Welcome Letter

Welcome from the Chair

I am pleased to welcome you to our cardiovascular education website, a resource for our trainees, alumni, faculty, and community colleagues. As you navigate these pages, you will realize there is something of interest to each of us. We are very proud of our educational seminar presentation series, our journal club discussions, and the academic productivity reflected in our numerous high-impact publications.

The cardiology program at the University of Maryland has risen to premier status in recent years. The Division of Cardiology currently consists of 32 Full Time and 11 Adjunct Faculty. The clinical services cover the University of Maryland Medical Center, the Baltimore VA Medical Center, and an outreach practices in Westminster, MD (Carroll Hospital Center) and Owings Mills, MD. The division operates 4 university catheterization laboratories, 2 electrophysiological laboratories, 1 VA catheterization laboratory, and oversees 2 labs at Carroll Hospital Center. The fully equipped Cardiology Ambulatory Care Center was opened in 2005 and in-patients are cared for in a 15-bed Coronary Care Unit and a 14-bed Progressive Care Unit, with an additional 11-bed telemetry unit on the 3rd floor. A full service cardiac ultrasound program that includes 2-D and 3-D imaging with strain assessment and evaluation of mechanical dyssynchrony has also been developed.

Our Heart Rhythm services are distinguished nationally by their unique focus on real time scar and site imaging using PET-CT during ablative procedures. A one-of-a-kind robotic catheter guidance system is also employed to provide more accurate ablative interventions for ventricular and atrial arrhythmias. The interventional catheterization laboratories house a robust program in coronary and peripheral intervention, with new programs in percutaneous atrial and ventricular septal defect closures, trans-catheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) and percutaneous mitral procedures, as well as new short-term ventricular support devices. The clinical program in heart failure, transplantation, and pulmonary hypertension is one of the largest and most successful in the country with internationally recognized faculty in the field.

The fellowship training program is highly competitive. New training tracks in advanced heart failure and transplant cardiology, as well as critical care cardiology (in collaboration with the NIH), have also been developed. In the past 3 trainee cycles, almost two-thirds of the graduates have chosen a career in academic cardiology, and all fellows have produced scholarly activity that is typically presented at national and international forums with publications in high-impact peer-reviewed journals. 

The division has highly active clinical and basic science research platforms with distinction in the areas of lipid research, heart failure research, genomic and proteomic biomarker medicine, cardiac metabolism, pharmacogenomics, bio-behavioral cardiology and tobacco-related cardiac diseases.

We are grateful to our community of colleagues, our alumni network, and our fellows for propelling us to these heights.


R. Michael Benitez, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Director, Cardiovascular Fellowship Training Program