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Wanted: Enhanced Structural Heart Disease Training

Wanted: Enhanced Structural Heart Disease Training

Structural heart disease (SHD) interventions have emerged as a new field in interventional cardiology over the last decade. The need for highly specialized cardiologists has increased, and advances in SHD interventions are con­tinuing to emerge, especially with transcatheter aortic valve replacement, pulmonic valve implantation, mitral valve repair, and shunt closure pro­cedures. Currently, the Accredi­tation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredits interventional car­diology fellowship programs. Accreditation is provided when they demonstrate a high-quality and well-established training curriculum in coronary and peripheral interventions. Training in SHD interventions, however, remains in its infancy in the United States. The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) has published an expert con­sensus statement that defines the training needs and knowledge base for future structural interventional car­diologists. It also describes the difficulties in providing ACGME certification in this complex field. The SCAI Structural Heart Disease Early Career Task Force was established in 2011 to provide a forum for interven­tional cardiologists seeking advanced SHD training or currently involved in an SHD program. “SHD inter­ventions are continuing to change significantly each year, especially in Europe and Canada,” says Mehmet Cilingiroglu, MD, FSCAI, FACC, FESC. “These new interventions require specialized training in order to optimize patient outcomes.” Surveying Opinions on Structural Interventional Training In Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions, Dr. Cilingiroglu and colleagues from the SCAI Structural Heart Disease Early Career Task Force had a study published that assessed the opinions of inter­ventional cardiology program directors in ACGME-accredited institutions actively involved in structural interventional training. “We surveyed directors across the country about their ideas and suggestions regard­ing an ideal SHD fellowship and other potential train­ing pathways for gaining...
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