Stanford Advanced Heart Failure Transplant Cardiology (AHFTC) Fellowship Program

The Stanford Advanced Heart Failure Transplant Cardiology (AHFTC) fellowship program is a one-year training program that follows an academic calendar (July 1-June30). At the end of the program, graduating fellows will qualify to serve as medical directors of UNOS-certified heart transplant programs and will be eligible for certification in Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).
Our program was among the first in the country to be certified by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), with accreditation starting in July 2013.  We accept three fellows per year, and candidates must have completed general cardiology training at an ACGME-accredited site.

Core Curriculum

The program consists of 3 clinical rotations, each of 4 months’ duration:

  • Stanford Heart Transplant: Inpatient and outpatient care of heart transplant recipients at Stanford Hospital. Fellows are involved in the evaluation and management of a very wide spectrum of heart transplant recipients, ranging from immediate post-transplant patients in the surgical ICU to long-term survivors who have lived 25+ years after transplantation. To date, over 1,720 heart transplants have been performed at Stanford, providing our fellows with comprehensive training and experience in short- and long-term post-transplant care. Fellows on the transplant rotation achieve proficiency in performance of endomyocardial biopsy and right heart catheterization procedures. The fellow also attends the following advanced heart failure sub-specialty clinics: cardio-oncology clinic and MCS clinic.
  • Stanford Mechanical Circulatory Support: This rotation consists of inpatient and outpatient care of patients requiring MCS. Fellows are involved in the evaluation, selection, and management of patients undergoing implantation of a variety of MCS devices, including percutaneous VADs (Tandem Heart, Impella), durable VADs (Heart Mate II, HeartWare), total artificial heart devices (SynCardia), and ECMO. Stanford is a CMS approved destination therapy VAD center. Fellows care for patients in the hospital after MCS implantation, in outpatient clinics after hospital discharge, and in hospital after re-admission for device-related complications or other medical problems. Specific skills acquired include performance and interpretation of ramp echocardiograms and invasive hemodynamic evaluation of patients pre/post MCS. Fellows are also trained in the pre-transplant and pre-MCS evaluation of candidates with advanced heart failure, and attend the following sub-specialty clinics: advanced heart failure, amyloid cardiomyopathy, and inherited cardiovascular disease.
  • Kaiser Santa Clara: Fellows rotate through Kaiser Santa Clara, the Northern California referral center for advanced heart failure, MCS, and heart transplantation in the Kaiser Permanente network-- the largest managed care organization in the United States. Fellows are involved in the inpatient and outpatient care of patients with advanced heart failure, recipients of MCS, and heart transplant recipients.


All fellows are expected to develop their scholarly interests in the form of research and writing. There are many opportunities for involvement in on-going clinical and translational research programs at Stanford, as well as co-authorship of review articles, book chapters, and other scientific publications. Fellows are encouraged to present their work at national society meetings and funds are available to support such travel.


A wide variety of conferences are offered weekly at Stanford and Kaiser. These conferences complement the fellowship training program and include (but are not limited to):

  • Cardiomyopathy conference weekly: multi-disciplinary clinical conference focused on management strategies for patients with advanced heart disease
  • Heart transplant journal club monthly
  • Sensitization meeting: monthly conference in which HLA antibody testing of heart transplant recipients is reviewed, with a focus on tailored clinical management-monthly
  • Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine series: focusing on basic and translational research - weekly
  • Cardiac Imaging Conference - weekly
  • Advanced heart failure, transplant, and MCS multi-disciplinary clinical care meeting -  weekly

Please see Application Process to apply.