New Era in Pediatric Interventional Cardiology Training Needed

Frank Ing spotlights need for new training initiatives to meet challenges, opportunities of the future during SCAI


May 13, 2013

May 13, 2013 — The impact of pediatric interventional cardiology has never been stronger, nor the need for organized, high-quality training greater, says Frank F. Ing, M.D., FSCAI, who delivered the annual Mullins Lecture at the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) 2013 Scientific Sessions. He made the case that advances in technology and growth in the profession mean that now is the time to take training to the next level.

“We’re experiencing a golden era in pediatric interventions,” said Ing, the associate chief of cardiology and director of the cardiac catheterization laboratory at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. “We’re crossing a threshold that establishes this as a legitimate field that will have a huge impact on pediatric cardiology. As such, we need to start thinking more about how we train the people doing these procedures, to maintain quality and to maintain a movement going forward.”

In his keynote address, Ing focused on the past, present and future of training in pediatric interventional cardiology. Afterward, he co-moderated a panel discussion on fellowship training.

The issue of training in pediatric interventional cardiology is becoming increasingly important these days. Not only have multiple pediatric interventional devices been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but pediatric cardiologists increasingly collaborate with interventionalists specializing in adult structural heart disease and perform hybrid procedures with congenital heart surgeons.

The Mullins Lecture, and the panel discussion afterward, explored the need for guidelines on fellowship training in pediatric interventional cardiology. Scheduled to be published soon, the guidelines are expected to include recommendations on the scope of fellowship training and the minimum number of cases needed to develop expertise in specific pediatric interventional procedures.

“To move forward, you have to maintain a legacy of teaching, of impacting the next generation and their careers and of adding to the science of the field,” he said. “We’ve done it all along, but in a random fashion. Now we have enough critical mass to think hard about organizing official guidelines and some common techniques to training, perhaps using SCAI as a sponsoring umbrella organization.”

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