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Cardiology - Fellowship

Denver Skyline






The Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship Training Program began at the University of Colorado School of Medicine (CU SOM) Department of Pediatrics and Children's Hospital Colorado in 1971. Children's Colorado is a freestanding children's hospital with full affiliation with the University of Colorado School of Medicine for training pediatric residents and fellows. In addition to Children's Colorado, our fellows spend time at the University of Colorado Hospital and Denver Health Medical Center, the county hospital for Denver. The clinical service draws patients not only from the state of Colorado, but from Wyoming, Montana, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Utah, and New Mexico. We service a population base of approximately five million. The fellowship is fully accredited by the American Medical Association, the American Board of Pediatrics, and the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education. Over 98% of the fellows who have completed the program are board certified and are practicing pediatric cardiology. The current philosophy of the fellowship program is to have three new fellows each year.

We also offer a fourth year of advanced training in:

Chris Rausch, MD
Program Director
Fellowship-Pediatric Cardiology

Clinical Training

The first year of the fellowship consists of a very active clinical fellowship with rotations in cardiac catheterization laboratory, echocardiography, inpatient service, and Cardiac Intensive Care. 

​Month ​Year 1 ​Year 2 ​Year 3
​1 ​Echo ​​Inpatient ​CICU
​2 ​Echo ​​Echo ​Cath
​3 ​Echo ​Cath ​Research
4​ Cath​ Adult CHD/PAH​ Outpatient​
​5 ​Cath ​ET/EP ​Echo
​6 ​Transplant ​Research ​Research
​7 ​Inpatient ​Research ​Research
​8 ​Inpatient ​Research ​Research
​9 ​ET/EP ​Research ​Research
​10 ​CICU ​Research ​Research
​11 ​CICU ​Research ​Research
​12 ​Research ​CICU ​Elective


Fellows have a very active role in the inpatient/outpatient services at Children's Hospital Colorado, the University of Colorado Hospital and Denver Health Medical Center. When possible, fellows accompany the staff to the outlying pediatric cardiology outreach clinics. Second- and third-year fellows spend more than half of their time on research, with continuing clinical involvement for the rest of their time.

Three years of pediatric cardiology fellowship are required for board certification. After the first year's experience, the program is flexible, depending on the goals of the individual trainee. The fellowship is designed to give fellows at least 14 months of research training, and the research training can be expanded up to 19 months if appropriate.

Patient Volume

Cardiology outpatient clinics are held daily at Children's Hospital Colorado, with half-day metropolitan Denver clinics held weekly in Broomfield, Littleton, Wheat Ridge, and Parker. In addition, there are approximately 62 out-of-town pediatric cardiology clinics per year, which the fellows will attend on a selected but consistent basis. There are approximately 9,000 outpatient clinic visits per year at Children's Hospital Colorado, approximately 2,500 outpatient visits per year in the metropolitan Denver clinics, and more than 1,000 pediatric cardiology clinics in the tri-state area.

There are approximately 800 pediatric cardiac catheterizations performed per calendar year at Children's Hospital Colorado. The fellows can participate in all cardiac catheterizations.

The cardiac thoracic surgery service performs approximately 500 open and closed heart procedures each year at Children's Colorado. More than 12,000 echocardiograms are performed at annually at Children's Hospital Colorado.  In addition, Children's is a regional cardiac transplantation center for children, including newborns.

Inpatient Service (A-team)

One-month rotations.  Responsibilities include continuity care of all inpatient cardiology and cardiac surgery patients and all inpatient consultations at Children's Hospital Colorado. Fellows will work with the Advanced Practice Providers and rotating pediatric residents and medical students.

Cardiac Intensive Care Unit

One-month rotations. Responsibilities include continuity care of all cardiac intensive care patients and cardiac surgery patients at Children's Hospital Colorado. Fellows will work with the Advanced Practice Providers providers and rotating pediatric residents or fellows from other specialties.

Cardiac Catheterizations

One-month rotations. Responsibilities include work-up, performance, and post-cath care of patients undergoing routine diagnostic and interventional cardiac catheterizations. Fellows will become proficient in all aspects of invasive cardiovascular procedures. Catheterization conference is held weekly.


One-month rotations. Fellows will perform and interpret two-dimensional, M-Mode, and Doppler studies in inpatients and outpatients, under supervision of technologist and faculty. Included will be transthoracic, fetal, 3-dimensional, and transesophageal echocardiography. Echocardiography conference is held weekly.

Additional Rotations

  • Exercise Physiology
  • Electrophysiology
  • Transplantation
  • Cardiovascular Surgery
  • Research
  • Adult Congenital Heart Clinic
  • Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Cardiac MRI
  • Cardiology Clinic
  • B Team (consult service)

Call Responsibilities

All calls during fellowship are in-house and include continuity care of all cardiac inpatients and cardiac consultations.  The number of calls for first year a fellow is approximately 55, second year averages 45 calls, and third year fellows approximately 35.  The fellows are expected to arrange the call schedule for themselves and to submit it for publication prior to July and December of every year.


Three weeks' vacation in blocks of one to two weeks is allowed per year per ACGME policy. Vacation time off must be approved by the Program Director.

Research Training

During the first year, an original prospective research project will be developed with the assistance of the staff. This will be coordinated with the Program Director. Fellows are expected to contribute to the science of pediatric cardiology on an ongoing basis.

Supervised Research Experiences for Fellows

Fellows are expected to contribute to the science of pediatric cardiology on an ongoing basis. The Cardiology training program includes at least 12 months of research which is set aside for the development and execution of clinical and/or basic science research.  During the first year of fellowship, each fellow, along with a faculty advisor will develop a prospective research program to be performed and completed over the following 2-3 years.  Research may take place either on campus at Children’s Hospital Colorado or at the University of Colorado Denver, School of Medicine.  If so arranged, physicians may be accredited at other institutions provided adequate progress is regularly reported to the program director.  Each fellow is expected to complete one product of scholarly activity as outlined in the ACGME guidelines.  Whenever possible, a research paper should be completed and submitted for peer review by completion of the three year fellowship.  An individual fellow may adopt a pre-existing prospective study, but will still be expected to initiate an independent study during their duration as a junior subspecialty fellow.

Regular progress is discussed with the residency director on at least a bi-yearly basis.  Experimental design, data collection, and analysis suggested readings, and laboratory techniques are taught by the mentor for each particular project as well as in our monthly research meeting.  Several fellows in the past have participated in research with members outside the cardiology faculty.  These cases included direct teaching of processes by the mentor with the fellow.  This usually includes a regular lab meeting held once a week that includes design of the research project and rationale.  All of these fellows were involved in the presentation of their projects at cardiovascular research conferences as well as journal club meetings.

Research Support

The Exercise Physiology Laboratory, Echocardiographic Laboratory, Catheterization Laboratory, and Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Children's Hospital Colorado are all very well suited for clinical research. In addition, Children's Hospital Colorado Research Institute may provide "seed money" for new clinical and laboratory research projects which can be performed at either Children's Colorado or CU SOM.

Financial support and Human Research Committee assistance requires three to six months for preparation and approval. Approved and funded projects could begin early in the second year of fellowship. Participation in on-going projects may begin during the first year. Separate funding can be arranged for a full year's basic research experience.

Support and Guidance: Preparation of Manuscripts and Presentations

The preparation of manuscripts and presentations is performed by a direct interaction with the mentor as well as critical review at our monthly research meeting and semiannual Scholarship Oversight Committee meeting.  Prior to presenting abstracts at national meetings, the cardiology resident presents the research to the pediatric cardiology section and research mentor.

Research Facilities, Space, and Equipment, and the Residents’ Research Activity

Research facilities are available throughout Children’s Hospital Colorado and the University of Colorado Denver, School of Medicine.  In the section of Cardiology, research facilities include a state-of-the-art echocardiography, cardiac catheterization, and electrophysiology laboratories, as well as a state-of-the-art flow lab.  At the University of Colorado, multiple basic science laboratories are available including molecular biology laboratories, immunology laboratories, and perinatal research facilities among others.

Fellowship Conference

Fellows in pediatric cardiology meet several times weekly to discuss selected topics.  In addition to the full-time faculty members in pediatric cardiology, outside speakers will be invited to these conferences. Each conference is prepared by a fellow or faculty member on a rotating or conference specific basis.

Surgical/Case Conference

A weekly pediatric cardiology/cardiothoracic problem case conference is held at Children's Hospital Colorado. Interesting pediatric cardiology cases will be presented and discussed. Scheduled surgery cases for the week are presented and surgical inpatients are reviewed. The cases are presented by the cardiology fellows with active input from both cardiac surgery and pediatric cardiology faculty. Presentation of cases as well as pertinent electrocardiograms, chest x-rays, echocardiograms, and catheterization data is the responsibility of the fellow.

Journal Club

Weekly Book and Journal Club is held. Journal articles or book chapters will be assigned prior to the meeting and the pertinent science and analysis will be discussed.  This is an excellent opportunity for the fellows to meet with the staff on an informal basis to discuss timely issues.

National Meetings

$1000.00 for national meetings for the 2nd,   3rd and 4th year fellow will be sponsored by the program. Fellows are encouraged to submit at least one abstract per year. An additional seminar type meeting a year is also sponsored, provided that an abstract for the scientific meeting is accepted for presentation.

Children’s Hospital Colorado Conference Schedule for Pediatric Cardiology Fellows

  • Case Conference is held at the Mt. Columbia Conference room 2nd floor) at 7:30AM.
  • Monday’s (Required)
  • Lecture Series is held at the Mt. Columbia Conference room 2nd floor) at 4:00PM.
  • Tuesday’s (Required)
  • EP Conference is held at the Mt. Democrat conference room (3rd floor) at 3:00 PM Thursdays (Optional)
  • Echo Conference is held at the Mt. Democrat conference room (3rd floor) at 4:00 PM Wednesdays (Required)
  • Cath Conference is held at the Mt. Democrat Conference room (3rd floor) at 3:00 PM. Tuesdays (Optional)
  • Book Club is held at the Mt Democrat Conference room (3rd floor) at 11:30 AM Fridays (Required)
  • MRI Conference is held at the Echo Lab (3rd floor) at 9:00 AM Friday’s (Optional)

(Fellows should attend those conference that match their rotation schedule)

The Application Process

The Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship utilizes the use of ERAS - the Electronic Residency Application Service. This application will require a copy of your curriculum vitae, at least 3 letters of reference, a personal statement highlighting why you wish to become a pediatric cardiologist, and your USMLE or COMLEX score reports. If you are not a USA citizen, include a copy of your ECFMG report with ERAS. Please bear in mind that you would need to acquire a J1 visa if selected as a candidate for our program. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. It is your responsibility to ensure all required information has been received. All applications should be submitted by Dec 15th.

Please contact Jeanette Starkey, Fellowship Coordinator for any questions you may have. 720-777-2940 or


Cardiology Fellows

Back Row: Jake Kleinman, MD (PGY-5 2nd year); Megan SooHoo, MD (PGY-5 2nd year); Anne-Laure Martin, MD (PGY-8 Advanced CICU Fellow) Front RowEleanor Schuchardt, MD (PGY-6 3rd year); Kae Watanabe, MD (PGY-4 1st year); Sarah Stack, MD (PGY-6 3rd year);  Marco Pinder, MD (PGY-4 1st year) Not Pictured: Benjamin Frank, MD (PGY-4 1st year); Daniel Cortez, MD (PGY-6 3rd year); Richard Friesen, MD (PGY-5 2nd year) 


1st Year Fellows

Benjamin Frank, M

Residency: University of Colorado Pediatric Residency Program

Medical school: Weill Cornell Medical College

Research Interest: Cardiac remodeling after surgical repair



Marco Pinder, MD

Residency: University of Mississippi Medical Center

Medical school: Medical University of the Americas

Research Interest: Precedex use in the pediatric cardiac ICU 



Kae Watanabe, MD

Residency: University of Florida

Medical school: Keio University (Japan)

Research Interest: To be determined



2nd Year Fellows

Richard Friesen, MD

Residency: University of Chicago Medical Center

Medical School: University of Kansas School of Medicine

Research Interests: TBD


Jake Kleinman, MD

Residency: Tulane University Hospital

Medical School: Tulane University School of Medicine

Research Interests: TBD


Megan SooHoo, MD

Residency: University of Colorado Pediatric Residency Program

Medical School: University of Minnesota Medical School

Research Interests: TBD



3rd Year Fellows

Daniel Cortez. MD

Residency: Children's Hospital of Orange County

Medical School: University of Illinois College of Medicine

Research Interests: Vectrocardiographic parameters used for prognostic and Diagnostic value in causes of sudden cardiac death and cardiac transplant rejection.


Eleanor Schuchardt, MD

Residency: University of Colorado Pediatric Residency Program

Medical School: Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Research Interests: Deformation cardiac mechanics, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, necrotizing enterocolitis among infants with congenital heart disease.


Sarah Stack, MD

Residency: University of Colorado Pediatric Residency Program

Medical School: Saint Louis University School of Medicine

Research Interests: TBD


Advanced Pediatric Cardiology Fellows

Dale Burkett, MD - Cardiac Imaging

Fellowship: University of Colorado Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship

Residency: University of Colorado Pediatric Residency Program

Medical School:  University of Colorado School of Medicine


Anne-Laure Martin, MD - Cardiac Intensive Care Unit
Fellowship:  University of Colorado Critical Care Fellowship

Residency: University of Colorado Pediatric Residency Program
Medical School: Universite de Geneve, Faculte de Medecine, Switzerland