For nearly a decade, Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital – Plano has pursued innovation in cardiovascular healthcare, offering novel therapies and procedures for a variety of heart diseases. The large volume of procedures and surgeries performed at The Heart Hospital provides a unique opportunity for cardiologists and cardiac surgeons to train the next generation of innovators in cardiovascular healthcare. Under the leadership of Michael DiMaio, MD, Medical Director – Residency Fellowship Program, a yearlong Structural Heart Fellowship was initiated in July 2016.
The Structural Heart Fellowship enrolls one cardiac surgeon and one interventional cardiologist who have both completed formal training in their respective fields but are seeking additional training in advanced structural heart therapies that are not offered at high volumes in most surgical and cardiology training centers. These advanced structural heart therapies include both transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) and transcatheter mitral valve procedures. The fellows spend one year gaining significant experience with these procedures, including patient selection and management as well as the required technical skills, by working alongside national experts in transcatheter valve therapies. In addition, the fellows are actively involved in research efforts at The Heart Hospital related to structural heart therapies including ongoing prospective clinical trials that are currently enrolling patients.
The initial class of fellows consists of cardiothoracic surgeon Deborah Tabachnick, MD and interventional cardiologist Sukhdeep Basra, MD. Dr. Tabachnick completed her cardiothoracic surgical training at the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City, Utah. Dr. Basra completed his interventional cardiology training at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. The second class has just started, and consists of interventional cardiologist Sibi Thomas, MD and cardiothoracic surgeon Justin Schaffer, MD. According to Dr. DiMaio, “This fellowship allows physicians on our medical staff to educate future leaders of medicine in the advanced techniques that we utilize every day at The Heart Hospital.”