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Testimonials

Kassas.jpgIbrahim Kassas, MD, FACC, FSCAI

2019 graduate
Structural Interventional Cardiologist
Advocate Christ Medical Center
University of Illinois at Chicago- UIC
 
 

I have had the distinct privilege of training at UMass Medical School for seven years, where I completed my internal medicine residency followed by cardiology fellowship and then returned back to UMass in 2018 after completing an interventional cardiology fellowship training at NYU to do a dedicated fellowship training in structural heart disease and advanced interventional cardiology at UMass.

The structural heart disease program at UMass is a unique program that offers a Hybrid A-FIT (Attending- Fellow- In Training) model for advanced training structural heart disease (SHD) fellows. Where the SHD fellow is learning the spectrum of advanced structural heart disease procedures, but in the same time the SHD fellow is an independent interventional cardiologist helping to staff a busy cardiac catheterization lab and covering STEMI calls and occasionally leading the teaching cardiology consultation service a handful of weeks a year. This is an outstanding transitional year that is aimed at helping the SHD fellow mature and become a well rounded structural interventional cardiologist,

UMass Medical Center is one of the busiest medical centers in New England and the North East in managing patients with Heart attack and cardiogenic shock. The patient population in Worcester area is diverse with variety of patient pathology and complexity that will ensure an excellent exposure to almost every cardiovascular pathology.

The SHD fellow has teaching responsibilities for the interventional and general cardiology fellows as well as medical residents and students. UMass is the leading research center for variety of clinical, translational and basic science studies as well as multiple device trials. I personally was successful in publishing multiple manuscripts during my SHD training at UMass.

The structural heart disease program at UMass is rapidly growing with one of the highest volumes in the area in TAVR, MitraClip, TMVR, PFO/ASD/PDA/PVL closures and Watchman LAA appendage closure. In addition to a robust exposure to Complex High Risk PCIs (CHIP) cases that the SHD is able to perform independently and/or alongside senior operators and mentors at UMass Cardiac Catheterization lab. 

On top of the excellent qualities that UMass structural heart disease program have, the structural heart disease fellow at UMass will have a great mentorship with outstanding faculty and colleagues. Specially Dr. Nikolaos Kakouros who is the SHD program director, who is an excellent mentor, great educator, skilled and innovative operator, and a productive researcher. His expertise in analyzing and interpreting cardiac CT which he will share with his SHD fellows have given me the exposure and knowledge to easily pass the Cardiac CT board exam. I enjoyed excellent autonomy in performing complex structural heart disease and CHIP procedures. SHD fellow will always have the support of a senior and experienced faculty member to discuss and consult on difficult cases, this mentorship will continue beyond training into supporting the SHD fellow in starting and excelling in their future practice. Until this day, I would not hesitate to call Dr. Kakouros to discuss difficult cases in my current practice 2 years after graduating and 900 miles away and he has always been available to answer me and guide me through difficult decisions.

As a result of my excellent training at UMass Structural Heart Disease program, I have been successful in running high volume structural practice including TAVR, TMVR, ASD/PFO closures and Watchman LAA closures . I was also able to lead the efforts into launching a new TAVR program to serve the local communities, utilizing the knowledge and expertise gained at UMass Structural Heart Disease Program.