Atrial Fibrillation Fellowship 2022

Fellowship: Atrial Fibrillation

Dates: May 2022

Fellowship Goal

To enhance your clinical understanding and surgical proficiency in treating patients with atrial fibrillation (AF).

A prestigious Francis Fontan Fund Fellowship provides a unique opportunity to fast-forward your career in cardio-thoracic surgery. The Fellowship offers you the chance to interact with key surgeons and scientists in the field and is an internationally recognised mark of achievement and skill. This Fellowship is sponsored by AtriCure, a leading provider of innovative technologies to treat atrial fibrillation.

The Atrial Fibrillation Fellowship consists of two courses – AtriCure Maze 4 training programme and AtriCure Navigating the Maze training programme – as well as in-hospital training.

The Fellowship includes a generous financial contribution of €4,000 towards living and travel costs. In addition, EACTS will provide a bursary towards the cost of your attendance at the EACTS Annual Meeting (the largest cardio-thoracic meeting in the world) that will be held in 2022. Throughout your Fellowship, you will also have one-to-one support from the EACTS Fellowship Advisor, ensuring that you get the most out of this opportunity.

Please see below for a comprehensive break down of the syllabus, as well as our application and selection criteria.

Fellows awarded the Artial Fellowship in 2020 will be starting in May 2022.

Fellowship Overview

The objectives of the Fellowship are to provide you with the foundational knowledge of the pathophysiology of atrial fibrillation, the rationale for its surgical treatment and firsthand experience in atrial fibrillation correction procedures over a range of surgical approaches.
As a result of this training, you may have the opportunity to ascend to leadership roles in surgical atrial fibrillation treatment over the course of your career.

The curriculum will include a thorough review and demonstrated understanding of the following topics:

  • Pathophysiology of AF
  • Electrophysiologic mechanisms of AF
  • Key cardiac anatomy associated with AF and surgical treatment
  • Foundational and contemporary peer-reviewed literature on the disease and treatment options
  • Guidelines for AF Classification and reporting success
  • Diagnosis and screening for AF in patients referred for structural heart procedures
  • Co-morbidities associated with AF
  • The impact of lesion set and energy source on outcomes
  • Different approaches and considerations for concomitant and sole therapy procedures
  • Decision making and surgical approaches to treatment
  • Left atrial appendage (LAA) management and the concept of AF-related stroke arising from the LAA
  • Postoperative care of patients including rhythm assessment
  • Collaborating with cardiologists and electrophysiologists in AF treatment


  • Four-week stay in a high-volume AF ablation surgery centre (in either the Netherlands, Sheffield, Italy, Germany, Poland, Spain or Belgium).
  • Attendance to AtriCure Maze 4 training programme
  • Attendance to AtriCure Navigating the Maze training programme

AtriCure will pay for attendance and accommodation whilst you attend the AtriCure Maze 4 and AtriCure Navigating the Maze training programmes.

Application criteria

Essential criteria:

You must be:

  • In the last year of training or within the first four years after completing training (specialty degree)
  • An EACTS member with up to date membership payment
  • Fluent in English

Desirable criteria:

  • Previous experience in surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation
  • Possibility of applying the knowledge and abilities acquired during the fellowship in own practice
  • Academic experience in atrial fibrillation


  • Letter of support from current Head of Department/Training director (if in last year of training)
  • Letter of interest (detailing how you are in a position to apply the skills and knowledge obtained during the Fellowship in your own centre)
  • CV
  • Operative experience


A previous Fellow describes her experience of the in-hospital training in Brescia:

“Even though it was only an observational period, this one-month Fellowship allowed me to get in contact with different techniques to treat isolated or concomitant atrial fibrillation, and to manage the left atrial appendage. I also had the opportunity to learn how and when to use each technique, to decide properly what method fits better for each patient, and, importantly, how to deal with eventual problems. I also observed how other cardiac centers worked, as well as their organization and structure. I saw patients with excellent postoperative recovery and their expectation with the treatment. This kind of experience always contributes to my professional and personal growth.”

Evaluation and feedback

There will be periodic meetings with the Fellowship Director to ensure feedback from the trainee.

A structured evaluation of the activities and a feedback from the Fellow will also be developed. At the end of the Fellowship, the Fellows will produce a full report on their experience based on guidelines stipulated by the Francis Fontan Fund Committee.


For more information about this fellowship please contact the EACTS Francis Fontan Fund at Francisfontanfund@Eacts.Co.Uk

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