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Attitudes of Early-Career Cardiologists in Japan About Their Cardiovascular Training Programs

      Understanding the perspective of early-career cardiologists is important to design effective responses to the challenges in modern cardiovascular (CV) training programs. We conducted a web-based survey on a total of 272 early-career cardiologists (within 10 postgraduate years) who registered for the 2011 annual Japanese Circulation Society Meeting. Main outcome measures were satisfaction with their training, confidence in their clinical skills, and professional expectations, scaled from 0 to 10. The median training time was 6 years, with 2 years for internal medicine and 4 years for CV disease. Most received their training in university hospitals at some point during their career (79.5%) and were interested in a subspecialty training, such as interventional cardiology (38.6%), electrophysiology (15.1%), and advanced heart failure (10.3%); only 9.6% showed interest in general cardiology. The respondents felt comfortable in managing common CV conditions such as coronary artery disease (average score 6.3 ± 2.4 on an 11-point Likert scale) but less so in peripheral arterial disease (3.8 ± 2.8), arrhythmias (3.7 ± 2.3), and congenital heart disease (2.9 ± 2.2). Their satisfaction rate with their CV training positively correlated with their clinical proficiency level and was associated with volume of coronary angiograms, percutaneous coronary interventions, and echocardiograms completed. In conclusion, the current young cardiologists have a positive perception of and interest in procedure-based subspecialty training, and their training satisfaction was related to volume of cardiac procedures. Additional effort is needed in enforcing the training in underappreciated subspecialty areas.
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