ACC Publishes Lifelong Learning Competencies For General Cardiologists

The ACC has published new lifelong learning competencies for general cardiologists, defining the knowledge, skills and behaviors expected throughout the span of their careers, while also identifying certain aspects of cardiovascular medicine that exceed core expectations. The document, published Feb. 19 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, aims to ensure the highest levels of quality and service for patients, and complements the Core Cardiology Training Statement (COCATS 4), released in March 2015. Together the documents cover the spectrum of a practicing cardiologist from training through their career.

The competencies are organized using the six competency domains developed by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and American Board of Medical Specialties, and endorsed by the American Board of Internal Medicine. These include medical knowledge, patient care and procedural skill, systems-based practice, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, and professionalism. The document also includes leadership and administrative competencies such as organizational skills, professional identity, interaction with governmental and health care systems, and personal balance. A key feature is adherence to appropriate use and guideline-driven criteria for patient care and resource utilization.

Assessment tools are available for physicians to expand lifelong learning and maintain competency, as well as to assess their professional needs for education and performance improvement. The tools include certified continuing medical education activities relevant to an individual’s practice, review of practice or hospital data, performance assessment and improvement programs, and facilitated self-reflection. For procedural or diagnostic laboratory activities, assessment tools may include registry or hospital data, appropriate use criteria and metrics developed by national organizations.

“These lifelong learning competencies serve as the underpinning of all ACC education activities and are a mechanism for needs assessment and personalized or focused education for physicians,” says Eric S. Williams, MD, MACC, chair of the writing committee.

In a recent article in Cardiology magazine, Williams and Jonathan L. Halperin, MD, FACC, note that “what makes this document truly unique is that it attempts to define those competencies that every cardiologist should maintain no matter what their career focus, while identifying those skills or activities that reflect a more specific practice focus.”   

Clinical Topics: Acute Coronary Syndromes, Anticoagulation Management, Arrhythmias and Clinical EP, Cardiac Surgery, Congenital Heart Disease and Pediatric Cardiology, Diabetes and Cardiometabolic Disease, Dyslipidemia, Geriatric Cardiology, Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathies, Invasive Cardiovascular Angiography and Intervention, Noninvasive Imaging, Pericardial Disease, Prevention, Pulmonary Hypertension and Venous Thromboembolism, Sports and Exercise Cardiology, Stable Ischemic Heart Disease, Valvular Heart Disease, Vascular Medicine, Anticoagulation Management and ACS, Implantable Devices, SCD/Ventricular Arrhythmias, Atrial Fibrillation/Supraventricular Arrhythmias, Cardiac Surgery and Arrhythmias, Cardiac Surgery and CHD and Pediatrics, Cardiac Surgery and Heart Failure, Cardiac Surgery and SIHD, Cardiac Surgery and VHD, Congenital Heart Disease, CHD and Pediatrics and Arrhythmias, CHD and Pediatrics and Imaging, CHD and Pediatrics and Interventions, CHD and Pediatrics and Prevention, Acute Heart Failure, Pulmonary Hypertension, Interventions and ACS, Interventions and Imaging, Interventions and Structural Heart Disease, Interventions and Vascular Medicine, Angiography, Nuclear Imaging, Sleep Apnea, Sports and Exercise and Congenital Heart Disease and Pediatric Cardiology, Sports and Exercise and ECG and Stress Testing, Sports and Exercise and Imaging, Chronic Angina

Keywords: Acute Coronary Syndrome, Anticoagulants, Arrhythmias, Cardiac, Cardiac Surgical Procedures, Metabolic Syndrome, Angina, Stable, Heart Defects, Congenital, Dyslipidemias, Geriatrics, Heart Failure, Angiography, Diagnostic Imaging, Pericarditis, Secondary Prevention, Hypertension, Pulmonary, Sleep Apnea Syndromes, Sports, Angina, Stable, Exercise Test, Heart Valve Diseases, Aneurysm

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