Educational opportunities and practices vary to a great extent across Europe due to organizational, economic, social, and cultural differences. The education of young interventionalists stands in the spectrum that ranges from practice-oriented training that lacks formal and structural approach, to high-quality predefined structured education that includes both formal educational activities (lectures, exams, fellowship programs, and certification) and practical experience. These differences could be overcome to a considerable degree by harmonizing curricula across European countries. Important steps in this process regarding practical training could include some of the following: defining the number of PCIs that young interventionalist should perform independently, number and types of specific procedures (i.e. bifurcations, chronic total occlusions, acute coronary syndromes etc.) that doctors should perform and be familiar with all technical aspects, encouraging the use of training logbooks (private or public) whereby the progress of education could be assessed. Since the education of doctors is very long and complex process, every effort should be made to reduce the overlap that may exist with curricula of the previous educational steps. If we are to summarize in few simple words the common denominators of the unmet needs in education of young interventionalists it should be communication, structure and sharing.
There are many existing educational programs and platforms that may be used for these purposes (Fellow courses, PCR seminars, and other meetings dedicated to special topics), but the awareness of their availability among young interventionalists is limited. Industry supported educational programs may sometimes be attractive, but in order to be used as official educational tools their quality should be checked and certified by EAPCI or other regulatory bodies. Furthermore, the awareness of existing fellowship programs is also low amongst doctors in training. Once again, improved communication and sharing could help us improve visibility of various educational opportunities. This may be accomplished by collecting comprehensive information on one place, which could be a section of the EAPCI web site or emerging ESCeL Platform. This information should not be presented in a classic web page format, but preferably in a frame of a social network where information and experience could be easily communicated and shared among young interventionalists. Furthermore, the availability of the whole or parts of this Platform on mobile devices (e.g. Android, iOS) could potentially improve the visibility and ease of access to this information. Finally, the ESCeL Platform mission statement: “The highest European standard of training and education, to as many as possible, at the lowest cost possible”, may best fit the needs of young interventionalists. Nevertheless, the development of electronic platforms is not substitution for more traditional peer-to-peer learning and exchange of young interventionalists between centres, but rather a novel tool in educational armamentarium. All these unmet, unaddressed, and unrecognized educational needs should not be regarded as obstacles but rather as the opportunities to create the new generation of highly qualified interventional cardiologists at the European level.Discover ESCeL.Read more about the EAPCI Summit 2013.
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