The importance of medical education in sports cardiology: Proposing a core curriculum

Position paper: proposal for a core curriculum for a European Sports Cardiology qualification

From European Journal of Preventive Cardiology 

Sports cardiology is a new and rapidly evolving subspecialty. Awareness of the risks for professional athletes of cardiovascular problems has been highlighted by various sporting incidents and in the UK most recently by the shocking collapse a few months ago of Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba during an FA Cup quarter-final match to a heart attack.

This paper recognizes that continuous medical education in cardiology subspecialties is important. It confirms that safe guidance can be provided to all individuals engaging in sports and/or physical activity. The article provides a comprehensive curriculum for sports cardiology, which may serve as a framework upon which universities and national and international health authorities will develop the training, evaluation and accreditation in sports cardiology.

Abstract

Sports cardiology is a new and rapidly evolving subspecialty. It aims to elucidate the cardiovascular effects of regular exercise and delineate its benefits and risks, so that safe guidance can be provided to all individuals engaging in sports and/or physical activity in order to attain the maximum potential benefit at the lowest possible risk. The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) advocates systematic preparticipation cardiovascular screening in an effort to identify competitive athletes at risk of exercise-related cardiovascular events and sudden cardiac death. However, the implementation of preparticipation screening is hindered because of lack of structured training and as a result lack of sufficient expertise in the field of sports cardiology.

In 2008 the European Society of Cardiology published a core curriculum for the general cardiologist, in which sports cardiology was incorporated within the topic ‘Rehabilitation and Exercise Physiology’. However, the exponential rise in knowledge and the growing demand for expertise in the field of sports cardiology dictates the need to systematically structure the knowledge base of sports cardiology into a detailed curriculum. We envisage that the curriculum would facilitate more uniform training and guideline implementation throughout Europe, and safeguard that evaluation and guidance of competitive athletes or individuals who wish to engage in leisure-time sports activities is performed by physicians with expertise in the field. The current manuscript provides a comprehensive curriculum for sports cardiology, which may serve as a framework upon which universities and national and international health authorities will develop the training, evaluation and accreditation in sports cardiology.

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Article details
Heidbuchel, H., Papadakis, M., Panhuyzen-Goedkoop, N., Carre, F., Dugmore, D., Mellwig, K., Rasmusen, H., Solberg, E., Borjesson, M., Corrado, D., Pelliccia, A., & Sharma, S. (2012). Position paper: proposal for a core curriculum for a European Sports Cardiology qualification European Journal of Preventive Cardiology DOI: 10.1177/2047487312446673

     
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