Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship

Our Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Fellowship Training Program, under the sponsorship of the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine, is an ACGME accredited Fellowship program.

We are comprised of 4 Fellows per year, for a total of 12 Fellows for the 3 years of the Program. We have a well-developed training program that includes clinical as well as didactic education that follows the directives and complies with the requirements outlined by the ACGME and by the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association/American College of Physicians Task Force on clinical competency training (COCATS).

We are the only cardiovascular disease fellowship program in the state of Hawaii. Our CVD fellowship was established in 2010. The Queen’s Medical Center is our primary site of training. This is the largest tertiary care medical center in the State of Hawaii and the Pacific Basin. Patients evaluated and managed at the QMC are of diverse ethnicities, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.

We are proud of all our trainees and graduates, and we see our success in the excellent care they provide for their patients.

To provide state of the art cardiovascular care for the people of Hawaii and the Pacific region, through the education of future cardiology leaders and the promotion of academic excellence, in a culture of compassion. 

To train and retain excellent cardiologists who provide patient centered care in the spirit of kina`ole and in an environment of diversity, to train cardiologists who promote education and wellness in the medical community, and to provide comprehensive, integrative cardiovascular care for our patients.

To be a premier training program that promotes collaborative care, improves access to care, and prepares its trainees for future transformations in healthcare delivery.

Core Faculty & Staff

We have extremely dedicated and experienced teaching faculty with a wide variety of subspecialty training.

Omar Abdul Ghani, MBBS
Program Director

Invasive/Imaging Cardiology

As I am a graduate of this program, I’m able to understand the specific needs and challenges our program faces and we continue to evolve and improve over time.

Helaine Kwong, MD, PharmD
Associate Program Director

Non-invasive Cardiology

Alan Kuo, MD
Associate Program Director

Non-invasive Cardiology

Alamelu Ramamurthi,  MBBS
Core Faculty

Electrophysiology

Anne Kemble Luo, MD
Core Faculty

Adult Congenital Heart Disease

Non-invasive Cardiology

Benjamin Plank, MD
Core Faculty

Interventional Cardiology

David Singh, MD
Core Faculty

Electrophysiology

Kris Kawamoto, MD
Core Faculty

Interventional Cardiology

Jesus Pino Moreno, MD
Core Faculty

Heart Failure/Transplant Cardiology

John Cogan, MD
Core Faculty

Interventional Cardiology

Kahealani Rivera, MD
Faculty

Non-invasive Cardiology

Luke Lam, MD
Faculty

Non-invasive Cardiology

Margo Vassar, MD
Core Faculty

Non-invasive Cardiology

Michael Brodsky, MD
Faculty

Clinical Cardiology Electrophysiology

Michael Tanoue, MD
Core Faculty

Non-invasive Cardiology

Peter I. Tsai, MD
Core Faculty

Cardiothoracic Surgery

Rachel Lee, MD
Faculty

Non-invasive Cardiology

Ralph Shohet, MD
Core Faculty

Basic Science/Researcher

Todd Seto, MD, MPH
Core Faculty

Non-invasive Cardiology

V. Ted Leon, MD, MPH, FAAFP
Core Faculty

Internist/Exercise Physiology

Zia Khan, MD, MPH
Core Faculty

Non-invasive Cardiology

Robert Hong, MD
Emeritus Faculty

Program Details

Curriculum

Macro Curriculum

Each block is 1 month
Vacation: 15 working days / weekdays per year
CME: 7 days per year

Fellow 1 – PGY4
General Inpatient Cardiology/Consultation: 2-2.5 Blocks
Cardiac Critical Care & Heart Failure: 1-1.5 Blocks
Night Float: 1.5 Blocks
Cardiac Catheterization: 2 Blocks
Echocardiography: 2 Blocks
Research: 1 Block
Electrophysiology: 1 Block
Noninvasive stress testing/EKG: 2 Blocks

Fellow 2 – PGY5
General Inpatient Cardiology/Consultation: 1 Block
Cardiac Critical Care & Heart Failure: 2 Blocks
Night Float: 1.5 Blocks
Cardiac Catheterization: 2 Blocks
Echocardiography: 2 Blocks
Electrophysiology: 1 Block
Nuclear / Cardiac CT / Cardiac MRI: 1.5 Blocks
Electives: 2 Blocks

Fellow 3 – PGY6
General Cardiology at QMC West Medical Center: 1 Block
Cardiothoracic Surgery for the General Cardiologist: 1 Block
Night Float: 0.5 Block
Electives: 10.5 Blocks

Application

Selection & Interview Process

Applications for 2025-2026 academic year will open July 2024.

  • Candidate’s application will only be considered if all requirements listed are completed and received. 
  • Deadline for submission of requirements is August 31, 2024. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all documents are submitted. 
  • Members of the Selection Committee review applications as often as necessary until August 31st. Candidates are selected on the basis of academic qualifications, previous performance, letters of recommendation, communication skills, and personal qualities. 
  • Invitations to interview are sent through the ERAS post office via email to the candidates’ email address as indicated on the ERAS application. 
  • We encourage that you specify in your application personal statement why you are strongly considering Hawaii.

Application Requirements

Fellowship candidates must have a certificate of completion from one of the following Medical Schools: 

  • Medical School in the United States or Canada accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). 
  • Colleges of osteopathic medicine in the United States accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). 
  • Graduates of medical schools outside the United States and Canada who meet one of the following qualifications:
    • have received a currently valid certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) prior to appointment, or 
    • have a full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in a U.S. licensing jurisdiction in which they are in training 
    • *Please note that we will only sponsor J-1 VISA and do NOT support H1 VISA.* 

As an accredited ACGME Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Program it is mandated that all prerequisite post-graduate clinical education required for initial entry or transfer must be completed in ACGME-accredited residency programs, or in Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC)-accredited or College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC)-accredited residency programs located in Canada.

Our program participates in the ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service). We do not accept applications through the mail, fax or email. 

  1. ERAS Common Application 
  2. Personal Statement should be no longer than one (1) page in length and address: (a) your interest and experience in Cardiology; (b) any previous training in Cardiology including electives/selective; (c) any special interest in Cardiovascular Research; (d) any particular factors which have motivated you to choose a career in Cardiology. 
  3. Current curriculum vitae 
  4. A minimum of three (3) Letters of Recommendation. One letter must be from the Internal Medicine Residency Program Director (the Program Director’s letter should state that the residency program is fully accredited by the ACGME, that you are in good standing in the residency program, and your expected date of graduation and board eligibility status). 
  5. Official Medical School Transcripts and medical license 
  6. Transcripts of all USMLE Steps 1, 2, & 3 scores (see http://www.nbme.org for information on requesting transcripts). 
  7. For graduates of Internal Medicine, the following needs to be submitted: 
  8. Board certification status 
  9. Final program evaluation from the Residency Program Director 
  10. Applicants offered a position must be ready to start July 1st. 

The University of Hawaii Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Program selects candidates based of their preparedness, ability, aptitude, academic credentials, communication skills, and personal qualities such as motivation and integrity. ACGME-accredited programs must not discriminate with regard to sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, sexual preference, disability, veteran status, or other statuses protected by federal or state law.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How many Level 4 positions do you offer?
    • The University of Hawaii Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Program will offer 4 fellow positions per year. 
  2. What is your minimum score requirement for USMLE Step 1, Step 2CK and Step 2CS? Should I take Step 3 as well?
    • Your application will be considered if you passed Step 1 & 2, Step 2CS, & Step 3 on your first attempt. We do not specifically exclude applicants based on the USMLE score as we carefully consider the entire application and encourage all interested students to submit application to our program 
  3. With my attached information do I meet the University of Hawaii’s Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Program’s acceptance criteria?
    • Applications are only accepted through ERAS. We cannot disclose specific acceptance criteria. Each applicant’s file is reviewed by one of our Recruitment and Selection Committee members, all documents are taken into consideration and decisions are contingent upon agreement in the committee. 
  4. Do you accept International Medical Graduates (IMG)?
    • Yes! We value and encourage diversity in our program. 
  5. Do you sponsor H-1 visas?
    • No. Only J-1 visas will be sponsored. There are no exceptions to this policy. 
  6. Do you have a Medical Residency completion year cut off requirement?
    • Yes, 10 years from completion of your residency. However, your recent clinical training and employment experiences will be evaluated carefully. We do not specifically exclude applicants based on residency completion year as we carefully consider the entire application and encourage all interested students to submit application to our program. 
  7. Do you require clinical experience in the United States? If so, how recent should this be?
    • Clinical experience and training in a U.S. system are not required but can help our selections committee evaluate your application appropriately against known benchmarks.

Fellows

Level 1 Fellows

Huzefa Bhopalwala, MD
Medical School: B.J. Medical College
Residency: Pune Appalachian Regional Healthcare

Kevin Lee, MD
Medical School: University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine
Residency: Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at University of Las Vegas, Nevada

Uzoagu Okonkwo, MD, PhD
Medical School: University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine
Residency: Tripler Army Medical Center

Parthav Shah, MD
Medical School: Mahatma Ghandi Mission’s Medical College, Navi Mumbai
Residency: University of Hawaii

Gagandeep Singh Rajpal, MD
Medical School: University of California, Davis, School of Medicine
Residency: Saint Agnes Medical Center

Level 2 Fellows

Rahul Ahuja, DO
Medical School: Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine
Residency: Alameda Health System: Highland Hospital

Pooja Dhruva, MD
Medical School: Rush Medical College of Rush University Medical Center
Residency: University of Florida College of Medicine

Benita Tjoe, MD
Medical School: Northeast Ohio Medical University
Residency: Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital

Level 3 Fellows

Bernas Monika MD
Medical School: Poznan University of Medical Sciences
Residency: University of Hawaii

Andrew Lee, MD
Medical School: Tulane University School of Medicine
Residency: University of Southern California (USC) Medical Center

Kimberly Vu, MD
Medical school: University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine
Residency: University of California, Irvine (UCI) Medical Center

Benefits & Salary

summary of salary & benefits

Contact

University of Hawaii Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Program
1356 Lusitana Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
(808) 691-4111