“Top Ten Observations from 35 Years of Invasive Cardiology Practice”
Featuring: George W. Vetrovec, M.D., FSCAI
May 9, at 11:30 AM
Fans of David Letterman know that a Top Ten list is something to look forward to. In his Founders’ Lecture at the SCAI 2013 Scientific Sessions, George W. Vetrovec, M.D., FSCAI, will use this much-loved comic device to share his observations from 35 years of invasive cardiology practice—though perhaps with more gravitas than Letterman’s nightly ritual.
And who better to observe interventional cardiology with a wide-angle lens? Dr. Vetrovec, who now directs the adult cardiac catheterization laboratory at Virginia Commonwealth University, chaired the Division of Cardiology at VCU for 18 years and has served on the Boards of SCAI, the American Heart Association, and the American College of Cardiology. A respected researcher with hundreds of publications to his name, he still performs more than 500 interventional procedures a year.
“My career has focused on improving the management of coronary heart disease, particularly through the use of devices,” Dr. Vetrovec said. “I’m also a practicing cardiologist and interventionalist. I would hope that experience gives me a broad perspective and a rich understanding of the issues facing interventional cardiology.” Dr. Vetrovec is keeping most of his Top Ten list under wraps until SCAI 2013 in Orlando, but shared the following hints of what’s to come:
- Drs. F. Mason Sones and Melvin Judkins, the founders of SCAI, were ahead of their time in their interest in outcomes measures and clinical registries, and their concern about the impact of government regulation on interventional cardiology.
- Today’s focus on high-quality outcomes and professionalism is extremely important but can have unintended consequences if physicians and administrators become too focused on numbers and rankings, rather than on what is right for patients.
- Patients with poor left ventricular function and ischemia are too seldom the focus of clinical research on revascularization. Such patients are highly sensitive to residual ischemia and face a high risk of adverse clinical outcomes. Not only would they benefit from greater inclusion in clinical research, such studies might achieve statistically significant results without the need for enormous patient populations.
- The relationship between physicians and industry has led to impressive device innovation over the years. The challenge today is to maintain the excitement and benefits for patients while remaining sensitive to potential conflicts of interest.
In developing the Top Ten list, Dr. Vetrovec is aiming for a tone that is both positive and provocative. “I hope that audience members go away with the perspective that we need to be very introspective,” Dr. Vetrovec said. “We need to think about what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, what the consequences of our actions are, and how to keep moving forward in a positive way.”