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Pediatric 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:


Program Leadership 

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  • Chris Rausch, MD
  • Program Director

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  • Sonali Patel, MD, PhD
  • Associate Program Director

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  • Jeanette Starkey 
  • Fellowship Program Coordinator

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. 

Cardiac Progressive Care Unit
Cardiac Progressive Care Unit
Cardiac Intensive Care Unit
Cardiac Intensive Care Unit
Cardiac Intensive Care Unit
Cardiac Catheterization
Cardiac Catheterization
Cardiac Catheterization
Cardiac Catheterization
Heart Failure/Transplant
Adult Congenital Heart Disease
Heart Failure/Transplant


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 21,000 outpatient clinic visits per year at Children's Hospital Colorado.  This includes visits at our main campus in Aurora, our network of care locations in the Denver Metro area and Colorado Springs, as well as our outreach locations in Southern Colorado, Western Colorado and Wyoming

There are approximately 830 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 550 open and closed heart procedures each year at Children's Colorado. More than 20,000 outpatient and inpatient 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

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 providers, 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
  • Consult Service
  • City Team

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

The program sponsors $1000 for national meetings for 2nd, 3rd and 4th year fellows. 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.

View the Children’s Hospital Colorado Conference Schedule for Pediatric Cardiology Fellows​
(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 Aug. 1.

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

 Pediatric Cardiology Fellows


​1st Year Fellows

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Daniel Ehrmann, MD
Residency: University of Colorado SOM
Medical School: University of Michigan Medical School
Research Interest: Automated data extraction of physiologic parameters in the cardiac intensive care unit


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Dana Irrer, MD
Residency:  University of Minnesota
Medical School: Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
Research Interest:  TBD


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Amanda McIntosh, MD
Residency: University of Colorado SOM
Medical School: University of Kansas SOM
Research Interest: TBD


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Melissa Wehrmann, MD
Residency: Saint Louis University
Medical School: Creighton University SOM
Research Interest:  TBD


​2nd Year Fellows

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Erin Taylor Lueth, MD
Residency: University of Colorado School of Medicine 
Medical School: University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
Research Interest: TBD

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Jessica Catherine McPhaul, MD
Residency: Cincinnati Children's Hospital 
Medical School: University Of Miami School Of Medicine
Research Interest: TBD

​3rd Year Fellows

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Benjamin Frank, MD
Residency: University of Colorado Pediatric Residency Program
Medical School: Weill Cornell Medical College
Research Interest: Cardiac remodeling after surgical repair

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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


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Kae Watanabe, MD
Residency: University of Florida
Medical School: Keio University (Japan)
Research Interest: To be determined


​Advanced Pediatric Cardiology Fellows

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Jake Kleinmahon, MD
Heart Failure / Transplant 
Fellowship:  University of Colorado
Residency: Tulane University Hospital
Medical School: Tulane University School of Medicine
Research Interests: Indetification and ultimately treatment of cardiac allograft vasculopathy in the pediatric heart transplant population


Madukar Kollegode, MD
Adult Congenital Heart Disease
Fellowship: University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, CO
Residency: IM / Peds residency at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center / Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH
Medical School: The Ohio State University School of Medicine, Columbus, OH



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Eleanor Schuchardt, MD Cardiac Imaging
Fellowship: University of Colorado Pediatric Cardiology 
Residency: University of Colorado Pediatric Residency Program
Medical School: Michigan State University College of Human Medicine



Anar Shah, DO
Advanced Cardiac Imaging
Fellowship: Yale University School of Medicine
Residency: University of Connecticut Pediatric Residency Program
Medical School: Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine



Daniel McLennan, MBBS
Advanced Interventional Cardiology
Fellowship: Royal Australasian College of Physicians/The Heart Centre for Children, Westmead Children’s Hospital, Sydney NSW Australia.
Residency: Princess Margaret Hospital for Children and the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Adelaide SA Australia
Medical School: University of Sydney (Australia)


Jenny Zablah, MD
Interventional Cardiology Research
Fellowship: Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, Northwell Health
Residency: Miami Children’s Hospital
Medical School: Dr. Jose Matias Delgado University, El Salvador