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The last decade has seen exciting advances in interventional cardiology. These innovations have tremendous potential for offering attractive alternatives to the existing surgical treatments of some cardiac diseases and have also identified novel methods of percutaneous intervention for hitherto pharmacologically managed conditions. Many of these advances have been driven by the introduction of implantable devices, such as the percutaneous aortic valve and left atrial appendage closure device.
Introduction of a new technology to physicians as well as adequately training the interventionist in the science and technique of intervention is partly and rightly driven by the device industry. While it is necessary from the point of view of the patients as well as from the business standpoint of the device developer that these devices - and the skills to use these devices - are disseminated widely, ensuring that the right patients get the right interventions by adequately trained interventionists is of utmost importance.
Training an interventionist in the science and technique of a new device or technology should typically go through two phases: preceptorship and proctorship.1
Preceptorship involves the ‘student’ interventionist getting trained by the preceptor (n. teacher or instructor) in a setting where the preceptor has the primary responsibility of patient care and outcome.
Once the preceptor is satisfied with the …