders meeting to further enhance their education experience. Dependent upon the approved training plan as described in their application, the successful candidate will be awarded up to $100,000 for one year of study, attendance at AATS meetings, and research.

Curriculum and Host Sites

The chosen candidate will participate in a rigorous, tailored curriculum with access to world class arrhythmia programs, including surgeons and physicians who excel in ablative arrhythmia procedures and left atrial appendage management. The curriculum includes training in stand-alone electrophysiology procedures and hybrid arrhythmia procedures, as well as both minimally invasive and traditional concomitant and stand- alone cardiac surgical procedures. In addition to intensive clinical training, the candidate will have the opportunity to witness first-hand the structure and function of integrated arrhythmia treatment centers, including their organization, operations, treatment protocols, and methods for capturing and analyzing outcomes. The awardee will also be expected to participate in research studies and scientific publications to contribute to the rapidly expanding peer-reviewed cardiac arrhythmia literature.

The program encompasses visiting major centers to achieve specific exposure and educational experiences with direct access to AATS mentors, this includes:

  • Ralph Damiano, Jr., MD, Washington University School of Medicine, Barnes Jewish Hospital
  • Patrick McCarthy, MD, James L. Cox, MD, and Bradley Knight, MD, Northwestern University
  • Vivek Reddy, MD, Mount Sinai Medical Center
  • Mark La Meir, MD, University of Brussels

Time at these centers may be divided with visits to sites offering one or some of the following:

  • Electrophysiology (EP) Lab:

    Fellows will learn technology and techniques used in the lab for lesion creation and form an understanding of their strengths and limitations.
  • Minimally Invasive and Hybrid Techniques:

    Fellows will gain insight to address atrial fibrillation and other challenging arrhythmias, as well as LAA management. Hybrid approaches, both staged and joint procedures, are rapidly developing and provide options for the aggressive treatment of atrial fibrillation, inappropriate sinus tachycardia, and ventricular tachycardia.
  • Program Development and Team Building:

    Fellows will observe integrated program development fostering surgical quality, integrated service line, multidisciplinary practice, data acquisition and defined patient pathways at programs creating uniquely capable centers of excellence.

Eligibility Requirements

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

  • Current Status: Candidate will have recently completed their training, are board eligible, are within the first five years of their practice 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.
  • Travel Requirements: Candidate must satisfy all necessary licensure and credentialing criteria required by the host center.

Application Process

  • 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.
    • Statement of future career goals. Identify the number of arrhythmia cases observed during training or in current practice.

*For those looking to send letters of support for the candidate directly to the AATS Foundation, please email

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. At the conclusion of their training a final report describing their fellowship experience and its application to clinical practice will be required for submission to the AATS Foundation and the fellowship’s sponsor. The recipient will also be asked to report on how attending AATS meetings impacted their learning experience.

Supported By

Program currently closed:

Program will open The next opening date is being determined..