Electrophysiology: A “Poster Child” For Advanced Training

In September, the ACC, American Heart Association and the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) released an updated Advanced Training Statement for clinical electrophysiology (EP). The document complements the Core Cardiovascular Training Statement (COCATS 4), released earlier last year, and explains that the duration of required training for clinical cardiac electrophysiology (CCEP) will increase to two years. Additionally, the volume of procedures trainees should perform prior to completing their fellowship will also increase.

Kristen K. Patton, MD, FACC

A recent Leadership Page in JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology by Kristen K. Patton, MD, FACC, a member of ACC's Electrophysiology Section Leadership Council, et al., explains the broader implications of these changes and notes that “a major immediate effect of increased training length is that trainees, who often previously were able to focus their third year of cardiology training on EP and to spend only one additional year of training to be certified in EP, will be required to train longer." According to the statement, all CCEP fellows will now have to complete 24 months of EP training after three years of cardiology fellowship.

The increase in training length will also affect hospitals and CCEP programs, however, Patton, et al., note that changes are “fundamentally important to EP training because it allows for dedicated time to focus on attaining competency in a complex technological field. It allows program directors and faculty to plan a comprehensive, adaptive curriculum that spans the clinical discipline and allows the trainee the time to master a difficult skill set … [In addition,] acknowledgment of the need for two years of training obliges institutional support, which relieves programs of the burden of obtaining funding for the common ‘extra year’ or from attempting to compete with other demands on trainee time.”

The Leadership Page highlights that formal recognition of the longer training “is a credit to the collaborative efforts of ACC, HRS and the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM)." It goes on to say that "the ultimate beneficiaries of this effort will be our patients, who will have access to well-trained electrophysiologists in the years ahead.”

Moving forward, the College will use the CCEP Advanced Training Statement as the “poster child” for other areas where advanced certification exists, focusing initially on subspecialties recognized by ABIM and the American Board of Medical Specialties.

Learn more about the Electrophysiology Section at ACC.org/Electrophysiology. Visit the Arrhythmias and Clinical EP Clinical Topic Collection on ACC.org for the latest clinical news, patient case quizzes and more.

Clinical Topics: Arrhythmias and Clinical EP, Implantable Devices, SCD/Ventricular Arrhythmias, Atrial Fibrillation/Supraventricular Arrhythmias

Keywords: Cardiology Magazine, ACC Publications, American Heart Association, Cardiology, Certification, Curriculum, Electrophysiology, Faculty, Fellowships and Scholarships, Internal Medicine, Leadership, Specialty Boards, United States, Arrhythmias, Cardiac

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