My Experience with ASNC's Virtual Learning Program

By Nikolaos Spilias, MD

April 9, 2020

The ASNC Virtual Nuclear Cardiology Elective is a great educational initiative, not only for cardiology trainees but also for all nuclear medicine and radiology physician trainees interested in nuclear cardiology.

Each session includes a clinically oriented lecture on a specific topic with the most current evidence from the literature followed by real patient cases, which are thoroughly discussed among the attendees.

Active participation of fellows and attending cardiologists from hospitals across the U.S. creates a unique learning environment where different approaches and points-of-view are shared in the most productive way. Attendees are encouraged to participate in the sessions and comment on the cases by using their microphone through the Zoom application. This is ideal for interactive learning.

The daily sessions have been very informative and educational. Each of the sessions so far has enjoyed the participation of more than 300 trainees and physicians. This demonstrates attendees' enthusiasm as well as the high yield and quality of the didactic sessions. Besides being exposed to different systems and ways of obtaining and processing nuclear images at top cardiology hospitals, we have the privilege to interact directly with, and learn from, world experts in nuclear cardiology.

Tips for Optimal Learning

As fellows, we can get the most out of this experience by actively participating during the sessions and by asking questions in the chat. The hosts have been extremely helpful in answering all of our questions and explaining the special features of each case. I've also found it beneficial to take time after each session to study the topics that were discussed. I find this effort makes it easier for me to “consolidate” the knowledge and fill in possible gaps.

A Window to the Future

The ASNC Virtual Nuclear Cardiology Elective is a bright example of how every crisis—including the current pandemic—gives rise to unique opportunities. In this case, we are learning ways to become more efficient and productive by using modern technology to spread knowledge and strengthen the bonds within the medical community. I strongly believe that this type of learning should be encouraged and become widely available when things return to “normal.” Similar initiatives organized by ASNC as well as other medical societies will undoubtedly add significant value to the education of clinical trainees and physicians of different specialties.

Nikolaos Spilias, MD, is a PGY-5 Cardiovascular Medicine Fellow at the Cleveland Clinic's Heart and Vascular Institute.