Laennec Fellow in Training (FIT) Clinician Award

Sponsored by the Council on Clinical Cardiology

Scientific Sessions 2021 awardees must attend the conference in person to receive travel funds related to the award.

Award applications for Scientific Sessions are now closed and will reopen in April 2022. Please visit Council Awards for opportunities to apply for active awards. Awards applicants must be AHA Professional Members and must be affiliated with the AHA sponsoring scientific council at the time of application.

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The Laennec Fellow in Training (FIT) Clinician Award recognizes the importance of clinical acumen, inductive analytic skills, and teaching ability in future academic cardiologists. Current fellows in training who are members of the council are eligible to apply.

Check out the 2018 Laennec Fellow in Training Clinician Award Finalists Presentations! If any questions arise, the 2018 finalists are happy to be a resource. Please email to facilitate an introduction.

Award Recipients

  • 2020 - Sarah Chuzi
  • 2019 - Teresa Wang
  • 2018 - James S. Guseh
  • 2017 - Divanji Punag
  • 2016 - Daniel M. Blumenthal
  • 2015 - Mark D. Benson
  • 2014 - Natalia Berry
  • 2013 - Daniel L. Pelchovitz
  • 2012 - Pradeep Natarajan
  • 2011 - Chorba John
  • 2010 - David M. Dudzinski

Eligibility Criteria

  • Candidate must be enrolled as a fellow in a U.S. clinical cardiovascular fellowship training program at the time of presentation
  • All applicants for the Laennec Fellow in Training (FIT) Clinician Award sponsored by the Council on Clinical Cardiology must be members of the AHA. If you need to become an AHA Professional Member, you should do so no later than one week prior to the application submission deadline for your membership to be processed in time for the application submission deadline. Learn more about becoming an AHA Professional Member.
  • Case abstract must be submitted to one of the categories for presentation at Scientific Sessions in which the Council on Clinical Cardiology is the lead/primary sponsor. Make sure that your abstract has been submitted in a category listed under the award for which you want to apply. View a list of Scientific Sessions Council Awards and Travel Grants Available by Abstract Category and Community (PDF).
  • An individual may not compete for similar awards (Early Career Investigator awards) from the other American Heart Association scientific councils during the same scientific meeting.
  • Only one case study per candidate will be considered.
  • The applicant must be the first and presenting author, although the abstract may have co-authors. The presenting author of an accepted abstract must be registered for Scientific Sessions. Additional information about registration and fees may be found on the Scientific Sessions website.
  • Winners and Finalists are not eligible to re-enter the competition in subsequent years.
  • There are no citizenship requirements.
  • Abstract results and presentations (abstract or manuscript) are prohibited from release until the AHA embargo date and time (5:00 am ET/4:00 am CT, Monday, November 8, 2021). You will be contacted by AHA communications if you are selected to participate in an AHA news event.
  • The case may not be presented at a national or international meeting or world congress before the date and time of presentation at Scientific Sessions.
  • The case abstract must comply with the AHA Abstract Submission Guidelines as outlined by the Committee on Scientific Sessions Program.
  • Case studies eligible for this award must be based upon projects that adhere to the American Heart Association’s policies governing all research awards, regardless of whether the project was funded by the American Heart Association. View the AHA's Research Award Policy which include (but are not limited to) research using human subjects or animals and stem cell research.
  • Notwithstanding the above, the AHA Officers have the discretion to determine eligibility for the award in extraordinary circumstances when there is an issue relating to AHA policy or positions or other potentially controversial issue relating to the positioning or perception of the AHA.

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated by the Laennec/Post-Graduate Education Committee members. All eligible submissions will be considered. Applications will be evaluated on the:

  • Quality and merit of the case study and write up.
  • Fellows’ involvement in the clinical assessment and case management as well as their demonstrated understanding of the pathophysiology.
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Oral abstract presentation at AHA Scientific Sessions (finalists only.) The finalist must be the presenter of his/her submission and no alternates or proxy will be allowed.

How to Apply/Required Documents

Electronic submission through the Council Awards Application System is mandatory for all awards. Hard copies of any part of the application cannot be accepted.

Your application form should contain the following documents in PDF format:

  • Case abstract in accordance with AHA rules and regulations for submitting abstracts to Scientific Sessions. This will be an abstract based on your case presentation. Please note that this abstract must first be submitted separately through the AHA's Scientific Sessions web site before the abstract submission deadline. Visit Scientific Sessions to submit your abstract before submission of this award application. Note the abstract control number you receive after submission as you will need that for your award application form. The work covered by the submitted abstract must not have been presented at a national or international meeting before presentation at the AHA scientific event. If so, the abstract must be withdrawn.
  • Two-page (double- or single-spaced) write-up, unpublished case presentation of a meritorious nature; the case would be either one that is unusual or a common problem with some unusual or challenging aspect. The submission should outline the clinical presentation, supporting diagnostic studies (including relevant images, ECG tracings etc.), and discuss the diagnostic possibilities, conclusions and implications. Bibliography, figures, images and graphics associated with the case study will not count towards the two-page limit.
  • Curriculum vitae including bibliography.
  • Two letters of recommendation:
    • One from the fellowship program director verifying that the candidate:
      • is enrolled in a U.S. fellowship program and in good standing
      • had a major role in the case, either diagnostic assessment or management.
      • Any other important attributes of the applicant
    • The second from an individual familiar with the applicant's clinical acumen, background or research.
    • Importantly, both letters should provide sufficient detail to allow an adequate assessment of the applicant’s competitiveness for this award.

Visit the Council Awards & Fellowships Application System to complete an application.

A username and password previously set up through online profile registration at Professional Heart Daily will be necessary to access the Application System. If you have not created an online profile yet, please visit Professional Heart Daily to create an online member profile before accessing the Council Awards Application System. AHA Professional Members who are creating an online profile for the first time should make sure to register using their AHA member identification numbers.

An active AHA Professional Member account is required of all applicants for this award. If you are joining the AHA to apply, please wait on your AHA member number to arrive from AHA Member Services via e-mail before creating an online profile and starting your application file. We suggest that new members join the AHA no later than one week prior to the application submission deadline for the member number to be processed and delivered in time for the application deadline. The membership number will be required on the award application form.


Finalists for the Laennec Fellow in Training (FIT) Clinician Award associated with Scientific Sessions will be announced in August. The top five candidates will present their research results at Scientific Sessions. The winner will be announced at the Council on Clinical Cardiology dinner. Each finalist will also receive the following:

  • Cash award: The first-prize winner will receive a plaque and $1,500 plus $1000 travel stipend; the other finalists will each receive a plaque and $500 plus $1000 travel stipend.
  • Complimentary Clinical Council dinner ticket, along with recognition at the dinner.
  • All case presentations may be submitted with guaranteed evaluation by Circulation Cardiovascular Case Series editors.

Each finalist is guaranteed to have their cases evaluated for the Case Series section of Circulation and will be designated in the Scientific Sessions online supplement to Circulation. Acceptance for the competition does not guarantee publication in any other American Heart Association-sponsored journal. Abstracts associated with a published manuscript can be presented an AHA scientific event if the manuscript was published after the time the abstract was submitted to the event, however the abstract will not be published as a part of the journal publication.


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