2019 Vascular Medicine Graduation Speech

2019 Vascular Medicine Graduate
Mohammad Atif Rana, MD

Congratulations Atif on completing your Vascular Medicine fellowship!




A big thanks to the Vascular Surgery team (residents, fellows, faculty), Vascular lab staff and clinic staff who’s contributions were all part of his education. 

I want to thank Atif for having the dedication to spend one year as a vascular medicine fellow with us after already working as a fully trained cardiologist for 3 years. 

His motivation is a true sentiment to our goal of having started the VM fellowship. 

The idea of having formal education of vascular internists has been adopted by the major cardiology and vascular medicine societies but there is no ACGME that governs this. The training guideline for the American College of Cardiology now require all Cardiology trainees to have some exposure to vascular medicine and provide recommendations for advanced training for those who want to pursue subspecialization in vascular medicine.  

Although it is in the guideline, Cardiology fellows that get exposure to VM training formally is still a very small number. And few cardiovascular trainees fully appreciate the breadth and depth of vascular medicine or how to fulfill deficiencies in this area. Diagnosing and treating disorders of the vasculature requires a strong foundation in general internal medicine. However, just as an internist would be able to manage a diabetic patient or a patient with coronary artery disease, we know that these patients will have better care if managed by an endocrinologist or a cardiologist. Accordingly, vascular medicine is truly multidisciplinary, requiring the practitioner to be comfortable with certain aspects of cardiology, rheumatology, hematology, phlebology, and vascular surgery.

The concept of the academic vascular internist has been promoted by NHLBI and led to the creation of the Vascular Medicine K12 training programs. This provided an opportunity for vascular enthusiasts to have formal training and both Dr. Leeper and I are a beneficiary of this. However after this was discontinued in 2013, there has been a shortage of opportunities for formal Vascular Medicine training, mostly due to lack of funding mechanisms.  However, with the vast advancement in this field, there is so much that a Vascular internist can bring to the patient and the team caring for these patients.  Of the current 15 Vascular Medicine fellowships in the US, we are the only program that is integrated with Vascular Surgery and I think this is such a happy marriage as we each have different expertise and can combine this to produce the  best environment for our vascular patients both through research and clinical practice. Thus I thank you all for your help as it could not have been achieved without your contributions. 

Atif was a pleasure to have as a vascular medicine fellow this past year. Previous to that, Nick and I worked very well together as a small Vascular Medicine team but having a trainee vitalized us and we were able to create educational opportunities and a platform for scholarly discussions. 

Atif came into this fellowship with such a great attitude, always smiling and willing to work and learn. I always enjoyed his presence and was impressed that he was well read and versed on many of the topics we discussed. His warm and friendly personality was very appreciated and I enjoyed the many conversations we had outside of medicine as well.

I think the biggest compliment was when one of the cardiologists expressed that it was extremely helpful to have him rotate as he was able to contribute knowledge about the management of vascular disease to the level where the cardiologists did not have. 

Now armored with the knowledge of  Vascular Medicine in addition to your foundation of Internal Medicine and Cardiology, I am confident that the care you will be providing to your patients will be far more sophisticated than what it was this time last year.  I look forward to keeping in touch and hearing of all that you will be doing in the future. 

We will miss having you at Stanford but you will be a star wherever you go and I wish you all the best!

Eri Fukaya, MD
Program Director
2019 Vascular Medicine Graduation