Cardiology Training ‘Across the Pond’

June 22, 2017 | Amardeep Dastidar, MBBS

Cardiology is one of the most popular specialties in medicine. Entry to the training program remains highly competitive and potential FITs often go the 'extra mile' to keep up with the competition. Entry to cardiology training in the U.K. is possible following successful completion of the foundation program training (two years) followed by core training program (two years). The latter has two possible routes leading to entry into cardiology training: Core Medical Training (CMT); or Acute Care Common Stem - Acute Medicine.

Cardiology training in the U.K. is a five-year program, consisting of three years of core cardiology training (which includes training in general internal medicine) followed by two years of advanced (subspecialty) modular training. There is opportunity to spend time out of program (OOP) in order to engage in research (usually for the purposes of obtaining a higher degree, OOPR) or to further to one’s experience during advanced modular training, time which is frequently spent abroad (OOPE).

Subspecialty Training in Cardiology

FITs undertake advanced specialist area modules in the final two years of cardiology training. These modules include interventional cardiology, electrophysiology, non-invasive imaging, adult congenital heart disease, heart failure and inherited cardiac conditions. FITs can also apply to undertake a dual training program with general internal medicine. In addition, there is a wide variety of opportunities for research in cardiology. The Specialist Advisory Committee and its academic sub-committee help to advise trainees wishing to develop their academic potential whilst obtaining a certificate of completion of training in the specialty.

Role of British Junior Cardiologists' Association

British Junior Cardiologists' Association (BJCA) is the society for FITs in the U.K. We believe the BJCA can make claim to be the oldest young cardiologists' group in Europe, emerging from a group known as the ‘Junior Cardiac Club’ founded in 1948.

In 2000 the Junior Cardiac Club merged with other British regional young cardiologist' groups to become the BJCA and in 2007 was one of the founding members of the now thriving and ever expanding ESC Cardiologists' of Tomorrow community. 

With the support of the British Cardiovascular Society and its affiliated groups, the BJCA works closely to represent the interests of cardiologists' in training with representation on committees which oversee cardiology training, and it closely interacts with trainee groups from other medical specialties.  [AB1] 

Collaboration Between ACC FIT and BJCA

The ACC FIT is an excellent initiative to promote learning and networking. It is also a huge knowledge resource. Collaboration between ACC FIT and the BJCA will be a valuable step toward active involvement of young trainees’ thereby acting as an extremely useful opportunity in career development for young cardiologists. I am encouraging the cardiology trainees in the U.K. to become FIT members of the ACC as it is a useful tool to strengthen training, and in addition, it provides the opportunity to interact with eminent cardiovascular clinicians ‘across the pond’.

This article was authored by Amardeep Dastidar, MBBS, a Fellow in Training (FIT) at The Bristol Heart Institute, Bristol, England.

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