Educational Experience of Interventional Cardiology Fellows in the United States and Canada

Bahadir Simsek, Spyridon Kostantinis, Judit Karacsonyi, Abdul Hakeem, Abhiram Prasad, Anand Prasad, Anna E. Bortnick, Basem Elbarouni, Hani Jneid, J. Dawn Abbott, Lorenzo Azzalini, Louis P. Kohl, Mario Gössl, Rajan A.G. Patel, Salman Allana, Tamim M. Nazif, Usman Baber, Olga C. Mastrodemos, Tarek Chami, Madeline MahowaldAthanasios Rempakos, Bavana V. Rangan, Yader Sandoval, Emmanouil S. Brilakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic and iodinated contrast shortage may have affected interventional cardiology (IC) fellowship training. Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the educational experience of first-year IC fellows in the United States and Canada. Methods: A 59-question online survey was conducted among 2021-2022 first-year IC fellows in the United States and Canada. Results: Of the 360 IC fellows invited to participate, 111 (31%) responded; 95% were from the United States, and 79% were men. Participants were mostly from university programs (70%), spent 61 to 70 hours/week in the hospital, and had an annual percutaneous coronary intervention case number of <200 (5%), 200 to 249 (8%), 250 to 349 (33%), 350 to 499 (39%), 500 to 699 (12%), or ≥700 (3%). For femoral access, a micropuncture needle was used regularly by 89% and ultrasound-guided puncture by 81%, and 43% used vascular closure devices in most cases (>80%). Intravascular ultrasound was performed and interpreted very comfortably by 62% and optical coherence tomography (OCT) by 32%, and 20% did not have access to OCT. Approximately one-third felt very comfortable performing various atherectomy techniques. Covered stents, fat embolization, and coil embolization were used very comfortably by 14%, 4%, and 3%, respectively. Embolic protection devices were used very comfortably by 11% to 24% of IC fellows. Almost one-quarter of fellows (24%) were warned about their high radiation exposure. Eighty-four percent considered IC fellowship somewhat or very stressful, and 16% reported inadequate psychological support. Conclusions: This survey highlights opportunities for improvement with regard to the use of intravascular imaging, atherectomy techniques, complication prevention and management strategies, radiation awareness and mitigation, and psychological support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-257
Number of pages11
JournalJACC: Cardiovascular Interventions
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 13 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • case numbers
  • femoral access
  • interventional cardiology fellowship
  • intravascular imaging
  • mental health
  • percutaneous coronary intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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