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Feature Article

Cardiology Fellow Paves the Way

In 2011, Bryon Dorgan, DO, became first physician accepted into the Cardiology Fellowship Program at Samaritan Heart & Vascular Institute, and this month, has become the first to complete it.  

Dorgan was carefully selected from a pool of qualified applicants.

“Dorgan was chosen because of his particular strengths in caring for people and professional interests in fields such as heart failure,” said Cardiologist Francis Celis, DO, FACC, co-director of the Cardiology Fellowship Program. “He has proven himself to be the perfect first fellow to help establish this program. He has taken an active role in helping us develop the program so future fellows can benefit from his input and experiences.”

For Dorgan, it has been a very busy three years.  

“Being the first ever physician to go through the program has been a bit of a roller coaster ride as the program has grown tremendously in a short period of time,” Dorgan said. “I am certainly prepared to take my cardiology board exams this summer and begin my own practice.”

A fellowship is a post-graduate program for a physician who has already completed medical school and a residency program. The only other Oregon hospital to offer a fellowship in cardiology is Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. 

Other physicians have followed in Dorgan’s footsteps. Currently, there are five physicians in the program, including two new fellows who joined the program this month.

“We all worked as a great unit,” said Dorgan. “As fellows, we worked closely with the attending cardiologists as well as the residents and interns. And the diversity of patients we see at Good Sam offered a great learning environment. We see cases here that you may not even see at a large academic hospital.”

During the Cardiology Fellowship Program, fellows work closely with attending physicians to learn the full spectrum of cardiology care.

According to Celis, Dorgan has been a great trailblazer during his fellowship.

“It’s amazing to see Dr. Dorgan’s progress on the path to becoming a cardiologist,” said Celis, “I really do think he has both the knowledge and experience to become a good heart doctor.  Looking ahead, it was through Dr. Dorgan’s perseverance and attitude that we are able to offer a stronger program to train future cardiologists.”

In the meantime, Dorgan said he’s looking forward to a little down time this summer while he and his wife determine where to start his career.

“I’ve really enjoyed Corvallis and I think offering this program really opens the door to more physicians seeing the area and deciding to stay and practice in Oregon,” said Dorgan. “I’m very proud to have been the first fellow and I think the program has become something sustainable that is gaining recognition and offers many benefits for the surrounding community.”