The American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions have jointly issued a clinical document outlining competency-based training requirements for interventional cardiology trainees. This is the first document of its kind to define the training requirements for the full breadth of interventional cardiology for adults, which lay the foundation for coronary interventions, peripheral vascular (PVI) and structural heart interventions (SHI).
Advanced Training Statements describe the necessary learning experiences and outcomes needed to achieve competency in a subspecialty area of cardiology through a structured training program.
“With this groundbreaking document, the writing committee provides a roadmap for both program directors and interventional cardiology trainees to help them progress through important training milestones,” said Theodore A. Bass, MD, chair of the Advanced Training Statement writing committee. “The document defines the required competencies for the full scope of interventional cardiology, providing trainees for the first time with the information to support training across all these areas.”
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The training pathway for cardiovascular fellows to gain the necessary experience in interventional cardiology includes: 1) A three-year general cardiovascular disease fellowship (successful completion consists of Level I competency in all aspects of cardiovascular medicine and Level II competency in diagnostic cardiac catheterization to pursue interventional cardiology training); 2) A one-year accredited interventional cardiology fellowship, the focus of which is coronary intervention with the opportunity to gain procedural experience in various aspects of PVI or SHI (Level III competency); and 3) An option for additional post-fellowship training based on the trainee’s career goals.
Level III training aims to give interventional cardiology trainees a well-rounded, competency-based education, including didactic instruction, clinical experience in the diagnosis and care of patients, and hands-on procedural experience. Competency requirements are defined using the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s six competency domains: Medical Knowledge; Patient Care and Procedural Skills; Practice-Based Learning and Improvement; Systems-Based Practice; Interpersonal and Communication Skills; and Professionalism. These competencies are essential for all interventional cardiology trainees, as well as additional select competencies in PVI and SHI for trainees based on career focus.