JACC FIT/Early Career Page: Training Cardiology Fellows in Focused Cardiac Ultrasound

As use of focused cardiac ultrasound (FoCUS) becomes an important diagnostic tool in the cardiology inpatient and outpatient settings, it may be imperative that cardiology fellowship programs and key stakeholders enhance training standards and develop a FoCUS curriculum tailored to Fellows in Training (FITs), according to an FIT/Early Career column published March 4 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Aws Almufleh, MD, et al., explains that although the current cardiovascular disease fellowship training requirements provide detailed objectives for comprehensive echocardiography acquisition and interpretation, no similar learning objectives are provided with respect to FoCUS. He notes that compared with echocardiography, FoCUS examinations can aid clinical decision making by providing crucial clinical-question-directed diagnostic information. In a response to the column, Thomas H. Marwick, MD, PhD, FACC, comments that "the wider adoption of handheld ultrasound (HHU) is inhibited not by the lack of special training, but more by the attenuation of imaging skills in non-imaging cardiologists." He adds, "An HHU performed by someone with insufficient skills is probably worse than no information. Perhaps this attenuation of skills will be less marked as the generation of [FITs] who have had access to HHU mature through their careers." Read more.