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Pediatric Heart Failure/Heart Transplant Fellowship

The Pediatric Heart Failure/Heart Transplant Fellowship is based in the Division of Cardiology at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, an academic affiliate of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. This one-year fellowship has openings for one trainee each year. The ideal candidates will be board certified in pediatrics and board certified/eligible in pediatric cardiology.

The cardiomyopathy, heart failure and transplant service at Lurie Children’s is a busy service, comprised of 6 transplant cardiologists, 3 transplant surgeons, 11 APNs (4 outpatient and 7 inpatient), 3 outpatient nurses, a dedicated VAD coordinator, and various additional dedicated services, including psychology, pharmacy, and social work. We perform 20-30 heart transplants annually on average and directly manage patients with primary cardiomyopathy, heart failure secondary to congenital heart disease, and pediatric and ACHD patients post-transplant on a dedicated inpatient service. We have a well-established ECMO/ECPR and ventricular assist device program to support infants, children, adolescents and young adults of all sizes and diagnoses with acute and chronic low cardiac output. 

Video: Meet the Medical Director


Educational opportunities will include an involved didactic series with topics dedicated to management strategies, pathology, and coronary vasculopathy, as well as teamwork and communication. In addition, there are weekly cardiovascular surgery care conferences, visiting professorships and opportunities to attend national meetings.

 Diversity & Inclusion

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine seeks to attract inquisitive, motivated fellows and is committed to providing them with every opportunity for success. We encourage a diverse and inclusive work environment that allows each trainee to achieve their personal goals.

For more information on Northwestern’s commitment to diversity, please see the McGaw Diversity & Inclusion page, the Northwestern McGaw Underrepresented Residents & Fellows Forum and Feinberg School of Medicine Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Pediatrics Diversity & Inclusion


Participation in clinical research will be expected and supported. Faculty are active in basic, translational and clinical research related to heart failure and transplantation.

 Clinical Experience

Our cardiomyopathy/heart failure clinics occur four days a week and follow over 400 patients annually.  Our transplant clinics occur on 2 dedicated days per week and are fully supported by transplant pharmacy, social work, and psychology.  We also have a Families with Cardiomyopathy program in conjunction with the Northwestern Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, a Single Ventricle Clinic of Excellence dedicated to the care of patients with single ventricle physiology, an MDA-accredited Neuromuscular Program, and a Cardio-Oncology Program. The advanced fellow will see patients in all of these clinics. In addition, we have the flexibility to support additional training with the adult VAD team at Northwestern Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute as needed.  An important component of advanced heart failure and transplant training is an independent research project, as well as education of trainees, including categorical fellows and residents. Trainees participate in conferences and teaching on a regular basis.

 Requirements & Eligibility

Applicants must be board certified in pediatrics through the American Board of Pediatrics and must be board certified/eligible in pediatric cardiology. We strive for a diverse group of trainees and look to find highly qualified members of under-represented groups. International medical graduates are welcome to apply but must meet specific criteria, including a valid ECFMG certificate and documentation of U.S. citizenship or a valid green card or visa as per the requirements set forth by Northwestern McGaw Medical Center.

 Application Process

Applications are accepting during the summer months with interviews typically held in August and September. A formal offer for the position will be extended on Oct. 1.

Interested individuals should forward the following materials to the program director:

  • Letter of intent
  • Personal statement
  • Current CV
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • McGaw application


Discover the many ways our faculty are impacting children's health beyond the hospital.

 Global Health

Each year, as many as 20 third-year pediatric residents travel to Bugando Medical Center in Mwanza, Tanzania, to participate in an educational initiative that provides exposure to the management of complex pediatric diseases in a low-resource setting. Learn more about this extraordinary opportunity.

 Why Northwestern?

Why Northwestern?Housestaff training through McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University provides diverse and challenging clinical experiences and world-class education located in the heart of the beautiful city of Chicago. Learn more via the links to the McGaw website below.

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Contact Us

Philip T. Thrush, MD

Philip T. Thrush, MD

Medical Director, Pediatric Heart Failure/Heart Transplant Fellowship


pthrush( at )

Defne Magnetta, MD

Defne Magnetta, MD

Program Director, Pediatric Heart Failure/Heart Transplant Fellowship


dmagnetta( at )

Brittany Dixon, C-TAGME

Brittany Dixon, C-TAGME

Manager, Medical Education and Academic Services, Advanced Pediatric Cardiac Interventional Fellowship
Manager, Medical Education and Academic Services, Non-Invasive Cardiac Imaging Fellowship
Manager, Medical Education and Academic Services, Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Fellowship
Manager, Medical Education and Academic Services, Pediatric Heart Failure/Heart Transplant Fellowship
Manager, Medical Education and Academic Services, Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship


bdixon( at )

Video Gallery

Watch the videos below to learn more about our program and meet some of the people on our team.

More Information

Further program details, including the housestaff manual and a sample training contract, are available on the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University site.

Physician-Scientist Training & Resources

We offer a wide range of resources, mentorship opportunities and formal training programs to help our residents and fellows excel as physician-scientists. Explore all of the resources and hear from housestaff who are making research a major part of their career development plans.


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