Establishing a Contemporary Training Curriculum for the Next Generation of Interventional Cardiology Fellows
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The best preparation for tomorrow is to do today’s work superbly well.
The last decade has witnessed several groundbreaking innovations in medical and interventional therapies for cardiovascular diseases.1 The field of interventional cardiology, which began with percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty in the 1980s with no formal training programs, now encompasses coronary stent technology with various platforms—metallic scaffolds, bioresorbable polymers, and bioabsorbable vascular scaffolds and percutaneous treatment of complex chronic total occlusions. Furthermore, the field of interventional cardiology has expanded to include peripheral vascular interventions, involving superficial femoral, iliac, and renal artery interventions, to the more complex carotid, subclavian, below-the-knee interventions and endovascular repair of abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysms. The interventional subspecialty that has exploded and caught the attention of many over the past 5 years is the field of structural heart interventions. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), which is now the standard therapy for patients with intermediate- and high-risk aortic stenosis, has been recognized among the top 10 innovations of the decade.2,3 Currently, TAVR is growing at a rate of >16% per year, and further growth is expected as new valves become available for widening indications. If TAVR is shown to be as effective as surgical aortic valve replacement in low-risk patients, the volume of cases is expected to significantly increase rapidly. In addition, percutaneous mitral and several tricuspid valve therapies are on the horizon that are expected to expand the gamut of structural heart procedures.4 Similar growth is expected in …