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. 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.

Omar Abdul Ghani, MBBS
Program Director

Helaine Kwong, MD, Pharm. D
Associate Program Director

Alan Kuo, MD
Associate Program Director

Alamelu Ramamurthi,  MD
Associate Program Director

Anne Kemble Luo, MD.
Associate Program Director

Benjamin Plank, MD
Associate Program Director

David Singh, MD
Associate Program Director

Kris Kawamoto, MD
Associate Program Director

Jesus Pino Moreno, MD
Associate Program Director

John Cogan, MD
Associate Program Director

Kahealani Rivera, MD
Associate Program Director

Luke Lam, MD
Associate Program Director

Margo Vassar, MD
Associate Program Director

Michael Brodsky, MD
Associate Program Director

Michael Tanoue, MD
Associate Program Director

Peter I. Tsai, MD
Associate Program Director

Rachel Lee, MD
Associate Program Director

Ralph Shohet, MD
Associate Program Director

Todd Seto, MD, MPH
Associate Program Director

V. Ted Leon, MD, MPH, FAAFP
Associate Program Director

Zia Khan, MD, MPH
Associate Program Director

Robert Hong, MD
Emeritus Faculty

Program Details


Macro Curriculum

Fellow 1
Cardiology Inpatient Ward 2.5 blocks
Cardiology Consult 1.5-2 blocks
Echocardiography 2 blocks
Cardiac Cath Lab 2 blocks
Nuclear Cardiology/CT 1-1.5 Blocks
Electrophysiology 1 Block
Research/Elective 1 block
Night Float 1.5 blocks
Vacation 3 weeks

Fellow 2
Cardiac Cath Lab 2 blocks
Echocardiography 2 blocks
 Electrophysiology 1 block
Cardiology Inpatient Ward 1 block
 Cardiology Consult 1.5 blocks
Nuclear/CT 2 blocks
Elective 2 blocks
Night Float 1.5 blocks
Vacation 3 weeks

Fellow 3
Elective 3 blocks
Cardiology Consult 0-1.5-1 blocks
 Nuclear Cardiology/CT 2 blocks
Cardiothoracic Surgery 1 block
 Echocardiography 2 blocks
Cardiac Cath Lab/Vascular 2 Blocks
Heart Failure 1 Block
Night Float 1/2 Block Vacation 3 Weeks 

Rotation Schedule

Queens Medical Center- Punchbowl 

Queens Medical Center- West Oahu


Selection & Interview Process

Applications for 2024-2025 academic year will open August 2024.

  • Candidate’s application will only be considered if all requirements listed are completed and received. 
  • Deadline for submission of requirements is August 31st. 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. 

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 a J-1 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 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 3 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.
information on drug testing requirements


Level 1 Fellows

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

Kevin Lee, MD
University of Illinois College of Medicine Krik Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV

Uzoagu Okonkwo, MD
Tripler Army Medical Center

Parthav Shah, MD
Mahatma Ghandi Mission’s Medical College, Navi Mumbai
University of Hawaii Internal Medicine Residency Program

Level 2 Fellows

Rahul Ahuja, DO
Touro College of Ostepathic Medicine
Alameda Health System: Highland Hospital

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

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

Benita Tjoe, MD
Northeast Ohio Medical University
Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital/Internal Medicine

Level 3 Fellows

Bernas Monika MD
Poznan University of Medical Sciences
University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine, Internal Medicine Residency

Andrew Lee, MD
Tulane University School of Medicine
USC Medical Center

Kimberly Vu, MD
University of California, Irvine

Benefits & Salary

summary of salary & benefits


University of Hawaii Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Program

The Queens Medical Center
1301 Punchbowl Street
Pauahi 3rd Floor, Queen’s Heart
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
(808) 691-4111