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Meet Some of Our Alumni

Michael Fong, MD, FACC

Michael Fong, MD

Medical School
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

Current Organization
Keck Medical Center of USC, University of Southern California

Current Position
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
Lead, Heart Failure Section, Los Angeles County and University of Southern California Medical Center

Hometown
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

What one thing did you learn that you most use in your medical practice?
The value of being detail-oriented.

Favorite memory of fellowship?
Going to the ACC conference with several other fellows and faculty, sharing our experiences, learning, having fun and growing as physicians.

One piece of advice you would give to a fellow coming into the program?
The practice of medicine can be consuming. Don't neglect yourself. Rochester is an amazing city rich with culture, restaurants and surrounded by nature. Take it all in.

Anything else that would be helpful to share?
Fellowship at U of R is an amazing experience. The faculty are great teachers who care deeply for their patients and their trainees. They are committed to quality and excellence in everything they do. Fellowship at U of R was one of the best decisions I made. It provided excellent exposure to all areas of cardiology, which allowed me to decide where I wanted to focus my career. Many programs are strong in one area and weak in the rest, but Rochester is very well-rounded. I even had the opportunity to do an away elective to develop my skills in cardiac MRI at one of the leading centers in the country, and later help build the CMR program at U of R. I made many long-lasting friendships in Rochester, and will always consider it home.

Susan Lien, MD

Susan Lien, MD

Medical School
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine/Medical College of Virginia

Current Organization
Southern California Permanente Medical Group/Kaiser Permanente (Riverside CA)

Current Position
Cardiologist/Partner

Hometown
San Marino, CA

What one thing did you learn that you most use in your medical practice?
Stay an active learner. I coordinate echo and Cardiology case conferences for our Cardiology department so we can continue to learn from each other and improve our medical practice.

Favorite memory of fellowship?
Truthfully, my entire Cardiology fellowship at URMC is a "favorite memory." I enjoyed the learning, teaching, research, and time spent with the other Fellows, side-by-side in our cubicles.

One piece of advice you would give to a fellow coming into the program?
Fellowship flies by, so maximize your experiences and make every effort to learn as much as you can on every rotation. Building a strong foundation will be invaluable whether your goal is to become an excellent general cardiologist or if your plan is further subspecialty training.

Anything else that would be helpful to share?
Form strong and lasting relationships with your attendings/mentors and co-fellows. The ties to URMC extend beyond your time in fellowship. You become part of the URMC “family” for your life. There are 2 other cardiologists in my department that are part of the URMC “family,” and it’s great. We’re good friends, and we reminisce about Rochester all the time!

Benjamin McClintic, MD, FACC

Benjamin McClintic, MD, FACC

Medical School
University of Rochester

Current Organization
Guthrie Clinic (Ithaca, NY)

Current Position
Noninvasive Cardiologist

Hometown
Gillett, PA

What one thing did you learn that you most use in your medical practice?
I learned so many things! But the understanding of cardiovascular physiology that I learned during the Echo rotation with Dr. Schwarz and the other echo attendings has been invaluable in my current practice and in teaching echocardiography to my own fellows.

Favorite memory of fellowship?
While I have many fond memories of my fellowship training at Rochester, my favorite weekly event was our Morning Report. It was such a nice way for all of the fellows and attendings to come together and discuss cases in detail. It struck the perfect blend of being fellow-driven while still having significant input from the expertise of attendings, and it provided some of the best learning in any of my medical training!

One piece of advice you would give to a fellow coming into the program?
Take advantage of your time in training (especially in the second and third years) to get as broad a background in all of the cardiology disciplines as you can. The responsibilities you have as an attending can change a lot through your career, and the more you are exposed to and comfortable with at the end of your fellowship, the more prepared you will be for future career challenges.

Anything else that would be helpful to share?
I had an incredible and very positive experience during my fellowship training at URMC. All of the attendings are very committed to fellow education, and the program is designed to encourage a lot of fellow input. I would highly recommend the Cardiology Fellowship program at the University of Rochester!

J. Chad Teeters, MD, FACC

Chad Teeters, MD

Medical School
UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine

Current Organization
Highland Hospital (Rochester, NY)

Current Position
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
Executive Medical Director, Accountable Health Partners
Chief of Cardiology, Highland Hospital

Hometown
Greensboro, NC

What one thing did you learn that you most use in your medical practice?
Medicine is a team sport and learning to work together as equals with colleagues from across disciplines results in the best patient outcomes and the most fulfilling medical career.

Favorite memory of fellowship?
Lunch in the fellows office. We were a tight knit group, all going through similar experiences, and the comradery and exchange of information was more in-depth and far-reaching than at any other time in my training or subsequent career.

One piece of advice you would give to a fellow coming into the program?
Take every opportunity. The faculty are varied in their approach, skillset and knowledgebase with something different to learn from each one. The conversations and discussions between cases and after rounds were usually just as if not more educational than those happening during the care delivery. You’ll never get an opportunity to be a sponge and learn from so many engaged and amazing people again who are dedicated to your development, so don’t waste a single moment!

Anything else that would be helpful to share?
The reason I chose to come to the U of R for my fellowship was because it was one of the few places that you left training and were ready to be a well-rounded practicing cardiologist who could “do it all”. In many places I looked, you would exit being great in one discipline and OK in others, but here I left with the ability to enter my career confidently managing in and outpatients, implant devices, run an echo and nuclear program, and still have the background and training to engage in clinical research. All while at the same time giving me the skillset to run my own practice. I don’t know of another place that would have given me that depth and breadth of experience and confidence.