Our mission is to become a worldwide reference for education in the field for all professionals involved in the process to dissemintate knowledge & skills of Acute Cardiovascular Care
Our mission is to promote excellence in clinical diagnosis, research, technical development, and education in cardiovascular imaging in Europe.
Our goal is to reduce the burden in cardiovascular disease in Europe through percutaneous cardiovascular interventions.
Promoting excellence in research, practice, education and policy in cardiovascular health, primary and secondary prevention.
Our Mission is "to improve the quality of life of the population by reducing the impact of cardiac rhythm disturbances and reduce sudden cardiac death"
To improve quality of life and logevity, through better prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart failure, including the establishment of networks for its management, education and research.
Working Groups goals is to stimulate and disseminate scientific knowledge in different fields of cardiology.
ESC Councils goal is to share knowledge among medical professionals practising in specific cardiology domains.
OUR MISSION: TO REDUCE THE BURDEN OF CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE
Professor Rafael Ferreira describes below the training of cardiologists in Portugal, continuous medical education (CME) and clinical practice in his country. Professor Ferreira represents Portugal in the Council for Cardiology Practice.
Training of Specialists
Portuguese cardiologists accomplish a Hospital Internship of Cardiology at the hospitals of the National Health Service (NHS). Annual admission to the internship is made through a public application, the number of vacancies being previously defined by the Health Department. The internship can only take place in those Departments of Cardiology classified as “Apt for specialist training” by the College of Cardiology of the Portuguese Medical Association (PMA). The internship consists of one year of internal medicine and four years in cardiology that includes:
A final examination, both theoretical and practical, completes the internship and awards the title of cardiologist acknowledged by both the Health Department and the PMA.
Continuous education at an official level is defined by the Hospital Career. Certified cardiologists apply for a 5-year position as “Hospital Assistant”. At the end of the 5-year period their performance is evaluated by an examination which, if passed, allows them to become "Consultants in Cardiology". The exam values the clinical activity developed along the period, but special relevance is given to clinical investigation and published articles. After five years of fulfilment as a Consultant, the cardiologist can apply for the position of “Head of Department”, the highest position in the hospital career. In Portugal physicians are not obliged to obtain recertification since it is taken as granted that such a desideratum is accomplished throughout the hospital career which includes almost all registered Portuguese cardiologists. The Portuguese Society of Cardiology (PSC) plays an important role in the continuous education of cardiologists. There are almost 800 cardiologists registered in the College of Cardiology of the PMA (which is mandatory) and around 700 of these are members of the PSC. Nurses and Technicians may also be accepted as aggregated members and there are about 200. The annual congress of the PSC assembles more than 2,000 health professionals and it is a unique opportunity for an update on the main themes of clinical cardiology as well as for presentation of the original investigations in the field of cardiology including basic research. PSC has, on the other hand, one association (APAP - Portuguese Association of Arrhythmia and Pacing) and 16 working groups and nuclei that organize meetings on different topics in their own area of interest throughout the year.
Cardiology practice as far as it concerns hospital admission, intensive cardiac care, invasive techniques and cardiac surgery is almost entirely performed in Public Hospitals. Recently some private institutions have begun to develop a network of hospitals in the main centres – Lisbon and Oporto – with a large capacity in the field of invasive examinations. Out-patient cardiology and non-invasive tests have a relevant ambulatory component. The NHS has agreements with various private institutions and physicians to perform non-invasive tests in private offices and clinics. The quality of the tests is under the control of the College of Cardiology of the PMA. Data on cardiology practice in Portugal (2007) can be found hereafter:
Invasive Electrophysiology (data from 2006). There are 19 centres in Portugal (15 in public hospitals and four in private institutions). Operators in this technique have a specific competence given by the College of Cardiology of the PMA after intensive training in reference centres. The total of EPS was 1,805, and 75% of the patients were submitted to ablation therapy. 738 ICDs were implanted – 230 (34%) together with resynchronization systems. This means 67.4 ICDs per one million inhabitants, a number which is considered low according to European standards. 12 centres implanted more than 10 ICDs a year. Only five centres fulfil the criteria to be a training centre.