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Medical Simulation in Interventional Cardiology

Medical Simulation in Interventional Cardiology

Use of medical simulation has grown considerably over the past decade because it helps physicians overcome many training challenges, such as work-hour restrictions and the pace at which technology is evolving. According to John C. Messenger, MD, FSCAI, interventional cardiology is particularly well-suited for simulation. “These procedures are often complex,” he says. “The learning curves can be steep, and complications can be life-threatening. Simulation provides a safe arena to develop and refine skills that improve overall patient care. It’s especially helpful in interventional cardiology because of the field’s ever-changing technological and procedural environment.” A Call to Action In Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions, the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) examined the current state of medical simulation in interventional cardiology. SCAI also issued recommendations for expanding and standardizing the use of this training technology by interventional cardiologists and fellows-in-training. “We need to increase use of medical simulation and accessibility to this training for highly complex procedures, such as structural heart interventions,” says Dr. Messenger, who chairs SCAI’s Simulation Committee. “Simulation can also improve training in areas where procedural volumes are low.” A key recommendation from SCAI is to integrate formal simulation programs into annual meetings and other training programs for fellows and practicing physicians. However, one of the major issues with integrating simulation is the high cost of simulators. “The key is for clinicians and simulation vendors to collaborate and find ways to alleviate the financial burden associated with simulation,” says Dr. Messenger. “Using simulation at annual meetings and establishing regional or central simulation centers could ease this burden.”   The key is for clinicians and simulation vendors to...
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