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SCAI Announces New Program to Support Interventional Cardiology Training Fellowships

Grants Aim to Facilitate the Training of Interventional Cardiologists to

Treat Growing Population of Cardiovascular Patients

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- A new program launched today by the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) will help accredited physician training programs to fund approved training positions, thereby expanding the number of interventional cardiologists trained to care for a steadily increasing number of cardiovascular patients. The SCAI Interventional Cardiology Fellows-in-Training Grant Program will help pay the salary and benefits for physicians specializing in interventional cardiology. This innovative, multi-year, multi-million dollar program, funded by generous grants from the Boston Scientific Foundation and the Cordis Cardiac and Vascular Institute, will sponsor fellows-in-training based on the quality of their training programs and their need for support.

Each year, approximately 15 percent of interventional cardiology training slots at accredited U.S. academic medical centers go unfilled because in many cases universities lack the financial resources to fund all of the positions approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

"As a result, the American health care system is producing fewer highly trained interventional cardiologists than we will need as the population ages, especially as cardiovascular disease continues to be the leading cause of mortality and morbidity," says Dr. Joseph Babb, an SCAI Past President and Chair of the SCAI committee that will administer the fellowship grants. "This new program represents a real investment in the future of medical education by SCAI, the Boston Scientific Foundation, and the Cordis Cardiac and Vascular Institute."

Starting immediately, SCAI will accept applications for support from ACGME-accredited interventional cardiology training programs. An SCAI committee of interventional cardiology leaders will evaluate applications based on the training programs' proven track record for producing the highest-quality interventionalists and a demonstrated need for financial support. Grant monies will be distributed by SCAI and may be used only to pay for salaries and benefits for newly enrolled interventional cardiology fellows-in-training at the SCAI-selected institutions.

"The committee has established a set of metrics that considers, among other things, whether the program has optimal faculty-to-fellow ratios for learning, appropriately credentialed faculty, and a balance between broad-based clinical training, mentorship, and research training," says Dr. Babb. "We view this as essential to ensuring that the next generation of interventionalists is prepared to deliver the best possible care to future patients."

Although Boston Scientific and Cordis Corporation have supported fellow training for years, the SCAI Interventional Cardiology Fellows-in-Training Grant Program represents a new approach to both companies' investment in medical education. Both companies will support interventional cardiology fellowship grants through the new SCAI program.

"Boston Scientific is pleased to be able to advance medical education in this critical field. We believe that SCAI's program will ultimately produce a cadre of highly trained interventionalists prepared to be leaders in patient care and research innovation," says Donald S. Baim, M.D., Executive Vice President, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer at Boston Scientific Corporation.

Cordis agrees. According to David Kandzari, M.D., FACC, FSCAI, Chief Medical Officer, Cordis Corporation, "Support for education and training of our next generation of interventional cardiologists has been a long-standing commitment for Cordis. We are especially pleased that the Cordis Cardiac and Vascular Institute has an opportunity to invest in this program led by SCAI. We believe that a medical society, like SCAI, is in an ideal position to evaluate and provide guardianship for these important programs."

About SCAI

Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions is a 4,000-member professional organization representing invasive and interventional cardiologists in 70 nations. SCAI's mission is to promote excellence in invasive and interventional cardiovascular medicine through physician education and representation, and advancement of quality standards to enhance patient care. SCAI's annual meeting has become the leading venue for education, discussion, and debate about the latest developments in this dynamic medical specialty.

SOURCE Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions
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