COVID-19 has proven a tremendous challenge to those in a health care system. We have been very proud of our Department of Cardiology’s, and in particular, our cardiology fellowship program’s response to the challenge. Fellows and faculty have maintained extraordinary flexibility and support for one another and for our hospital and patients during this pandemic. Below are some specific instances of how our program is functioning and responding to the ongoing pandemic:
- Our fellowship leadership immediately acquired and has maintained a stock of PPE (surgical masks, N95 masks, and face shields) that is readily available to the fellows when needed. Gloves and gowns and readily available at the bedside for all COVID-19 persons under investigation and confirmed COVID-19 cases.
- For all COVID-19 persons under investigation or patients with confirmed COVID-19 infections requiring cardiology consultation, discussion with the primary team is held to determine necessity of in-person evaluation versus eConsult (consult performed remotely). When deemed appropriate, fellows are able to evaluate patients remotely without direct contact.
- For all outpatient cardiology visits, fellows are triaging their own patients to in-person visits (when necessary) or to telehealth visits. We have developed a robust telehealth program across our hospital system that allows for phone and/or video visits with patients to minimize contacts and exposures.
- A backup system has been put into place for the fellows to easily provide coverage for any fellow who may be impacted personally by COVID-19. Fortunately, our need to use this system has been minimal thus far.
- Our didactic sessions and fellow conferences have continued without interruption. Our transition from daily in-person conferences to daily virtual conferences has been seamless. Didactic sessions have been even expanded on occasion to allow for COVID-19-specific lectures to be added.
2023 Fellowship Interview Season
- All interviews during this application cycle will may need to be conducted virtually/remotely. We have been working to prepare enhanced virtual experiences (videos, virtual tour, etc.) to provide applicants with as much information and as many resources to learn about and get a feel for our program. While nothing can replace an in-person encounter, we have worked to create a robust, meaningful, and interactive virtual interview day.