Author + information
- Anthony N. DeMaria, MD, MACC⁎ ()
- ↵⁎Division of Cardiology, University of California, San Diego, 200 West Arbor Drive, San Diego, California 92103
The major point of my Editor’s Page (1) was that advances in knowledge and technology would bring with them the need for new skills, often those possessed by other specialists within the medical community. I speculated that this would lead to blurring of the borders between specialties, consolidated training programs, and new categories of subspecialists. Ultimately, those who will lead these fields will be those with the combined skill set, regardless of which discipline of medicine they call home.
Dr. Shanmugam agrees that cardiac surgery will participate in this “morphing” procedure and points to the potential of percutaneous valve replacement as a good example of the forces that could stimulate change. In fact, it could be argued that cardiac surgery faces the greatest potential for “morphing” in the future. I agree entirely with his call for caution in undertaking new procedures in clinical settings where lack of success could have dramatic consequences. I believe that the call for all such investigations to involve both cardiologists and surgeons is well heeded. Dr. Boxt points to the potential turf battles inherent in the morphing process, and he is apparently ahead of the curve in having already acquired the dual skill set optimal for cardiac imaging. Drs. Wheatley and Diethrich call for joint training programs, a concept with which we are in agreement. However, I must admit that their proposal of a six-year training program, which would render one certifiable in cardiology, surgery, and radiology, sounds a bit daunting. My own opinion is that the morphing of specialties will likely be in specific areas such as imaging or catheter intervention. However, I applaud their innovative thinking and proactive approach to the challenges we face in the future.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation