Author + information
- Pamela S. Douglas, MD, FACC, President, American College of Cardiology⁎
- ↵⁎Address correspondence to:
Dr. Pamela S. Douglas, American College of Cardiology, c/o Cathy Lora, 9111 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, Maryland 20814-1699
When you think of education, do you dread sitting through yet another boring lecture while the mountain of work that stands between you and getting home grows ever higher? Or, do you flip through the latest journal and find not a single article that is relevant to your practice? Worse yet, have you needed some critical nugget of information while caring for a patient, and just cannot recall it from the continuing medical education (CME) course you attended last month?
Education that is boring, irrelevant, and untimely is a major barrier to our essential goal of bringing science to practice. Other obstacles include the sheer magnitude of new information and the limited efficacy of traditional lecture formats to change clinicians’ behavior and improve quality of care. As professionals and care givers concerned for our patients, we simply cannot afford to turn a blind eye toward these barriers.
What about timely?
Fortunately for us, the World Wide Web has changed the way all of us acquire and use information. Starting in 2002, the American College of Cardiology (ACC) has built a rich and robust educational treasure chest for the cardiovascular community called Cardiosource. Like all aspects of the Web, it is available around the clock, seven days a week, and is searchable—that elusive nugget of information can be extracted with ease, and you can receive CME benefits for doing it. Because the Web transcends space as well as time, it has also been an international ambassador, bringing together cardiovascular professionals from around the world. Now, for the first time in the history of the College, allaspects of a revitalized and enhanced Cardiosource will be free as a premium benefit to ACC members effective June 15 (1). All you need to do as a member is to log on and claim your benefit.
What about interesting?
Self-directed learning is customized to a degree no other style can attain. At your leisure, you can pick up a self-assessment program (SAP) from the College—on CD-ROM, in print, or online—and pinpoint what you need to know in minutes. Available just since March are a Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance SAP (CMRSAP), an Arrhythmia SAP, and a completely refurbished Adult Clinical Cardiology SAP (ACCSAP 6) that addresses core curriculum. Setting a new benchmark for high-tech creativity in July was the introduction of ACCEL taped conversations with leading experts pre-loaded onto Macintosh iPODs, and work continues on making files downloadable to MP3 players through Cardiosource.
What about relevant?
Starting this year, the College will base all of its educational live programs on statistically valid needs assessments conducted by professional surveyors. Live programs will focus on combining the best presenters from the best institutions worldwide, including those who have received special educational coaching at the ACC’s unique “Train the Trainer” retreats.
The inaugural Integrated Cardiovascular Imaging Conference, scheduled for August in San Francisco, California, demonstrates the American College of Cardiology Foundation’s new mode of thinking (2). This model program, featuring 15 world-famous imaging experts, will combine the best of four imaging modalities at one conference. Participants will learn via 10 case-based scenarios that will compare each of four modalities—computed tomography, magnetic resonance, nuclear, and echo—finally arriving at the best solution for each patient. In addition, attendees will receive complimentary copies of the popular self-assessment products CMRSAP and EchoSAP 4 to continue learning at home, another first for the College.
In addition to content, innovation extends to the latest teaching techniques—from laptop learning to hands-on simulation. Our brand-new Innovations in Intervention: i2 Summit to be held in March 2006 in conjunction with the ACC Annual Scientific Sessions will be just one of the venues in which we incorporate such techniques. Keeping current in today’s rapid-fire medical environment will demand the fastest, most engaging, and memorable methods possible.
If you have not yet, it is time to take advantage of what the College offers you as a Fellow or a Cardiac Care Associate. Register today for Cardiosource and use it every day to confirm your diagnostic suspicions or to tune up your understanding of a particular guideline. Rely on the ACC Resource Center and its newly extended phone hours seven days a week to buy a product, sign up for a program, or ask a burning question (3). Attend one or several of the new-style live programs combined with supporting products that are interactive and holistic.
Most of all, share your ideas, concerns, and questions with the College. Your input continues to be fundamental to the growth and expansion of the ACC education as it flexes to meet your needs. As the College moves ever closer to its member-centric goals, it becomes glaringly apparent that we, as members, have an obligation to our College as well. We must freely and frequently share our opinions with our fellow leaders and staff leadership. If we do not ask, it cannot be built, and that would be a shame.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation
- ↵Log on to www.cardiosource.comto receive this benefit. Recipients must be FACC or CCA to receive it free. Subscriptions are available for non-members.
- ↵Directed by James Thomas, MD, FACC, Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco, California, August 11–17, 2005. Available at: www.acc.org.
- ↵Resource Center hours posted on www.acc.org. Toll-free Resource Center phone number is 1-800-253-4636.