ACC Releases Updated Core Cardiovascular Training Statement
The latest iteration of the Core Cardiovascular Training Statement (COCATS 4), issued March 13 by the ACC, updates the training recommendations for cardiovascular fellows. This is the first time that the full core competencies expected of clinical cardiologists have been defined.
With a focus on outcomes assessment, COCATS 4 utilizes defined evaluation tools to assess communication, professionalism, practice-based training and systems-based practice – competencies beyond knowledge and skills. The six competency domains were developed by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and endorsed by the American Board of Internal Medicine, and the American Board of Medical Specialties.
The competencies are aimed at formalizing the processes that define cardiovascular fellow programs, which in turn will better prepare these specialists to meet the future needs of patients and society. While the document does address the knowledge and skills all cardiologists should possess, it also aligns additional competencies with the career focus of each fellow.
According to Eric S. Williams, MD, MACC, co-chair of the document, as well as a member of the COCATS 4 steering committee, "recommendations in the statement are aimed at training program directors, faculty and trainees in our cardiovascular disease fellowship programs. But as the competencies defined in COCATS 4 are also aligned with those of Lifelong Learning for practicing cardiologists, the impact extends across the spectrum of our profession and is part of the foundational structure of the educational activities of the ACC."
Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, MACC, editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, also a member of the steering committee, added that "in specific terms the COCATS 4 document emphasizes training in ambulatory, consultative and longitudinal cardiovascular care. Furthermore, it more generally emphasizes comprehensively training our cardiology fellows to be the best, most well-rounded doctors, which is critical to the future of their careers, clinical cardiac care, the health of our patients, and the advancement of our field of cardiovascular medicine."
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