The Johns Hopkins Cardiology Division has been contracted by the government of Trinidad and Tobago to expand capacity and access to best practice Cardiology services in the public sector on Trinidad and Tobago through educational programs. Working with the leading cardiovascular specialist and educators from Trinidad and Tobago, a program to expand the number of fully trained experts in cardiac care (Cardiologists, Nurses, Technologists) has been developed and in parallel, a process of establishing referral skills and capacity in the Health Care Facilities and educating primary care physicians in best practice cardiac disease guidelines has been implemented.
The training program is organized into the following core and secondary components.
Core Training Components (prepare physician trainees to pass specialty exams).This includes a two year cardiology training program based at the Eric Williams Medical Science Complex that will train twelve Cardiologists over four years. A shortened cardiology training program is offered, with the same elements as the two year program, but with the option for physicians who have relevant cardiac care experience to shorten their training period by opting out of redundant training. Structured subspecialty modality training programs for internists and cardiologists who desire to enhance sub-specialty cardiovascular skills.
Secondary Training to be offered to experienced trainees seeking expanded skills and areas such as complex interventions, specialty electro physiologic techniques, 3D Echo, intravascular ultrasound, EKG Interpretation, Stress Testing,
Exposure to best cardiac care practices are to be provided through Continuous Medical Education (CME) Lectures and Training and General Training (Non- CME lectures) To optimize this exposure it is to be provided regionally for the convenience of the caregivers as well as centrally.
Specialty procedure and best practice operations training through Basic Life Support (BLS) Training as well as Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) Training will be provided to nurses and other healthcare professionals in the full spectrum of health delivery locations. In addition, Nursing and Other Healthcare Professional will be offered selected Certified Specialist/Professional Registry Training (Registry Preparation Training), THAS/RHA Certificate Training (Certificate Training) as well as general training
Imbedded in these training activities will be metrics to measure the impact of these activities as well as clinical research opportunities focused on developing approaches which directly impact cardiac care in Trinidad and Tobago. Examples of these studies are the “Telewatch” program to study the effectiveness of home monitoring of hypertension care and a Beta Receptor Polymorphism program- identifying responders and non-responders to beta blocking medications to more effectively target drug therapy for angina.
At the completion of this program, we recommend that physician trainees in programs supported by public scholarships be contractually committed to devote a percentage of their time to public sector service for five years.