Mercer-piedmont Heart Physician Assistant Residency in Advanced Cardiology

Program Specialty:
Advanced Cardiology

Length Of Program (Months): 12 mos

Number Of PA’s in Each Class: 2 per residency year (July — June)

Contact Information

PHI Education Department
95 Collier Road, Ste 2045
Atlanta, GA 30309

Phone: (404) 605-5730
Fax: (404) 609-6643
Program Email:

Program Directors:

Jason Lucas, PhD, PA-C
Co-program Director

Amynah welji, MMSc, PA-C
Co-Program Director

Curriculum outline

Core Curriculum


Participate in resident and preceptor driven clinical application workshops

  • Attend Grand Rounds and M & M lectures
  • Clinical lab instruction at Mercer PA Program
  • Participate and present in quarterly PHI CCS Journal Club
  • Complete written assessments and modules on cardiology and intensive care practices
  • Serve as a resource for CCU nursing education
  • One week CME training


  • Manage Admissions and rounding on patients in Coronary Care Unit, along with providing consultative services in medical and cardiovascular surgical ICU’s
  • Respond to overhead calls for “Code Blue” (arrests) in hospital
  • Manage hemodynamics, ventilators, mechanical cardiac support, advanced heart failure, sepsis, and multi-system Organ failure
  • Participate in STEMI lesponse team
  • Participate in OR and post-surgical cardiovascular care of LVAD, ECMO, and routine open heart surgical patients
  • Learn bedside ultrasonography and perform arterial and venous invasive catheter insertions under ultrasound guidance
  • Understand and perform basic principles of limited bedside echocardiography as an extension of the physical exam
  • Obtain proficiency in cardiology specific additional responsibilities associated with advanced cardiac care in order to apply for additional state privileges for licensing requirements and hospital credentialing
  • Participate in cardiac subspecialty rotations
  • Select and rotate up to two elective rotation(s) in cardiovascular services offered by PHI

Clinical Experience

The Mercer-piedmont Heart Residency curriculum is modeled after the extensive advanced cardiology Physician Assistant employment program at piedmont Heart. The PA resident will rotate through dedicated clinical specialties within the heart program that will help prepare them to manage critical and complicated patients.

Rotations will include each specialized area within our program to include general cardiology, electrophysiology, cardiac surgery, advanced heart failure among others. In addition, the resident will be able to choose two additional elective choice of rotation in his/her specific interest within the cardiovascular service lines.

49 Week Clinical Block Schedule
1 Week Orientation
3 weeks CCU Rotation
4 Weeks General Cardiology Rotation (Acute Care Service)
4 Weeks Electrophysiology Rotation
24 weeks *Extended CCU Rotation with built in

  • Outpatient Cardiology Rotation
  • 2 weeks of Cardiac Surgery Rotation
  • Cardiac Cath Lab
  • Cardiac Imaging
    • Echo
    • CVMRI / CVCT
    • Stress Lab
4 Weeks CV Surgical ICU
6 weeks Two Elective Rotations (3 weeks each)
3 Weeks CCU Rotation
*Cardiac Cath Lab, Cardiac Imaging, and Outpatient Cardiology will be built within Extended CCU rotation

The PA Residents will be taught the following technical skills and procedures during his/her training:

  • Placement of central line catheters
  • Placement of arterial lines
  • Placement Of Swan Ganz catheters
  • Placement of Temporary Venous
  • Pacemakers
  • IABP removal
  • Bedside limited echocardiography

The PA Resident may be exposed to the following technical skills and procedures during his/her training:

  • History/physical exam
  • Nasogastric intubation
  • Gastric lavage
  • Insertionfrelnoval of invasive monitoring lines
  • Insertion ‘removal of intra-aortic balloon pumps
  • Closure of body planes
  • Suture surgical incisions
  • Arterial puncture
  • Cardiac/Thoracic:
    • Open chest:
    • Virgin
    • Redo
  • Assist with harvesting vascular conduit
  • Insertion/removal of temporary pacing wires

Didactic Experience

Didactic conferences will be held at specified times throughout the program and all residents will attend along with the CCU and other extender members of the staff. All residents will be released from duty in order to attend these special conferences. Grand Rounds conferences will focus on a variety of topics developed by the clinicians within each of our Centers of Excellence or clinical departments, with the goal of enhancing professional development and improving patient education and outcomes. In addition, interactive learning will occur between residents and program faculty with case based presentation, small group lectures and journal clubs. These educational opportunities will help prepare the resident for advanced cardiology critical care situations.

Advanced Cardiology and Critical Care Topics may include:

  • Advanced Heart Failure
  • Shock
    • Hypovolemic Shock
    • Septic/Distributive Shock
    • Cardiogenic Shock
    • Neurogenic Shock
  • Tamponade/Pericardial effusion
  • ACLS/Emergency Responder
  • Electrophysiology
    • Heart Blocks
      • Frist Degree
      • Second Degree Type I
      • Second Degree Type Il
      • Complete Heart Block
    • Tachyarrhythmias
      • Afib/aflutter w/ R VR
      • Ventricular arrhythmias
    • Bradyarrhythmias
    • PPM and ‘CD Interrogation and Interpretation
  • Respiratory Failure
  • Ventilator Management
  • ARDS
  • AKI with Renal Replacement Therapies
  • Coagulopathies and Anemia
  • VHD: Severe AS, MR
  • Structural Heart Disease
    • VSD/ ASD
    • Cardiomyopathies
    • RV and LV Dysfunction
  • Pulmonary Embolus
  • Post-VAD care
  • Transplant evaluation and post-transplant care
  • Emergencies
    • CV Emergencies
    • CVA: Recognition and management
    • Vascular Emergencies
  • Mechanical Cardiac Support Devices.

University and Institutional Affiliations

Mercer University
College of Health Professions
3001 Mercer University Drive
Atlanta, GA 30341
Contact: Philip Tobin, DHSc, PA-C
Department Chair and program Director
Physician Assistant Studies
Phone: 678-547-6085
Fax: 678-547-6509

Admissions process and timetable

Applications are received annually for a July — June residency year. Applications must be submitted electronically to by April 1st of each year. Candidates will be selected for interview by the program faculty. Applicants are notified of acceptance by May of each year. Residency start date is July of each year. The program selects up to two residents each year.

Application requirements consist of:

  • Graduate of accredited PA program
  • Certification in ACLS and BLS
  • Current or Eligibility for Georgia State Licensure
  • Current or Eligibility for NCCPA physician Assistant Certification
  • Self-Motivated with a strong interest in advanced cardiology
  • Completed application includes:
    • Three letters of recommendation (if candidate has graduated in the last year, one must be from the Program Director/Clinical Coordinator
    • Personal Statement
    • Curriculum Vitae
    • Letter of Good Standing from school reflecting statement regarding current academic and professional status and GPA and/or Official PA School transcripts

Credentials Awarded

A Certificate of Completion from Mercer University and Piedmont Heart Institute will be awarded after a successful completion of the 12 month post-graduate PA Residency in Advanced Cardiology. (The residency program will be pursuing accreditation from ARC-PA after their abeyance period has been lifted).

Financial Information

As a Mercer Piedmont Resident, a stipend of $50,000 as well as vacation and CME time will be available. In addition, the resident will be eligible for the Piedmont full time employee benefit package. Residents will be required to complete their benefit enrollment within thirty (30) days of hire. If elected, coverage will begin on the first day of the month following thirty (30) days of employment. Piedmont furnishes all literature and equipment required for residency to include lab jackets, work phone, office resources, library resources, etc.

Date of graduation of first class

December 31, 2014(completion) / January 14, 2015 (ceremony)

Number of graduates of first class



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