Daniel Ang – CT Coronary Angiography (CTCA) course

Start date: 14th September 2020

End date: 18th September 2020

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Travel reports

In September 2020, I was very fortunate to attend a five-day CT Coronary Angiography (CTCA) course held in Edinburgh between 14-18 September 2020, kindly supported by the Emily Taylor Travel Grant from the Scottish Cardiac Society. The meeting was attended by an international and multidisciplinary audience from both cardiology and radiology backgrounds. The attendees comprised medical practitioners of varying grades, including consultants and registrars like myself.

This was a comprehensive course that covered lectures on the background and theory behind CTCA, as well as vital experience in hands-on interpretation of CTCA images. Lectures were delivered by world-renowned speakers in the field, including Professor van Beek and Professor Newby. It was an honour to hear first-hand these educational talks, which included valuable insights surrounding the challenges/ limitations of CTCA and how our national services were expanded.

Each participant was allocated a personal workstation to allow analysis of example cases. The course programme included 150 anonymised cases from real patients. This course perfectly complemented my experience in interventional cardiology. The experience and knowledge gained during this course has not only helped me achieve the CTCA competency required as part of the core cardiology training curriculum, but also serves as a strong head start for pursuing CTCA reporting as a future career.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this course and gained much experience in CTCA reporting. The next step is to complete the required practical logbook for accreditation. In learning CTCA, I hope that the 3-dimensional information gained regarding atherosclerotic plaque will help to enhance my care for patients with coronary artery disease.

With a limited study budget and a steep course fee, it would have been much more difficult to attend without the kind support of the society. The accommodation support for staying on-site was particularly welcome given the long daily hours and intensity of the course. I am extremely grateful to the Scottish Cardiac Society and Emily Taylor Travel Fund for the support.

Claire Ferguson – Cardiac Rhythm Management Course

Start date: 20th January 2020

End date: 19th October 2020

Time: Leeds, United Kingdom

Travel reports

I am extremely grateful to the Scottish Cardiac Society Emily Taylor Travel Endowment for the travel grant I was awarded in January 2020.  I attended University of Leeds for a week at end of January for the first module in the Post Graduate Certificate in Cardiac Device and Rhythm management course.  The first module was Bradycardia Device and Rhythm Management. 

Having been appointed as Arrhythmia Nurse Specialist, this course enabled me to consolidate my prior knowledge of cardiac rhythm management (CRM) and explore areas where my knowledge was lacking, particularly current guidelines and research in this area.

One of the most rewarding aspects of the week spent in Leeds was meeting colleagues from other centres in the UK, exploring how practice differs.  The majority of the course attendees were cardiac physiologists with one other arrhythmia nurse in the group.  Peer learning was invaluable and I have gained a network of specialist cardiac physiologists for advice and with whom to share good practice. 

I undertook an assignment in the form of a journal article.  This gave me the opportunity to carry out in depth literature review on the detrimental effects of RV pacing and indications for CRT implantation. 

Unfortunately due to the pandemic the second face to face week scheduled for June 2020 on Tachycardia Device and Rhythm Management was postponed and took place week of 19th October virtually.  This has again given me insight into procedures carried out in the electrophysiology cath lab which will be invaluable to my interaction and care of this patient group.  I will again be undertaking an assignment based on a tachycardiac related diagnosis and treatment. 

I have found the support given by lecturers, peers and library staff invaluable.  This has undoubtedly increased my confidence and skill in carrying out literature searches and accessing up to date research in this area.  Critically appraising literature is an important skill and being able to undertake this module at Leeds has augmented my clinical practice underpinned by a sound research base.

Tania Pawade – 2 Year Fellowship in Cardiac Rhythm Management

Start date: 1st January 2020

End date: 25th March 2020

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Travel reports

I am profoundly grateful to the Scottish Cardiac Society and the Emily Taylor travel fund. Their support has helped me travel to Melbourne Australia in January of this year, to undertake a prestigious post-CCT fellowship in cardiac rhythm management.

The fellowship is proving to be a fantastic experience and a unique opportunity to simply focus on learning in a supportive environment without the other distractions of a clinical job. I am currently based at Monash Medical centre and being exposed to high volume, high quality training in both electrophysiology and device implantation. In addition to building basic competencies, I am also learning techniques such as His-Bundle pacing, subcutaneous device implantation in addition to pioneering techniques in the context of clinical trials.

I also assist with general electrophysiology and inherited cardiac disease clinics in which I am regularly exposed to a variety of rare channelopathies. Relocating, particularly internationally, is extremely costly but thanks to the Scottish Cardiac Society, some of the financial burden has been relieved. For this, I am immensely grateful and look forward to being able to make a significant contribution to Scottish Cardiology in the future

Anna Barton – British Society for Heart Failure Annual General Meeting

Start date: 28th November 2019

End date: 29th November 2019

Location: London

Travel reports

In November 2019, I was delighted to receive the opportunity to attend the British Society for Heart Failure Annual General Meeting, kindly supported by the Emily Taylor Travel Grant from the Scottish Cardiac Society. The society’s flagship event, held in the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, brings together health care professionals with an interest in heart failure from across the United Kingdom and further afield to learn about new developments in managing this complex syndrome.

This was the first occasion I was able to attend this prestigious meeting. I found the event extremely well organised with an interesting and varied programme. I was particularly struck at the high attendance with the main auditorium full with standing room only for the majority of the sessions.

The presenters covered a wide range of topics, from presenting the heart failure audit data to covering the fascinating topic of advanced heart failure, transplantation, and mechanical circulatory support (MCS). This session was of particular interest to me having completed a fellowship post with the Scottish National Advanced Heart Failure Service from 2018-2019. I enjoyed hearing presenters from different transplant centres talk about their services and hear their transplant/MCS success stories, which are always incredibly fulfilling to hear in a field where unfortunately many patients do not survive.

The enthusiasm of the delegates was obvious throughout, and it was particularly enjoyable to engage with likeminded colleagues during the refreshment breaks. I also relished the opportunity to catch up with former colleagues and hear about their projects and career plans.

The multidisciplinary nature of the meeting was clear and brought with it a very refreshing perspective. The value of specialist nurses and pharmacists is clear in heart failure in order to ensure we provide holistic and balanced evidence-based care to all our patients, and it was great to see the society promote this so well.

Overall, I am sure my attendance at the BSH will allow me to provide better care to patients I see everyday who suffer from heart failure. I was able to further establish links with members of the heart failure community not only in Scotland but the rest of the UK, and would thoroughly look forward to attending this excellent meeting again.

I am extremely grateful to the Scottish Cardiac Society for their support in allowing me to attend this meeting. With a limited study budget, it would have been much more difficult to attend without the kind support of the society.

Christopher Gingles – Adult Congenital Heart Disease

Start date: 4th November 2019

End date: 5th November 2019

Location: Bristol, UK

Travel reports

I am extremely grateful to the Scottish Cardiac Society for supporting my attendance of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease course from the 4th to the 5th November 2019 at the Engineers’ House in Bristol.

The course was delivered by national experts in the field, Dr Stephanie Curtis & Dr Navroz Masani, and coved a wide spectrum of congenital lesions. Learning was facilitated using echo anatomic correlation from lectures, case workshops and morphology sessions. Echocardiographic findings before and after repair were demonstrated with frequent interactive discussion of cases, culminating in a quiz to test your knowledge at the end of the course.

This an excellent course from which I have learned a great deal and has helped develop my sub-specially knowledge in congenital echo and will used in my clinical practice. I also used the opportunity to interact with national experts, doctors and physiologists from around the country with common fields of interest. I would be happy to recommend this course to anyone as an excellent opportunity to learn from a wide spectrum of interesting cases from the simple to the most complicated in the congenital spectrum.

I am extremely grateful to the Scottish Cardiac Society and the Emily Taylor Travel Fund to give me the opportunity to attend this course and its ongoing financial support for doctors in training who have limited resources to put towards training.

Novalia Sidik – Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT)

Start date: 25th September 2019

End date: 29th September 2019

Location: San Francisco

Travel reports

Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) is the largest international conference for interventional cardiology, with didactic sessions, case reviews, meet the experts and late breaking clinical trial sessions spread over five days. It serves as a platform for the latest evidence-based data on cardiovascular intervention to be shared with thousands of clinicians and scientists, and for practical education through the application of current and emerging technologies.

As an abstract presenter, I was provided with the opportunity to improve my presentation skills and disseminate my research. Engaging with the audience and answering their questions allowed me to learn through critical appraisal and feedback. The themed sessions also meant that I was able to benefit from presentations of similar focus and formulate further research questions.

Attending the numerous sessions at the conference has expanded my knowledge, not only in my area of interest, but also the broader field of interventional cardiology, which has proven useful in providing context for my own work. This is further emphasised by interactions with peers and senior academics working in the same area. Their insights and expert opinions have been invaluable.

Hands-on training sessions of various themes were also available. I had the opportunity to attend a session on large-bore access which was highly educational. The session concentrated on the use of ultrasound to guide puncture, different access points, and closure devices.

TCT 2019 has been a great experience. I have developed experience and skills by presenting my research before a group of experts in the field, and gained knowledge on the most up-to-date clinical practice and cardiovascular research that is taking place around the world.

Damien Collison – Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics 2019

Start date: 25th September 2019

End date: 29th September 2019

Location: San Francisco, USA

Travel reports

I am grateful to the Scottish Cardiac Society for an award from the Emily Taylor Travel Fund which facilitated my attendance at the international cardiology conference ‘Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics 2019’ held recently in San Francisco, USA, from 25th – 29th September. At a moderated oral poster session I presented the findings of a clinical research project performed the Golden Jubilee National Hospital in Glasgow entitled “A Comparison of Clinical and Coronary Physiology Characteristics in Patients With and Without Type 4a Myocardial Infarction Following High-Speed Rotational Atherectomy-Assisted Percutaneous Coronary Intervention”.

As the authors of an oral presentation, my colleagues and I were also fortunate to have the written abstract simultaneously published in a special supplement of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC).

The presentation prompted some stimulating discussion from attendees at the session and facilitated the development of new contacts with similarly occupied researchers from around the world. This will hopefully lead to some future collaborations with our group in Glasgow.

I was able to attend numerous seminars highlighting exciting new research directions and debating current controversies in the field of invasive coronary physiology assessment.

The opportunity to discuss the minutiae of my subspecialty research interest in person with some of the world-renowned experts on faculty at these scientific sessions was invaluable to my continued learning and development as a clinical researcher.

Without the Society’s support, the cost of attending a scientific conference in the USA would have been prohibitive so I greatly appreciate both the educational experience and the opportunity to showcase our research to an international audience that this award provided.

Amy Ferry – RCN International Research Conference

Start date: 3rd September 2019

End date: 5th September 2019

Location: Sheffield, UK

Travel reports

Prize money from the Scottish Cardiac Society enabled me to attend The Royal College of Nursing International Research Conference 2019. I submitted two abstracts one of which was accepted as a poster presentation and one as an oral presentation. This three day conference provided an excellent platform for me to present my research on the use of qualitative research methods within the setting of a clinical trial.

Having the opportunity to speak at international conferences is undoubtedly excellent and necessary research training if a research career is to be pursued. The high cost associated with conference attendance means this can only be made possible through travel bursaries.

This conference provided me the opportunity to network with peers and colleagues from across the world. I was also able to showcase the support provided to nurses by both the University of Edinburgh Centre of Cardiovascular Science and the Scottish Cardiac Society by my attendance there. As well as leading discussions about my research topic I was also able to take part in fringe events regarding the career pathways for clinical academic nurses.

Without the support of the Emily Taylor Grant I would not have been able to attend this meeting. I am very grateful for the continuing support that the Scottish Cardiac Society offers to nurse researchers. 

Alice Mezincescu – ESC Congress 2019

Start date: 31st August 2019

End date: 4th September 2019

Location: Paris, France

Travel reports

I am very grateful to the Scottish Cardiac Society for awarding me the Emily Taylor travel grant.

This has allowed me to attend ESC Congress 2019 in Paris France.

The European Society of Cardiology Congress is one of the most prestigious meetings in Cardiology where experts from all around the world gather to share their latest research.

For the last three years I have been reading for a PhD and running a small study looking at the importance of intramyocellular lipids in a population of type 2 diabetes patients and in fit athletes. Thanks to the Scottish Cardiac Society Emily Taylor grant I was able to attend this conference and present my research here. I’ve also had the opportunity to meet with other researchers from around the world and network.

During the congress I had the opportunity attend many clinical lectures and hands-on sessions which allowed me to be up to date with the latest clinical trials in Cardiology, improve my overall knowledge and skills. I am confident that this will translate into better patient care and I want to thank the Scottish Cardiac society once more for making this visit possible.

Stephen Rankin – Midlands Echocardiography Foundation Course

Start date: 24th July 2019

End date: 27th July 2019

Location: Stoke on Trent

Travel reports

I am extremely grateful to the Scottish Cardiac Society for supporting me to attend The Midlands Echocardiography Foundation course. This 3-day course is an excellent introduction to the skill of echocardiography and has greatly helped me prepare for my upcoming fellowship post in cardiology.

Echocardiography is an essential skill to have as a cardiologist. This course offers an in-depth experience covering all aspects of echocardiography with practical sessions to gain experience in echo. Without this course, I would not be able to have dedicated such an intense amount of time to echocardiography which would have made it harder to understand the basic principles of echocardiography. Now having attended this course I am comfortable in using echo and I am able to obtain images of the 4 cardiac windows and make assessments such as LV function which will be crucial in my next post as cardiology clinical fellow.

The skills I have learned over these 3 days will serve me for the rest of my career and I am extremely grateful to the Scottish Cardiac Society and the Emily Taylor Travel Fund to give me the opportunity to attend this course.