Fellow Testimonials

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Gray Akoegbe, MD
General Cardiology Fellow Class of 2019
Residency: University of Chicago

I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to train at The Henry Ford Hospital. After visiting on my interview day, it became clear that this program would leave no boxes unchecked. Everyone from the ancillary staff to the department chair was committed to excellent patient care and creating an optimal learning environment. My first six months have been challenging and incredibly rewarding. This program is at the forefront of innovation, driven by evidence-based medicine and committed to providing incredible care to an underserved population. As fellows, we have daily hands-on exposure to advanced imaging, LVAD/Heart transplantation, complex coronary interventions and a plethora of trans-catheter procedures, some of which were developed here. As an aspiring Interventional Cardiologist, I cannot imagine of a better place to train.

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Brittany Fuller, MD
General Cardiology Fellow Class of 2018
Interventional Cardiology Fellow Class of 2019
Residency: Henry Ford Hospital

Being from a suburb of Metro Detroit, I always knew I wanted to pursue training at Henry Ford, one of the largest tertiary care centers in Michigan. While I was an Internal Medicine resident at Henry Ford I gained exposure to a wide variety of complex patients. I chose to continue my training in Cardiology at Henry Ford because I knew this program offered a great clinical experience. A few months into fellowship, I have been exposed to a variety of highly complex patients and worked closely with some of the best Cardiologists in the nation. As a fellow, you get daily experience with state of the art therapies such as advanced circulatory support devices (left and right side Impella, Tandem Hearts), advanced cardiac imaging (MRI, CT, PET) and complex PCI procedures. You work closely with the Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant teams taking care of patients with LVADs and transplants. Henry Ford also provides superb teaching in other non-invasive modalities such as echo and nuclear as well as a complete EP program. Not to mention the nationally recognized Structural Heart Disease program and the cutting edge procedures that are performed daily in our cath labs. The staff are supportive and there is a perfect balance of support and autonomy.

This is also a very exciting time to live in Detroit, witness and be a part of the rebirth of truly magnificent city. Detroit is my home and Henry Ford faculty and fellows have become a part of my family. I have no doubt in my mind that after finishing fellowship here at Henry Ford I will be a great Cardiologist well equipped with the skills to practice anywhere in the country.

Sagger Mawri, MD
General Cardiology Fellow Class of 2019
Residency: Henry Ford Hospital

Six months into my fellowship training and I can honestly say without a doubt that becoming a fellow at Henry Ford Hospital’s cardiovascular fellowship program has been one of the best decisions I have made and I could not be happier! I chose to train at Henry Ford Hospital not merely because of local community ties as a local resident of the Metropolitan Detroit area, but importantly because I sought a cardiology training program that would be a great fit for me – one with an established record of providing very rigorous clinical and academic training to its fellows, opportunities to collaborate with inspirational mentors, a collegial training environment, and a supportive leadership in the division that cares tremendously about its fellows’ educational goals. All of these key factors have proven to not only be true, but exceed expectations.

One of the largest health systems in the nation, Henry Ford Hospital provides a large volume of regional tertiary referrals for complex cardiovascular conditions which are not treatable at many other institutions, including patients with high-risk structural heart diseases requiring trans-catheter valve replacements, high-risk percutaneous coronary interventions and cardiogenic shock requiring mechanical circulatory support, and patients with LVADs/heart transplants. Management of these complex cardiac patients provides fellows with a strong cumulative clinical experience and development of important clinical skills. As fellows, we receive an in depth exposure and hands-on training in the midst of cutting-edge advanced interventional and structural cardiology programs with nationally renowned leaders in their fields, a robust advanced heart failure and transplantation training program, a busy electrophysiology service, and advanced cardiac imaging program. Mentors from each cardiology subspecialty are always active in academic teaching and clinical research and provide ample opportunities for collaboration on various projects. They dedicate much of their time to the didactic curriculum, case reviews, research and mentorship.

I’m very humbled by the amazingly collegial environment that has been established at our program. Our attendings are vested teachers, researchers and mentors fully dedicated to the hospital and the program. They are always approachable, supportive and down-to-earth. Their tremendous fund of knowledge and enthusiasm for teaching are unparalled. Our program truly provides a collaborative working environment, a camaraderie among colleagues and a true sense of family.

Finally, I truly believe one of the cardiology fellowship program’s greatest assets is its director. Dr. Rabbani is incredibly genuine, passionate and dedicated towards his fellows’ training. Dr. Rabbani along with the rest of the division leadership are unbelievably supportive, approachable, and make it clear without pretense that our educational and career goals are their priority. For all of these reasons, I feel very fortunate to be training at Henry Ford Hospital. I’m looking forward to the coming months and years of general cardiology training at Henry Ford Hospital and plan for subsequent training in interventional cardiology. I highly recommend anyone interested to explore and learn more about this exceptional cardiology fellowship training program.

Gindi Ryan 15

Ryan Gindi, MD
General Cardiology Fellow Class of 2018
Residency: University of Illinois at Chicago

My experience at Henry Ford has been everything and more than I expected it to be. In trying to find the perfect match, I sought a program that was comprehensive and offered advanced training in several subspecialties. The hands on experience in multiple disciplines has allowed me to quickly discover where my passions lie. As a first year (6 months in) I have appreciated a very steep learning curve and am confident that my training here will prepare me well for anything I encounter during my career. In addition, the culture here is one which fosters learning, growth and advancement. Staff and fellows alike are very supportive, which is greatly appreciated. The variety of pathology is tremendous and motivates fellows to continuously read and grow professionally. Lastly, the city of Detroit has been an unexpected surprise. As someone whose lived in NYC, San Diego, Chicago, Denver, Boston and Tel Aviv, I did not expect to fall in love with Detroit so quickly. The city has a remarkable history with deep roots that I've quickly discovered. There's great restaurants, nightlife, arts and entertainment, and 1000's of surrounding lakes to appreciate during the warmer months! I feel honored to have the opportunity to train at Henry Ford, and am confident that I will acquire strong skills that will serve patient's well for many years.

Patsias Iani 12C

Iani Patsias, MD
General Cardiology Fellow Class of 2018
Residency: Henry Ford Hospital

Early during my Internal Medicine Residency at Henry Ford I realized that the General Cardiology Fellowship was an incredible option for me. This program embraces the responsibility and devotion for teaching, based on a culture of support and teamwork. This is not only based on the strong and dedicated program leadership but on the incredible amount of pathology we see. The population we serve includes bread-and-butter cardiology mixed with complex cases referred from multiple hospitals around the country. We have the great advantage of being exposed on all the major Cardiology subspecialties, dealing from advanced heart failure to structural heart disease cases, from clinic to the ICU.

Having all these assets helps you get a very broad view on every condition, from assessing electrical disturbances on post transplanted patients to managing ischemia and hypothermia in post cardiac arrest patients. This is done solely by cooperation and approaching these issues in a multidisciplinary approach, which I truly enjoy.

I believe that this fellowship program gives me the tools to continue to grow as a cardiology fellow and as professional.

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Nancy Ly, MD
General Cardiology Fellow Class of 2017
Residency: University of Southern California

I am incredibly happy and grateful for the opportunity to train at Henry Ford Hospital. When searching for a Cardiology fellowship program, I knew what was important for me. I wanted strong clinical training with exposure to a variety of disease processes, experience in every subspecialty of Cardiology, and a collaborative working and teaching environment. Henry Ford has all three. Leaving work, I feel invigorated and inspired rather than drained by all the cool cases I have seen throughout the day. I constantly want to read more and know more. Also, the camaraderie among fellows and teaching staff is unbeatable. Everyone is eager to help, teach, and be part of a “well-oiled machine” that gets the job done well. It was scary to leave my beloved home of Los Angeles and start anew in a different city. However, the gratification I get from work and the personal relationships I have formed so far make it all worthwhile. I am confident that I will be an amazing cardiologist at the end of my training.

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Babar Basir, DO
General Cardiology Fellow Class of 2016
Interventional Cardiology Fellow Class of 2017
Residency: Indiana University

My experience in the cardiology fellowship program at Henry Ford Hospital has been excellent. The foundation of our program lies in being the tertiary care center for one of the largest health systems in the state. This allows us as fellows to learn from the most critical and complex patients. As fellows we get daily experience in state of art therapies such as advanced cardiac imaging, circulatory support devices, complex coronary interventions, as well as a thriving LVAD and transplant program. As someone interested in interventional cardiology I have had numerous opportunities to participate in research involving our TAVR program as well as first hand experience in taking care of complex coronary and structural cases both in and out of the cath lab. I have no doubt that when I complete my fellowship at Henry Ford Hospital I will be a capable cardiologist and earn the confidence of my patients.

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Shawn Flynn, MD
Structural Heart Disease Fellow Class of 2015
Residency: University of Arkansas

Being new to Henry Ford hospital, I have been impressed by the quality of fellows this program is producing. It is rigorous training that strongly prepares fellows to care for critically ill cardiac patients. Having a structural heart disease program allows the fellows the best exposure to the future of interventional cardiology. It is training that cannot be received just anywhere; I wish I had the fortune of doing my general cardiology fellowship here.

 

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Dee Dee Wang, MD
General Cardiology Fellow Class of 2013
Advanced Imaging Fellow Class of 2014
Residency: University of Michigan

Henry Ford hospital was a perfect match for my cardiovascular training. Our location in the heart of Detroit provides not only a depth of patients from Southeast Michigan, but also patients from Canada. As a general cardiology fellow, you take care of not just routine atherosclerotic heart disease, but heart transplant patients, patients with LVADs, and complex first-in-man structural heart cases. The depth of interventional cases, advanced cardiac imaging training, and research endeavors at Henry Ford Hospital will prepare you for both an Academic and Private Practice experience. I wanted to train at a fellowship where I could graduate from general cardiology and achieve Level II/III certification in everything that I wanted. I additionally completed an 18 month advanced cardiac imaging fellowship. This is an excellent training ground for advanced cardiac CT, cardiac MRI, 3D intraoperative TEE, and nuclear cardiology/PET. Most other imaging fellowships around the country only allow you to specialize in 1 or 2 imaging modalities with either cardiology or radiology mentors, but this is one of the unique fellowships where you are trained as a true cardiac imager, with simultaneous joint reads between cardiology and radiology for every case. My training experience at Henry Ford Hospital has well prepared me for my career, and I will always be grateful to my many mentors for the opportunities they have given me, their teaching, and friendship through these years.

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Tim Raymond, DO
General Cardiology Fellow Class of 2017
Residency: Cleveland Clinic

Even though I have only been a fellow for a few months, I can already tell that the program at Ford provides as robust clinical exposure as I was led to believe. Patient volume is high here and there is no lack of complex cardiovascular cases. For good reason, its reputation carries a lot of weight amongst cardiologists whom I received advice from while going through the interview process. I was informed that I would be challenged here, and well supported, and I have found both to be true.

Having being born and raised and completed training in Cleveland, Ohio, it has been a smooth transition to metro Detroit. It has whatever you are looking for in a city (sports, great food, the arts, parks etc…), just more spread out. In general, I have found that people in the Midwest are nice and easy to talk to, and Detroit is the same way. Residents here also really care about their city and its rebirth, and participating in that process through living and working here gives people (including myself) a great deal of pride and satisfaction.

Cabrera Salinas Rafael 09C

Rafael Cabrera Salinas, MD
General Cardiology Fellow Class of 2016
Residency: Henry Ford Hospital 

My training in Cardiology at Henry Ford is being a great experience which I am really enjoying. This program combines a great clinical and academic learning experience with a great work environment, which makes you want to come back to work every morning. While training here, I’ve been exposed to a wide variety of cardiac pathology and gaining experience from the high-volume of patients we see, including cases that I might not see again during my training. Fellows have the opportunity of working closely with our outstanding cardiology faculty and learn from these nationally recognized leaders on their fields. This program has all the tools we need to become outstanding cardiologists, including a very busy catheterization lab with one of the most advanced Structural Heart Disease programs in the country, which is a pioneer performing novel procedures, a hands-on non-invasive and electrophysiology lab, a very modern cardiovascular ICU and an Advanced Heart Failure service which performs more than national average heart transplants and LVAD implantations per year. Working on all these services is a great advantage that not all other programs have, since it will allow you to gain independence treating all types of patients with cardiovascular diseases. Besides the great clinical experience, faculty offers us the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of research projects. Particularly, I had the opportunity to work very close with the Advance Heart Failure Service and we came out with multiple abstracts which were and being presented in national cardiovascular societies. In summary, I feel very lucky to train at Henry Ford and I think I couldn’t have chosen a better place to do it. I am definitely noticing a huge professional and clinical growth since my first day of training up to now and that is due to the great experience I am getting here.

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Rebecca Baumann, MD
Advanced Imaging Fellow Class of 2015
Residency: Pennsylvania State University

Barely two months into my Advanced Cardiac Imaging fellowship here at Henry Ford Hospital I have already accumulated significant experience in all imaging modalities: CT, MR, echo and nuclear. Thanks to the collegial nature of the Cardiology and Radiology departments, from the senior staff physicians to the technical support and administrative staff, the transition from another institution to the Henry Ford system was a very smooth one. This program’s greatest asset is its director. Dr. Ananth is completely dedicated to his fellow’s learning and brimming with ideas on how to best facilitate this. The ample one-on-one time with him in the echo lab at the West Bloomfield campus is invaluable. His tremendous fund of knowledge and enthusiasm for teaching are truly remarkable!

Largely tailored to the fellow’s interests, the schedule is designed to provide year-round exposure in all modalities while maintaining a focus in two designated modalities which alternates every two months. This way no particular set of skills gets rusty while new skills are constantly being acquired. Henry Ford’s large network of hospitals allows for hands-on experience in image acquisition in a variety of settings and a large number of studies to be read every day. The cutting-edge structural heart disease program provides a unique chance to learn the imaging skills necessary for planning and executing these procedures which are becoming increasingly available across the country. Finally, opportunities to be involved in research and other scholarly activity abound, and no time is wasted in getting these started. With Dr. Ananth as my mentor I am privy to an insider view of the clinical research world.

All in all, I could not be more pleased with my decision to come to Henry Ford. Just as I profit from the high level of teaching and the volume and variety of imaging studies performed here, the General Cardiology fellows also reap the benefits of having an Advanced Cardiac Imaging fellowship at their institution. Close collaboration between the Cardiology and Radiology departments enables them to perform electives in cardiac CT and MR as well as become more comfortable with ordering and reading advanced imaging studies throughout their fellowship. In my role as junior staff, I am looking forward to teaching the general fellows in the echo and nuclear labs.

Frisoli

Tiberio Frisoli, MD
General Cardiology Class of 2015
Interventional Cardiology Fellow Class of 2016
Structural Heart Disease Fellow Class of 2017
Residency: St. Luke's Roosevelt

I trained at an internal medicine program in downtown Manhattan, NY and while I can say I was busy, I know now that the breadth and severity of cardiac pathology I saw there pales in comparison to what I see here. In NY the sickest patients – those needing transplant/LVAD or valvuloplasty or high risk PCI or Impella… – were going to Columbia or Mt Sinai. Now, during the most important training years of my life, I’m on the receiving end, with the sickest from multiple hospitals in Michigan triaged to Henry Ford for “level of care”. Furthermore, that “level of care” is across the board. There are no holes. We’re not a program that’s strong in one field but lacking or average in others. We have a busy interventional program with complex PCI and mechanical circulatory support services, a nationally recognized structural heart program, a complete EP program, one of only three transplant/LVAD programs in Michigan, and a complete non-invasive lab with excellent echo and nuclear training with exposure to cMRI and CT. You want to train where you’ll get very strong across-the-board general cardiology, regardless of what you may go into.

Also, those who train us are part of the Henry Ford Medical group, meaning they have primary commitments to this hospital, its patients, and to us fellows. Our attendings don’t split their time and interests with private practice commitments. They are in-house; they chose to be here instead of at potentially more lucrative private environments. They are vested educators and researchers whom you can contact by email, phone, or drop in their offices on most any day of the week. These are the most important 3 years of your training; you want to be where you’ll be challenged, and where you’ll have the substrate – in the form of patient pathology, attending mentorship, and curricular structure – to learn any and all of cardiology.

Detroit is not what the media portrays. I lived in downtown Manhattan and went to NY Mets games and operas and concerts and bars and restaurants. I do that now as well – maybe not the MET but the Detroit opera house is very good check it out; maybe not Citi Field or Yankee stadium but check out Comerica or Joe Louis and tell me this isn’t a sports town; maybe not Carnegie Hall but check out the DSO (I was so impressed I got a yearly membership ticket package). The restaurants, bars, live music, athletics club…all top notch without the traffic or prohibitive prices of some other cities. Like any city, you need to know what areas to avoid, which tend all to be in the outer parts of the city, away from the down/mid-town hotspots. I walk home at night, as do friends I live near. Rents in downtown Detroit are going dramatically up and vacancies fading for a reason; lots of young people are moving down/mid-town to what is a very cool place to live.

Swadia Tanmay 08C

Tanmay Swadia, MD
General Cardiology Fellow Class of 2014
Interventional Cardiology Fellow Class of 2015
Residency: Henry Ford Hospital 

When I was deciding on where to train for cardiology, I had no doubt in my mind that I want to be at Henry Ford. Henry Ford, being a huge referral center in the Detroit area, provides access to a vast variety of patients and it tends to attract the sickest of the sick. The cardiology program here is set up in a way where there is a perfect balance of autonomy and supervision. The attending cardiologists here are extremely committed to fellow education and that really shows with their active participation in morning and noon conferences. Henry Ford is also home to some of the pioneers in the field of cardiology and so fellows get to have hands on experience with some novel procedures like the "first trans inferior vena caval aortic valve replacement" or the "first percutaneous treatment of severe tricuspid regurgitation" - in North America. Research is also highly encouraged here, and training at Henry Ford provided me with ample research opportunities. Henry Ford is a unique program in a sense that it has almost everything that cardiology has to offer. As far as training, you come out as a highly competent clinical cardiologist, and if you choose to, there are sub specialty fellowships available in interventional cardiology, electrophysiology, advanced cardiac imaging, heart failure and transplant and structural heart disease. After completing my fellowship, I had no doubt in my mind when it came to choosing my training program for interventional - I continued at Ford for all these exact reasons. Most importantly, the program leadership makes you feel like family and that is something that stood out to me the most. I am lucky to have been a part of the Henry Ford cardiology fellowship program.

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