We have provided responses below explaining further detail regarding the completion of the Cardiology 2022 Curriculum Survey by the 20th of June 2021. We hope this will give information as to what the differences will be to ACHD services should the proposal be accepted.
The document mentions congenital heart disease as a speciality continuing. Where is the issue then?
The new curriculum still has ACHD Training, but instead of training purely in adult cardiology and sub-specialising from years 3 – 5 in ACHD, the new curriculum will require the trainee to train in general medicine all the way through the 5 years of adult cardiology and sub-speciality training. This will dilute training in ACHD and will mandate further study after qualifying as a consultant to sub specialise. As you can imagine, this will not be popular with Trainees (more time in training, work-life, financial etc) and we have feedback already from the trainees that thus would put them off choosing ACHD potentially, as a career. There is concern trainees will leave the UK, to do fellowships elsewhere and may not therefore return to the UK.
At present most Cardiology Trainees do Adult Cardiology and general medicine in Years 1-3, then drop General medicine when they do their sub-speciality training from years 4-5. They often take a couple of years out of training to do research/further study in their sub-speciality. We are concerned what impact the new curriculum will have on our ACHD workforce crisis.
60% of our ACHD Trainees at present are female. The new curriculum (by being longer training etc) will adversely impact female trainees, who may wish to train less than full time, take time off around pregnancy and postnatally. In addition, you can see that pregnancy has been linked to ACHD. This means, that Adult Cardiologists, who are not training in ACHD, will have very little exposure to pregnant cardiac women.
How much does this differ from the current curriculum?
At present most Cardiology Trainees do Adult Cardiology and general medicine in Years 1-3, then drop General medicine when they do their sub-speciality training from years 4-5. This has been expanded on in the answer above.
What will the results of the survey be used for?
This survey is a consultation, particularly asking for patients, family, those with protected characteristics, learning disabilities etc to inform the Joint Royal Colleges of postgraduate medical education of their opinions, and particularly to ensure they are not adversely impacted by these changes in the curriculum. We have a significant number of complex patients with complex medical, psychological and social needs in ACHD, we need appropriately trained or enough trained ACHD Consultants to look after our patients, families and care givers. This consultation will be fed back to the GMC – who regulate training in the UK.
Complete the Cardiology curriculum consultation and equality impact survey here.
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