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Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship

Program Director's Welcome

Our three-year program offers comprehensive training in the field of pediatric cardiology and adult congenital heart disease within a diverse and multicultural environment. The unique infrastructure provided by the University of Miami/Jackson Health System allows for the seamless care of the fetus through adult with congenital heart disease.


Fellows will learn pediatric cardiology under experienced faculty mentors. The trainees have the opportunity to work as part of a multidisciplinary team in helping coordinate the care of a complex patient population with diverse needs. This includes exposure to fetal cardiology, adults with congenital heart disease and transplant cardiology. They will also participate in the education of trainees at multiple levels including fellows, residents and medical students (local and international).

Additionally, fellows are encouraged to develop their own research projects or participate in ongoing research under the mentorship of the faculty, and present at local and national meetings.


-Sethuraman Swaminathan, MD

Clinical Experience

Rotation/Call Schedule

The chief fellow organizes the yearly rotation schedule which is sent for approval by the program director prior to start. The rotation schedule is divided in 2 week blocks (with the exception of cardiac cath which is instituted in 4 week blocks). In keeping with the ACGME accreditation requirements, over the three year period fellows will be expected to complete 6 months of cath, 6 months of inpatient/consult service, 6 months of echocardiography, 3 months of CICU, 2 months of electrophysiology and 10 months of research. Fellows will gain exposure to all the major subspecialty areas within Pediatric Cardiology and have the opportunity to manage the fetus through adult with congenital heart disease within the same health system. Exposure to management of advanced heart failure including transplant evaluation and the care of the patient post-transplant is obtained during the inpatient, CICU and ambulatory cardiology experiences. Fellows will also have 4 weeks of vacation per year. The clinical commitment is less than 80 hours/week (averaged over 4 weeks) including call and for time spent coming in while on at-home call.

Weekly Conferences

Monday: cardiology service sign out. Wednesday: cardiac cath and case management conference (presented by cardiac catheterization and echocardiography fellows). Tuesday-Thursday-Friday: morning lectures.


The congenital heart center non-invasive imaging laboratory is a busy lab, performing approximately 4000-5000 transthoracic and 500 fetal echocardiograms each year. Our fellows work alongside our faculty and sonographers and become proficient in performing and interpreting transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiograms during their three years of fellowship. Fellows who desire to become proficient in performing and interpreting fetal echocardiograms are encouraged to do so in their 3rd year of training. Opportunities also exist for exposure to cardiac CT and MRI through collaboration with our Pediatric Radiologist.

Inpatient Service

The day consists of rounding with the service attending on admitted patients to our cardiology service and CICU, as well as consults from the PICU, NICU, adult congenital and pediatric inpatients. Additionally, fellows will have the opportunity to teach residents and medical students (both local and international students) and attend weekly conferences.

Cardiac Catheterization

Each fellow will spend 2 months per year in the cardiac catheterization lab. Our fellows learn how to adequately prepare for cases referred for cardiac catheterization including understanding the patient’s diagnosis and indication for cardiac catheterization. Alongside the Pediatric Interventional Cardiologist, our fellows also actively participate in obtaining informed consent, performance of the cardiac catheterization, interpretation of the hemodynamic data and preparation of the catheterization report. The fellow will also be expected to prepare and present the cases at the weekly cath/case management conference. Our fellows gain proficiency in obtaining a complete set of hemodynamics, saturations and angiographic data as the rotation progresses. Fellows will also participate in simple to complex interventional procedures with the assistant of the attending physician. Cath fellows will also be responsible for assisting the attending electrophysiologist in intracardiac electrophysiology studies and ablations during the months when there is not an electrophysiology fellow.


Our fellows will spend a total of 2 months in electrophysiology throughout their training. During this time, fellows are expected to review pending electrocardiograms, Holter monitor and Event recorder reports and submit to the attending electrophysiologist for review. Fellows will attend ambulatory electrophysiology clinics supervised by the attending physician and gain knowledge in device interrogations and management of arrhythmias. The fellow will also assist the attending electrophysiologist in intracardiac electrophysiology studies and ablations.

Cardiac Intensive Care

Fellows spend 3 months in the CICU over the course of the fellowship. The fellow will share clinical responsibilities with a critical care fellow and a nurse practitioner. The fellow in the CICU will learn how to manage patients admitted for medical stabilization as well as post-op care including patients requiring mechanical circulatory support. Fellows will be directly supervised by a critical care attending who is responsible for providing direct supervision of patient care and teaching during daily rounds. Training will focus on cardiac pathophysiology and intensive care management, as well as opportunities for critical care procedures. Fellows will also be responsible for covering the CICU on the weekends while on an assigned call. The fellow rotating in the CICU would do about 2 to 3 in-house calls in a 2-week block.

Ambulatory Cardiology Clinic

Fellows are assigned to a weekly half day clinic supervised by an attending cardiologist. The complexity of patients seen in clinic varies from referrals for common cardiac complaints such as chest pain, cardiac murmur and syncope, to complex structural and congenital heart disease and arrhythmias. During clinic fellows are expected to evaluate, treat and plan the medical care of patients referred to the clinic while also providing continuity of care to those patients with simple to serious cardiac problems.


Fellows have a total of 10 months of research over the course of the fellowship. Under mentorship by faculty, fellows are expected to complete at least one hypothesis driven project, ready for publication, by the end of their training. Faculty will assist fellows in identifying projects and resources to complete their research. Faculty will also aid in writing and submitting to IRB for approval of new projects. Most projects over the years have been chart review type however, opportunities for prospective and translational research exist through alignment with the appropriate mentor. Fellows are also encouraged to attend and present at national and international conferences.

Meet our Fellows


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Mariam Opel, MD

Hometown: Rawalpindi, Pakistan

Residency: Tulane/Ochsner, LA

Interests: General Pediatric Cardiology

Why Holtz Cardiology: The population is so diverse that you get to not only learn about all types of cardiac pathology but get to serve a really underserved population as well.


Manisha Aluri, MD

Hometown: Hyderabad, India 

Residency: St Barnabas Hospital, NY

Interests: Interventional cardiology 

Why Holtz Cardiology: You get exposure to every subspecialty and the faculty is very experienced and great teachers.


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Daniella Santi-Turchi, MD, MHA

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois 

Residency: Valley Children's Hospital, CA

Interests: Electrophysiology

Why Holtz Cardiology: exposure to a broad range of pathology from bread and butter cardiology to complex and rare congenital heart disease cases.


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Keerthana Banala, MD

Hometown: Nizamabad, India

Residency: Ascension St. John Hospital, MI

Interests: ACHD or Heart failure/Heart Transplant

Why Holtz Cardiology: Diverse patient population, good exposure to Pediatric Cardiology subspecialties.

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Joe Ptasinski, DO

Hometown: Denver, Colorado 

Residency: Akron Children’s Hospital, OH

Interests: Sports Cardiology and helping athletes with cardiac issues

Why Holtz cardiology: At Holtz I get to work at a prestigious children's hospital that exposes me to cardiology at all levels of complexity, while also giving me the opportunity to live in a booming city with all of the amenities it provides.

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Anusha Kalithkar, MD

Hometown: India

Residency: SUNY Downstate, NY

Interests: general pediatric cardiology

Why Holtz Cardiology: Holtz children's a perfect set up with combination of everything needed to become a good cardiologist

Faculty and Staff

Sethuraman Swaminathan, MD
Interim Chief of Pediatric Cardiology

Program Director, Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship
Professor, Pediatrics

Satinder Sandhu, MD

Medical Director, Pediatric and Congenital Cardiac Catheterization

Medical Director, Adult Congenital Heart Disease

Professor, Pediatrics

Steven Fishberger, MD

Medical Director, Pediatric and Adult Congenital Cardiac Electrophysiology

Leonardo Mulinari, MD, PhD

Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Co-Director, Congenital Heart Center

Nai Tang, MD

Cardiac Intensivist

Assistant Professor, Pediatrics

Desiree Machado, MD

Cardiac Intensivist

Medical Director, ECMO and MCS

Assistant Professor, Pediatrics

Brent Pfeiffer, MD, PhD

Cardiac Intensivist

Assistant Professor, Pediatrics

Paolo Rusconi, MD
Medical Director, Heart Failure/Transplant

Professor, Pediatrics

Jaime Alkon, MD

Medical Director, Non-invasive Cardiac Imaging

Assistant Professor, Pediatrics

Phillip Zegelbone, MD

Assistant Professor, Pediatrics

Sandeep Sainathan, MD

Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Surgical Director, Heart Transplant and MSC

Jennifer Munoz, MD

Cardiac Intensivist

Interim-Director, Cardiac Intensive Care Unit

Associate Professor, Pediatrics

Michael Nares, MD

Cardiac Intensivist

Medical Director, Pediatric Intensive Care

Associate Professor, Pediatrics

Michele Jadotte, APRN

Cardiac Electrophysiology, Advanced Nurse Practitioner

Mary Cousins, APRN

Interventional Cardiology, Advanced Nurse Practitioner

Rose Oriental, APRN

Heart Failure/Transplant, Advanced Nurse Practitioner

Barbara Sears, APRN

Congenital Cardiothoracic Surgery, Advanced Nurse Practitioner

Roseangel Coloma, RN

Clinical Nurse Coordinator

Application Information

Interested applicants are encouraged to reach out to us for more information, should they have any questions regarding training in our fellowship program.

Program Coordinators

Aliana Valenzuela
ph: 305-585-6017

Christopher Garcia
ph: 305-585-6042

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We participate in the National Resident Matching Program. All of our categorical and advanced training class positions are filled through the NRMP. 

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How to Apply

Applications are accepted via the Electronic Residency Application System.

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Applications are accepted beginning in July. While there is no deadline for applications, well-qualified applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Interviews are held from August to November.


1611 NW 12th Ave

Holtz: 6006

Miami, FL 33136





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