logo Click here for the Department of Medicine Home Page Click here for the UC Irvine Home Page Click here for the School of Medicine Home Page

Fellowship Programs

The Division of Cardiology at the UC Irvine Health School of Medicine offers a very competitive three-year Cardiovascular Medicine Fellowship as well as advanced specialty training in a fourth-year Interventional Cardiology Fellowship.

Both programs are certified by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

Welcome From the Fellowship Program Director »

UC Irvine Health comprises the clinical, medical education and research enterprises of the University of California, Irvine.  UC Irvine Medical Center is an acute care hospital providing tertiary and quaternary care.  It is the primary teaching location for UC Irvine Health School of Medicine.  It serves a region of more than 3 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County.  UC Irvine Health is the only University-based academic medical center in Orange County and educates more than 400 medical students and trains more than 800 residents and employs more than 8,000 faculty, staff and residents.  UCI Irvine Health Cardiovascular Center is a state-of-the-art academic cardiovascular program.

Our three year ACGME fully-accredited Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship is a training program within the Department of Internal Medicine.  The program imparts the core competencies required by the Core Cardiovascular Training Statement recommendations for training in adult cardiovascular medicine.  Our Cardiovascular Fellowship is designed to provide exceptional training in all aspects of cardiology with extensive clinical, academic and research experiences in state-of-the-art-settings and a diverse patient population. The program is founded upon the principle that training should be tailored to the needs of each fellow as we believe the best way to allow our fellows to become the consummate professional academic and clinical cardiologist is through a combination of self-study, didactic instruction, research and supervised exposure to cardiac pathology. 

We are committed to providing a broad base of advanced training by providing exposure to the full breadth and depth of the Cardiovascular specialty in our state-of-the-art training facilities.  Our full-time faculty are dedicated and committed to teaching fellows at the highest level.  Fellows attend daily didactic sessions directed by core-faculty members and include multidisciplinary conferences in general cardiology, interventional cardiology, CT surgery, echo, CT-MR imaging and translational cardiology involving basic scientists and clinicians.  Providing the fellow with unique insights across a variety of disciplines our Cardiology Grand Rounds Visiting Professor Program provides direct exposure to internationally recognized thought leaders in cardiovascular medicine.  Participation in fully-mentored, high-quality research projects for presentation and publication is required with numerous opportunities for research exploration available via the cardiology research curriculum.  Fellows are also provided monetary assistance to attend the scientific sessions of the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology each year.

We believe there is more to training than clinical and scientific competence.  Consequently, the Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship training program provides ample mechanisms for guidance and support in career development under auspices of the faculty mentoring program.  Each incoming fellow is teamed up with a faculty mentor in cardiology and a senior fellow to assure a smooth transition to advanced fellowship training.  Upon successful completion of the three-year fellowship training each fellow will become board-eligible for the ABIM Cardiovascular Diseases Certification Examination.  Additionally, we are confident that your training will stimulate your core values for compassion, ethics and integrity in total patient care.

Dr. David Donaldson
UC Irvine Health Cardiovascular Fellowship Program Director
Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine/DOM/Division of Cardiology

Dr. Pranav Patel
Chief, Division of Cardiology
Clinical Professor of Medicine & Biomedical Engineering

Fellowship in Cardiovascular Medicine »

UC Irvine's Cardiovascular Medicine Fellowship program is designed to train physicians who are certified or eligible for certification by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) to become excellent clinician-scientists in the field of cardiovascular medicine. We train physicians be autonomous and confident in the clinical practice of cardiology, whether that be in independent practice or  academic medicine. We achieve these goals using guidelines outlined by ABIM and the American College of Cardiology (ACC), as well as the ACGME program requirements for residency education in cardiovascular disease.

Led by Dr. David Donaldson and Dr. Pranav M. Patel, the three-year fellowship program in cardiovascular medicine includes didactic instruction, grand rounds and lectures from the nation’s leading cardiologists. Fellows are exposed to a wide variety of patients and cardiovascular conditions during rigorous training at UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, VA Long Beach Health System and MemorialCare Heart and Vascular Institute in Long Beach. The fellowship is designed to teach state-of-the-art cardiovascular medicine using the most current, evidence-based data. Fellows also are trained in disease prevention and the evaluation and management of patients with a wide variety of acute and chronic cardiovascular conditions.

The clinical curriculum is designed to meet the American College of Cardiology’s COCATS4 recommendations for both procedural volume and training time to achieve competency in treating cardiovascular disease. Clinical rotations emphasize autonomy and clinical decision-making through direct interaction with our faculty. This method enables our fellows to gain independence in clinical judgment and procedural skills.

Clinical rotations include:
  • Adult structural heart disease
  • Cardiology consult service
  • Cardiac catheterization laboratory (Fellows master both radial and femoral approaches)
  • Cardiac imaging
  • Coronary care unit
  • Echocardiography
  • Electrophysiology
  • Heart failure
  • Nuclear cardiology
  • Preventive medicine
  • Vascular medicine

The clinical curriculum is reinforced with daily educational conferences. Didactic sessions include general cardiology as well as subspecialty topics. Fellows also may participate in mentored research projects throughout their clinical years. Throughout their clinical training, fellows are encouraged to initiate and develop plans for research projects.

Cardiovascular Medicine Didactics and Clinical Training »

The first year of the Cardiovascular Disease fellowship training begins with a “summer school,” which is a series of daily didactic lectures about cardiovascular medicine. Fellows also attend subspecialty lectures and conferences in cardiac catheterization, interventional cardiology and electrophysiology. They also learn about advanced imaging techniques, including echocardiography, nuclear cardiology, cardiac CT and MRI. Other topics include the American College of Cardiology guidelines, pediatric cardiology, adult structural heart disease, heart failure and research.

Supervised clinical rotations take place at UCI Medical Center in Orange, at the Long Beach Tibor Rubin VA, and at Long Beach Memorial. The clinical curriculum is designed to meet recommendations by the American College of Cardiology for both procedural volume and training time to ensure competency in cardiovascular disease treatment.

Rotations include:
  • Cardiac catheterization lab (4-6 months)
  • Coronary care unit (4-5 months)
  • Consult service (2-3 month)
  • Echocardiography (4 months)
  • Electrophysiology (2 months)
  • Heart failure/transplant (1-2 months)
  • Nuclear cardiology/CT and MRI (2-3 months)
  • Structural/adult congenital heart disease and preventitive cardiology (1-2 months)

In supervised weekly outpatient clinics, fellows engage in one-on-one interactions patients under the supervision of faculty cardiologists.

Research/QI in Cardiovascular Medicine  »

Throughout their clinical training, fellows are expected to participate in mentored research projects. Fellows are encouraged to initiate and develop plans for research, including choosing specific mentors and projects. The diverse interests of division faculty members offers fellows a wide range of exciting and challenging research experiences to choose from. 

All fellows receive six months of protected time to participate in clinical or lab-based research during their training. Fellows are encouraged to produce research papers worthy of publication in leading peer-review journals, as well as to write and submit grants. Program directors will assist in targeting appropriate research interests.

In addition, fellows are required to work on at least 1 Quality Improvement project during their training. Fellows are encouraged to develop process improvement projects within Cardiovascular Medicine, the division, or at any of the rotating sites. These projects will be presented to faculty, peers, and staff during their last year of training.

Fellowship in Interventional Cardiology  »

The Interventional Cardiology Fellowship is designed to teach fourth-year fellows the indications, contraindications, risks, limitations and complications associated with catheter-based interventions. The interventional fellow is expected to perform a minimum of 250 coronary interventions during the year of training, as well as numerous peripheral vascular, valvular and adult structural heart procedures.

The interventional curriculum follows the guidelines established by the ACGME residency review committee for interventional cardiology. The program provides training, education and experience in the evaluation and management of a wide variety of patients with acute and chronic cardiovascular conditions, including coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction and other acute coronary ischemic syndromes, valvular heart disease, adult structural heart disease and peripheral vascular disease.

Led by Dr. Dr. Pranav M. Patel, the program gives fellows intensive experience in interventional procedures under the supervision of leading UC Irvine faculty cardiologists. Fourth-year clinical training is divided between the medical center in Orange, which has the region’s most advanced cardiac catheterization and electrophysiology facilities at UC Irvine Douglas Hospital and at MemorialCare in Long Beach.

Fellows are expected to develop the skills required to select appropriate patients for specific interventional techniques and to be involved in post-procedural care. They also acquire the skills to perform and interpret coronary angiographic films, hemodynamics, intravascular ultrasound, intracoronary Doppler flow and intracoronary pressure monitoring.

The interventional fellowship program also offers a post-procedure ambulatory clinic for long-term risk factor modification and outcome assessment in patients undergoing coronary, valvular or peripheral vascular intervention. Fellows learn to use intravascular ultrasound, percutaneous transluminal angioplasty, cutting-balloon angioplasty, intracoronary stents, rotational artherectomy, distal protection devices, pressure and Doppler flow wires. Fellows also learn to perform percutaneous coronary intervention with radial artery access. (UC Irvine catheterization labs are primary radial artery access labs.) Fellows also participate in clinical trials on the effects of pharmacological therapies and new interventional devices.

After completing the one-year interventional training program, fellows are expected to be well prepared to earn board certification in interventional cardiology.

Interventional Cardiology Didactics, Training and Research »

Interventional fellows are required to present didactic material during lectures, conferences, journal clubs and/or medical grand rounds. Weekly didactic sessions and conferences provide fellows the opportunity to gain knowledge about the clinical decision-making process.

Interventional fellows participate in on-going clinical and basic research studies and collaborate with Division of Cardiology faculty members. Fellows are expected to assist in the management and follow-up of the research subjects. They also are encouraged to pursue independent research projects.

Interview Process »

Applicants are notified by email if they are selected for personal interviews with the Division faculty members.

Interviews for July 2025 positions will occur between September 2024  October 2024.

Application Process »

Applications for the Cardiovascular Medicine and Interventional Fellowship Programs are available in early July every year through ERAS. We no longer accept paper applications. For questions about the application process, go to ERAS online or call 215-966-3940.

To be eligible for the fellowship programs, applicants must have:

  • Completed residency training in internal medicine
  • Board-certification or board-eligibility in internal medicine
  • A California medical license before beginning the fellowship
  • U.S. citizenship or have fulfilled residency or visa requirements before starting the fellowship. We are not accepting H1B visas at this time.
ERAS applications should include the following:
  • Current curriculum vitae
  • A one-page personal statement
  • Scores on the United States Medical Licensing Examination®
  • A current photo
  • Dean's letter
  • At least three letters of recommendation, including one from a past or current program director

Applications for July 2025 positions will be accepted beginning July 1, 2024.  Interviews are arranged by an ERAS invitation after a thorough review of completed applications. Interviews will occur between September 2024 - October 2024.

Salary and Benefits »


The 2023-2024 annual salary scale for Cardiology fellows is:

  • PGY 4 — $89,969.36
  • PGY 5 — $93,241.58
  • PGY 6 — $96,334.60
  • PGY 7 — $99,203.92

Health Benefits

Fellows have full health benefits including medical, dental, and vision. These plans are designed to meet the needs of the fellows and their families.

Life insurance is provided at no additional cost to the fellow only.

Long-term disability insurance is offered at an additional cost through the University of California Regents.

Fellows also receive professional liability coverage for all activities that are part of the cardiology fellowship training programs.

Vacation/Sick Time

Cardiology Fellows receive 20 days of vacation (15 personal days, 5 educational days), as well as 8 sick days.

Resident/Fellow Union Benefits

Fellows and residents training at UCIMC are unionized.  Union benefits are valid strictly from July 1 to June 30 each year of training. Funding is not rolled over year to year.

Below are the union benefits that apply to Cardiology Fellows:

  • 2 White Coats provided for entire training
  • $40/month for UCIMC Cafeteria
  • Up to $1,000 in reimbursements for Educational/Conference Fees
  • Up to $1,000 for CA Medical License reimbursement
  • Reimbursement for ACLS recertification during training
  • $2,900 annual stipend for fellows living within 10 miles of the rotating locations


Moonlighting is permitted to only second year and third year Cardiology fellows, as well as the Interventional fellow. Fellows may only moonlighting on weekends and for no more than 40 hours a month. Time spent moonlighting will count toward the 80-hour a week work limit.

2024-2025 Cardiology Fellows »
1st Year Fellows:
Kyle DiGrande, MD
Matthew King, MD
Christina Mansour, MD
Tobin Mathew, MD
Kristina Menchaca, MD
Nishant Prashar, MD
2nd Year Fellows:
Leanne Farestveit, MD
Sarah Harirforoosh, MD
Amina Jamali, DO
Long-Co Ly Nguyen, MD
Akash Patel, MD
Eric Zuniga, MD
3rd Year Fellows:
Vishal Patel, MD
Parker Rushworth, MD
George Tang, MD
Yicheng Tang, MD
Robert Tungate, MD
Emin Zargarian, MD
4th Year Interventional Fellow:
George Nasr, MD
2023-2024 Cardiology Fellows »
1st Year Fellows:
Leanne Farestveit, MD
Sarah Harirforoosh, MD
Amina Jamali, DO
Long-Co Ly Nguyen, MD
Akash Patel, MD
Eric Zuniga, MD
2nd Year Fellows:
Vishal Patel, MD
Parker Rushworth, MD
George Tang, MD
Yicheng Tang, MD
Robert Tungate, MD
Emin Zargarian, MD
3rd Year Fellows:
Brian Becerra, MD
Fahad Gul, MD
George Nasr, MD
Erik Offerman, MD
Ned Premyodhin, MD
Perry Wu, MD
4th Year Interventional Fellow:
Murtaza Bharmal, MD