Advanced Echocardiographic Training Requirements Issued

At least nine cumulative months recommended to ensure exposure to necessary clinical experience

THURSDAY, Feb. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The training requirements for performing advanced echocardiographic procedures (Level III training) are discussed in a statement from the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, and the American Society of Echocardiography; the report was published online Feb. 19 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Susan E. Wiegers, M.D., from the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University in Philadelphia, and colleagues define Level III training for echocardiography and describe the requirements for Level III trainees.

The authors note that Level III training can be achieved during the standard three-year cardiology fellowship but additional training may be necessary. To ensure sufficient exposure to the range, volume, and diversity of clinical experience necessary for Level III competency, at least nine cumulative months are generally required. Assessment of competencies should determine whether a fellow has achieved Level III knowledge and skills. Level III echocardiography training must take place in laboratories with trained faculty and with the necessary infrastructure to provide the advanced training experience. To enhance learning and patient care, Level III trainees should have the opportunity to interact with other members of the health care team; collaborative interaction with experienced sonographers is critical to success.

"The use of cardiovascular ultrasound is a key component in the care of many patients in the hospital and outpatient office as well as guiding interventional cardiac procedures in the catheterization lab and the operating room," Wiegers said in a statement. "It is important to define what is required to become a Level III echocardiographer."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

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