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Quality and Outcomes with MSTCVS Fellowship


  • Grant: €20,000
  • Location: Michigan, USA
  • Duration: 4 months.



The Francis Fontan Fund Quality & Outcomes Fellowship – in conjunction with the Michigan Society of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons (MSTCVS) – offers a unique, career-enhancing training opportunity with one of the world’s leading quality improvement teams to gain an in-depth understanding of cardiothoracic surgical outcomes.

The MSTCVS Quality Collaborative promotes best practice and shares surgical outcomes to improve quality and outcomes for patients. It implements quality improvement initiatives based on regional and national data, clinical research and the latest cardiac and thoracic surgery practice and guidelines.

A Fellow will have an exciting opportunity to work with the multidisciplinary team based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, led by renowned adult cardiac surgeon Professor Richard Prager, a specialist in clinical outcomes and quality improvement.

Fellowship overview

As part of the four month Fellowship, the successful Fellow will:

  • Have the opportunity to work with the team’s full-time statistician to develop appropriate analytical methods in an area of specific interest, such as atrial fibrillation or CABG
  • Take part in a site visit/tour (should they occur during your placement) at one of 33 participating hospitals to share best practice or review outcomes
  • Extract data and prepare analyses to be reviewed at the team’s quarterly meetings
  • Support the organisation, running and administration of the quarterly meetings
  • Join weekly meetings with the Project Director (RLP)
  • Prepare and develop a data-driven abstract(s) and/or manuscript(s) while part of the Collaborative
  • Present surgical outcomes data at a subsequent meeting
  • Present an evaluation of the experience to the Board of the Francis Fontan Fellowship Fund and/or at a future EACTS meeting.


We offer a bursary of €20,000 to help with the living and travel costs associated with this Fellowship.
EACTS will also provide a bursary towards the cost of your attendance at the 2024 EACTS Annual Meeting.

What past fellows say about the MSTCVS Quality and Outcomes Fellowship

Chris Bond, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, UK 

“This was by far the most useful and enjoyable professional and personal development experience of my career. I gained a comprehensive understanding of how to systematically gather data regarding Cardiac Surgical procedures from a geographical area, analyse it and most importantly transform it into actionable information that can be used to improve the care of patients.

“My presentation skills were greatly enhanced; I improved my ability to analyse data and understanding of statistical methodology and my communication skills were markedly improved. Discussing suboptimal performance is a sensitive issue and Dr Prager does it with immense charm whilst not failing to get the point across and develop an actionable plan for improvement. Both Dr Prager and Patty’s leadership skills were excellent and observing these was invaluable. Both are superb role models and I now often reflect on their approaches to problems, interactions and delivering objectives when trying to do the same.”

Ahmet Can Topcu, Basaksehir Cam ve Sakura City Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey

“The way outcome reporting maintains and improves standards in the care of cardiac surgical patients has always fascinated me. Professor Richard Prager and his team at the MSTCVS Quality Collaborative are among the leaders in this field. With the insight and experience I hope to obtain from this fellowship, I wish to help establish an Adult Cardiac Surgery Database in my institution, and hopefully in the future, in my home country.”

Application and Selection Criteria

In order to apply for this fellowship, you must:

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


Desirable criteria:

  • Previous experience in statistics/data analysis
  • Ability  apply the knowledge and abilities acquired during the Fellowship in home practice
  • Academic experience in quality and outcomes analysis


The following documents must be provided as part of your application:

  • Letter of support from current Head of Department/Training director (if in last year of training)
  • Letter of interest (detailing the way in which you meet the application criteria, your career aspirations along with your how you are in a position to apply the skills and knowledge obtained during the Fellowship in your own centre)
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Operative experience 


Application guidance

Please ensure that all documents submitted are written in English, and that they are submitted either as word documents or PDF. We do not accept images or handwritten applications.

We are unable to provide advice or guidance about visa applications, so please ensure that you understand the visa requirements before applying for this Fellowship.

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 report will also be developed. At the end of the Fellowship, you will produce a full report on your experience based on guidelines stipulated by the Francis Fontan Fund Committee.