Fellows’ Views

What’s the best part of the fellowship?

"My co-fellows! I love learning from everyone and cherish the new friendships we’ve created. In a busy job, having a “work family” is so important and I feel very lucky to have one that I can always count on. Also, the attendings and leadership. They lead by example and are excellent role models" -Erika Faircloth

"The strong clinical experience we get, and how we feel a huge difference by the end of the first year of the fellowship. We get to see and learn a lot in all the fields. Also my co-fellows! They are very supportive and caring." -Mohammed Elsadany

"The steep learning curve. Either actively or passively you get to experience a wide range of clinical pathologies. If you love cardiology from your heart then the excitement and curiosity to learn never fades in this program." -Abeera Akram

First year is tough - how did you get through?

"It is a front-loaded program. A lot to learn indeed. Undoubtedly, the workload during the first year influenced and enhanced our approach to each pathology. The support provided by my co- fellows was of utmost importance. Additionally, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial, making time for hobbies, and spending quality moments with loved ones outside of the hospital environment." -Mai Badr

"I believe the first year of any training is challenging as it is a steep learning curve in a specialty that is new to you. Having a strong support system in terms of family/ friends goes a long way in maintaining both physical and mental health. Finding a hobby/task which helps you build a life outside of work helps you decompress." -Sana Hyder

"It is overwhelming in the start when you realize cardiology is more than just aspirin, statin and beta blocker. First year is tough in terms of duty hours, clinical responsibilities but definitely gets easier with guidance and support from your co fellows and faculty." -Abeera Akram

As someone who has stayed at the same institution from residency, what made you pick our fellowship?

"I knew that I would get robust clinical training at Hartford Hospital. As a resident, I was exposed to all of the subspecialty areas in addition to general cardiology. I knew that I decided to pursue subspecialty fellowship, I’d have the appropriate exposure to not only confirm my interest in the field but also prepare me well for subspecialty training. Additionally, the attendings and fellows were all very welcoming to the residents on elective rotations and showed me the fantastic culture of the fellowship." -Mikhail de Jesus

"Undoubtedly the clinical pathology as Hartford Hospital caters to the inner city population and is a tertiary care center receiving transfers from hospitals all over and outside Connecticut. I was also looking for exposure to different subspecialities like EP/Heart transplant/ Congenital which would solidify my knowledge base and help me decide my future endeavors. Of course, the beauty of New England with all four seasons and the luxury of proximity to nearby states was a cherry on the cake!" -Sana Hyder

"The education you receive at our program is excellent - you are exposed to everything from the sickest of the sick on ECMO waiting for transplant to a robust preventative cardiology clinic. I know when I leave, I will be prepared for anything and even if I find something that I haven't seen before (which I think is hard to imagine), I will know how to approach it and find the information I need based on the training." -Erika Faircloth

As someone who came to the fellowship from an outside institution, how has the program made you feel comfortable with the program/location?

"Fellow co-fellows, attendings, and staff are all very nice, friendly and approachable. Everyone is genuinely excited for you to be here." -Leanne Pereira

"The orientation month helps us to settle in. You basically meet everyone in the respective department during those days and get a very warm welcome. This process of taking it slow to settle in helps a lot with the transition to a busy hospital." -Abeera Akram

How has the fellowship helped you with your future goals?

"UConn Hartford Hospital cardiovascular fellowship program is a well reputed training program in CT and well as the USA. Being an Alumnus of a well reputed institute opens up a lot of opportunities in terms of future perspectives." -Abeera Akram

"During fellowship you get a very strong clinical experience, you get exposed to a wide range of different cases in all the fields which helps you to be a strong clinician and also help you decide about which field you would like to practice in when you complete your fellowship." - Mohammed Elsadany

How has the fellowship supported your outside-of-work life?

"We have frequent social events. Also Erika (our third year quality chief fellow) emails us a monthly list of all the events/activities that will be held in CT." -Mohammed Elsadany

"There are frequent social events like bowling/ golf etc which are organized by the program/ social chief. The fellows also love grabbing dinner after work." -Sana Hyder

How is the mentorship?

"Amazing. The attendings are very supportive. Starting my first year, I was asked about my future goals and leadership was there to support me and help me figure out how to achieve them. I have lovely mentors who inspire me and have spent a lot of time answering my questions. After fellowship, I will be joining a general cardiology practice that I found by talking on the phone with a private cardiologist at the hospital who was just as willing as any of our core faculty to support me." -Erika Faircloth

"Before even starting fellowship, a senior co-fellow and an attending separately reached out to me to introduce themselves as my mentor, answer any questions I had, make recommendations (both academic/social), and make me feel comfortable and welcomed to the program/institution. They both regularly touch-base with me to ensure I am doing well and ask how they can help ease my transition into fellowship." -Leann Pereira

What pearl of wisdom do you have for the interviewees?

"We all know cardiology is competitive. You have already passed all the “tests” to make it to this stage. Start focusing on what you want and what your ultimate goals are. Look for a program that you can see yourself waking up and feel excited to go and learn." -Mikhail de Jesus

"Give yourself credit as you all have come a long way! Fellowship is the most important phase of training as it decides what you will be doing for the rest of your life. Explore your opportunities and choose what fits your personality and satisfies your professional as well as personal goals. Curiosity, excitement and adaptability will help you wherever you go." -Sana Hyder

"Just be yourself and look out if you fit in our family and we fit in your life" -Abeera Akram

What’s your favorite rotation and why?

"It is difficult to choose one. I enjoy rotating on a different block every month because it helps me to learn something new every month." -Abeera Akram

"This is a tough one for me as every rotation is new and exciting. I enjoy rotating through different avenues of cardiology and learning new skills in the cath lab, echo lab, TEE, devices etc." -Sana Hyder

"It is really difficult to choose. Each rotation has something unique and adds a lot to my knowledge and experience. I think I like them all equally." -Mohammed Elsadany

Was there anything that surprised you about the fellowship or cardiology as a whole once you started?

"Cardiology is an endless ocean and you are constantly learning. You can also tailor your pathway in life based on your preferences." -Sana Hyder

"How much there is to learn and how vast cardiology is" -Abeera Akram