The echocardiography laboratory at Hartford Hospital performed over 12,000 studies annually. Equipment includes state-of-the-art Siemens, GE, and Phillips systems
The echocardiography rotations provide comprehensive didactic and clinical training in the performance and interpretation of echocardiograms. The basics of ultrasound and Doppler physics are taught at length in didactic sessions.
During the first year of training, fellows will spend two months in echocardiography; time during these rotations is split between performing transthoracic scans alongside sonographers and interpreting transthoracic echocardiograms alongside attendings. All fellows (including first year fellows) will be expected to perform STAT transthoracic echocardiograms while on call with the assistance and backup of a cardiac sonographer and attending. The objective of the first year in echocardiography is to become adept at the utilization of echocardiography in clinical practice as a diagnostic tool.
After the first year, fellows will continue with regularly scheduled didactic sessions reviewing the basic principles of echocardiography. Fellows will continue to advance manual skills in the independent performance of transthoracic echocardiograms. Fellows will also be asked to regularly interpret complete transthoracic echocardiograms with a focus on providing a clinical diagnosis and a thorough interrogation of associated cardiac abnormalities. The objective of the second year in echocardiography is to become adept at the independent performance and interpretation of complete transthoracic echocardiographic studies.
In the second and third years of fellowship, fellows will learn noninvasive echocardiographic procedural skills. These fellows will be trained in the performance of transesophageal and stress echocardiograms (exercise and dobutamine stress). Fellows will continue active involvement in the didactic sessions and clinical performance and interpretation of transthoracic echocardiograms. Fellows who choose the noninvasive path will spend three to six months in echocardiography during the third year. All fellows will achieve COCATS level 2 in echocardiography and level 3 is readily attainable for fellows who choose the noninvasive path.