What is the Future of Competency in CV Training and Practice?

As the definition and documentation of competency in cardiovascular training and practice continues to evolve, a review paper published Sept. 12 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology explores the current cardiovascular competency components, assessment tools and strategies, while identifying future challenges.

Jeffery T. Kuvin, MD, FACC, and Eric S. Williams, MD, MACC, write that, as a cardiovascular specialist, developing and documenting one’s level of competency has become increasingly complex. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), along with other organizations, have highlighted six key areas, which are known as the core competencies – medical knowledge, patient care, practice-based learning and improvement, systems-based practice, professionalism, and interpersonal and communication skills. The assessment of cardiovascular trainee competence traditionally relies on time-tested tools such as duration of training and required experiences, summative and formative evaluations and numbers of supervised procedures performed.

Recent improvements to help define and assess cardiovascular competency include a new structure for the Core Cardiovascular Training Statement (COCATS); the incorporation of ACC’s recently developed Curricular Competencies, which serve as a benchmark for cardiovascular training programs; the institution of the ACGME Reporting Milestones; ACC’s in-training examinations; and the development of Lifelong Learning Competencies, which serve as an underpinning structure for all of ACC’s educational activities.

Moving forward, there is a need for evidence-based outcomes research in the area of physician competence, including an examination of the relationship between physician competency assessments with patient outcomes. There is also room for further work focused on methods to recognize and act upon physician incompetence, with appropriate remediation and support plans in place.

“The future of learning is personalized education; therefore, innovative tools are needed to allow individual clinicians to continually assess competency in a variety of areas, understand gaps in knowledge, and importantly, find ways to educate and improve,” Kuvin and Williams conclude. 

Keywords: Accreditation, Benchmarking, Documentation, Education, Medical, Graduate, Outcome Assessment (Health Care), Patient Care, Specialization

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