A common question in clinic is: “How experienced and skilled are you and your team?”, and the team might even ask themselves: “How skilled are we really?” Although closely supervised and trained under a gradually-increasing responsibility principle, a time will come when there is no immediate available back-up in the catheterization lab. Furthermore, increased transparency and public awareness of medical errors has opened up a Pandora’s Box regarding a physician’s skill level and experience.
The scientific evidence is sound and clear. Without a doubt, the best way to learn any motor skill, on the basis of solid theoretical and practical experience, is in a context where the curriculum embraces simulation technology, thus making the transition to live cases easier and ameliorating the pathway from theory to the endovascular suite.
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According to a recent publication in Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions, authorized by the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Intervention’s (SCAI) Simulation Committee, the Society declares that, in future, simulation will take on a larger role in cardiovascular training and the maintenance of certification. However, the authors also conclude that, at present, there lacks a large body of evidence for its use. The papers described in this whitepaper focus mainly on assessment, economy, curriculum and transfer of skills, and are a response to Doctor Green’s sentence. There is already a large bulk of existing evidence out there in the community.