Mentorship in Fellowship

Akhil Narang headshotThis post was authored by Akhil Narang, MD, a fellow-in-training at the University of Chicago.

As the new academic year commences, there is a palpable energy on the wards. Fresh-faced first year cardiology fellows, subspecialty fellows, and newly minted junior attendings excitedly (and nervously) begin a new chapter in their academic career. As I reflect back upon my first year in general cardiology training, beyond the incredible amount of clinical cardiology knowledge I’ve gained, the most satisfying aspect of my fellowship thus far has been the mentorship I’ve been fortunate to experience. Continue reading

Is Your Electronic Health Record Working For You and Your Patients?

Shor HeadshotA recent New York Times article titled “Tech Rivalries Impede Digital Medical Record Sharing” addresses a critical issue for medicine – data blocking. In addition to high fees charged by some vendors for access to records, a lack of consistency in file formats among vendors prevents electronic medical records from meeting their potential to improve patient care.

Different electronic medical record vendors collect data in varying formats, making it difficult to share information without additional data entry and creating gaps that reduce the value of the health records to doctors and patients. If the issues of exorbitant fees and consistency across platforms are not addressed, electronic medical records will unfortunately be an added burden that does not meet its huge potential for advancing the quality of medical care in this nation.     Continue reading

The Opportunity of Cardiac Rehab

Melissa Tracy headshotThis post was authored by Melissa Tracy, MD, FACC, section chief, non-invasive cardiology, Division of Cardiology at RUSH University Medical Center in Chicago, IL, and a member of the ACC’s Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Section Leadership Council.

We are a country of opportunity. We are a society of diversity. We should all be treated with the best care possible. A recent update on the regional referral to cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) after angioplasty published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology shows that we are not doing just that.  We must change from a SICK care model to a HEALTH care model. Continue reading

Transparency and Truly Informed Consent: A Modest Proposal

Robert Beekman HeadshotThis post was authored by Robert H. Beekman, III, MD, FACC, chair of the ACC’s Adult Congenital and Pediatric Cardiology Section and Leadership Council.

A fundamental principle of patient-centered care is patient autonomy.  Essentially, this means that patients are respected as independent agents who make informed decisions about their health care. Of course, informed decisions are evidence-based and therefore require data. No data = no informed decisions. Clinicians have an ethical obligation to respect and to promote patient autonomy.

Transparent sharing of medical data is a hot topic in 2015. Patients are pleading for it. But the concept of transparently sharing outcomes data with patients has elicited concerns from many outstanding, well-meaning clinicians: transparency may be misleading if the data aren’t perfect (complete and accurate); the data must be risk-adjusted; the data must be context-adjusted; there is uncertainty regarding exactly what data should be shared. These concerns are reasonable of course, and must be addressed before the system can become fully transparent. However, “waiting for perfect” will lead to paralysis. Continue reading

MOC Update: ACC Seeking Urgent Resolution to Early Career MOC Requirements

Williams HeadshotShor HeadshotThis post was authored by ACC President Kim Allan Williams Sr., MD, FACC, and Board of Governors Chair Robert Shor, MD, FACC.

The complex situation presented by the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM) changes in Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements continues to be a top priority for ACC leadership.

Most recently, the College was made aware of an email from ABIM to early career cardiovascular professionals who passed the Cardiovascular Disease Certification Exam in 2014. That email informed them of the need to enroll in Maintenance of Certification (MOC) by March 31, 2015, in order to be publicly reported as certified in Cardiovascular Disease. It also stated their certification would remain valid as long as they are participating in MOC. Continue reading

The Future Is Bright: ACC’s International Initiatives and Goals

Jose PineiroThis post was authored by Daniel José Piñeiro, MD, FACC, chair of the ACC Assembly of International Governors.

Since its foundation in 1949, the ACC has worked to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health around the world through education, research, quality cardiovascular care and health policy. Despite its name (American College of Cardiology), the ACC has grown to be an inclusive and global organization with nearly 50,000 members including nearly 14,000 international representatives from more than 130 countries.

Over the last several years, the international community has increasingly become an integral part of the College. One of the most successful international initiatives to date has been the creation of International Chapters, which now number 34. These Chapters have played a crucial role in bringing members together in their home countries and also facilitating relationships between the ACC, its International Fellows, and colleagues from other national cardiovascular societies and associations. Continue reading

Gender Equality in Medicine: A Male Perspective

Bina Ahmed MDFrizzell HeadshotThis post was authored by Jarrod D. Frizzell MD, MS, second-year cardiology fellow, PGY-7, in the Division of Cardiology at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and Bina Ahmed, MD, FACC, FSCAI, assistant professor of Interventional Cardiology at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine in Albuquerque.

I (JDF) am a white male of European descent and, by that virtue alone, the clear majority in medicine. So why am I writing about women in cardiology? For three simple reasons: my wife, who is a surgeon, and my two daughters. I believe gender equity is an issue that should be a common cause between genders, and not solely one “for women, by women.” This is as true for medicine and cardiology as it is for society as a whole. Continue reading

The National Hockey League (NHL) and the Sports Cardiologist

Bush,HowardThis post was authored by Howard S. Bush, MD, FACC, member of the ACC’s Sports and Exercise Cardiology Section.

I am a practicing interventional cardiologist, interested in the cardiovascular evaluation and management of athletes, running the spectrum from the weekend warrior to those who play professionally.  You might ask “how” or “why” someone who opens blocked arteries would get involved in professional ice hockey.  In comparison to the other major league sports in our country, hockey falls a distant fourth in terms of things like revenues, salaries, fan interest, TV markets and organizational infrastructure.  Nonetheless, in December 1992, a patient of ours was awarded a franchise as the NHL expanded and we were asked to be involved in the medical care. My first experience with professional hockey was at the training camp in the summer of 1993 in Peterborough, Canada, with the late coach Roger Neilson. The rest is history.  Continue reading

In Memoriam: ACC Past President Borys Surawicz, MD, MACC

ACC Past President Borys Surawicz, MD, MACC, a pioneer in echocardiography and a significant contributor to the cardiovascular academic community, has passed away.

Originally a native of Moscow, Russia, Surawicz trained in Europe from 1939 – 1949 before serving as a medical officer of public health in Holmestrand, Norway (1949 – 1950). One year later, he was named chief of medicine for the Bogenhausen Hospital in Munich, Germany. Continue reading

PINNACLE Registry QI Program in India: A Model For Other Resource-Limited Countries?

This post was authored by Nathan Glusenkamp, MA, director of the PINNACLE Program and William J. Oetgen, MD, MBA, FACC, executive vice president of the ACC’s Publication, Education, Science & Quality.

Today marks a seminal event in the evolution of the PINNACLE Registry with the publication of an article in the Journal of the American Heart Association. “Cardiovascular Disease Performance Measures in the Outpatient Setting in India: Insights from the American College of Cardiology’s PINNACLE India Quality Improvement Program (PIQIP)” is the first published report from PIQIP, an international project within the PINNACLE Registry program that has been ongoing for the past three years. Continue reading