Paper Explores Need For Contemporary Critical Care Cardiology Training Programs

A growing demand for critical care cardiology (CCC) specialists in modern cardiac intensive care unit (CICU) practices and a lack of tailored training has created need for a contemporary CCC training model, according to a paper published Feb. 8 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

According to Connor G. O’Brien, MD, FACC, et al., a limited number of CCC fellowships and a growing demand for CCC trained cardiologists has driven many cardiologists-in-training to pursue critical care training through critical care medicine fellowships. However, an absence of concrete training requirements and guidance has made tailoring a critical care medicine curriculum for CCC challenging.

They authors review data from the Critical Care Cardiology Trial Network and post-fellowship employment opportunities, and conclude that training for CCC physicians should prioritize airway/ventilator management; management of mixed shock; direct management of mechanical circulatory support modalities; familiarity with renal replacement therapy; management of neurologic emergencies; and postoperative cardiac surgery management.

They add that pursuing CCC training through a critical care medicine fellowship provides cardiology trainees with multidisciplinary oversight, allowing other specialties to have input into CCC training and ensuring that trainee education consistently reflects up-to-date clinical science. Being exposed to cutting-edge practice also allows CCC physicians to improve care for their own patients by recognizing opportunities for early intervention, when to engage consultative services, and how to collaborate with rehabilitation, nursing and pharmacists.

“Although we propose specific training goals for CCC fellows based on high-quality clinical data, we hope to stimulate further development of standards and consensus among cardiologists and CICU physicians,” said O’Brien. “Such standards and benchmarks will serve as the foundation from which future CCC physicians launch their practice.”

The ACC has launched a new Critical Care Cardiology Member Section to help clinicians navigate the changing landscape of the CICU – and the need for cardiovascular professionals with critical care expertise. Section members will play an integral role in promoting education, training, clinical care excellence, policy development and research within the maturing field of critical care cardiology, as well as multisocietal collaboration. Read an article by Michael A. Solomon, MD, MBA, FACC, and Robert O. Roswell, MD, FACC. Section membership is free through 2022! Learn more.

Clinical Topics: Cardiac Surgery, Cardiovascular Care Team, Invasive Cardiovascular Angiography and Intervention

Keywords: Policy, Ventilators, Mechanical, Cardiac Surgical Procedures, Intermittent Renal Replacement Therapy, Intensive Care Units, Critical Care, Cardiology, Rehabilitation Nursing, Pharmacists, Emergencies, Consensus, Benchmarking, Cardiologists

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