ABIM Announces New Option For MOC Assessment Starting January 2018 The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) has announced plans to offer a new Maintenance of Certification (MOC) assessment option beginning in January 2018. Under the new option, physicians who “engage in and perform well” on shorter assessments would have the option to test out of the current 10-year exam. The 10-year exam, however, will also remain available as a second option. According to ABIM, this new option will be available for physicians maintaining certification in internal medicine, and, possibly, one or two subspecialties starting in January 2018. Based on feedback from these early adopters, ABIM expects to make this option available to additional subspecialties as quickly as possible over subsequent program cycles. The ABIM expects to provide more specific details about the alternative assessment option no later than Dec. 31, 2016. In the meantime, physicians with certifications that expire before the new assessment option is offered in their specialty will still need to take and pass the 10-year exam in order to maintain their certification. Finding an alternative to the 10-year examination has been one of the top MOC goals of the ACC and the rest of the internal medicine community. “MOC continues to rank among the top concerns of our internal medicine members, with the 10-year examination being the largest obstacle,” says ACC President Richard A. Chazal, MD, FACC. “We applaud ABIM’s move in the direction of more flexibility in MOC requirements; however, we will need more details to see how it aligns with ACC’s proposal.” Learn more on ACC's MOC Information Hub at ACC.org/MOC. WHAT’S NEW IN CLINICAL DOCUMENTS ACC/AHA Release Focused Update on the Use of DAPT Updated guidelines for the use of dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) – aspirin plus a P2Y12 inhibitor – in patients with coronary artery disease, were released March 29 by the ACC and the American Heart Association and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The document updates recommendations on duration of DAPT across six previously published guidelines. In the update, recommendations for DAPT generally consist of a Class I recommendation of “should be given” for a minimum time period of time (usually six to 12 months), and a Class Iib recommendation of “may be considered” for continuation beyond that time. Shorter duration of DAPT is recommended for patients at lower ischemic risk with high bleeding risk, whereas a longer duration of treatment may be reasonable for patients at higher ischemic risk with lower bleeding risk. To accompany the DAPT Update, the ACC has developed a DAPT After PCI Overview Tool that provides clinicians with guidance when treating stable ischemic heart disease and acute coronary syndrome patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention. Also check out ACC’s DAPT Hub at ACC.org/DAPT for all of the available ACC resources, expert commentary, a poll and more. Join the conversations on Twitter using the hashtag #DAPT. ACC Publishes Guidance For Non-Statin Therapies A new expert consensus document regarding the use of non-statin therapies to lower cholesterol in high-risk patients published April 1 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. This document is the first expert consensus decision pathway from the ACC and provides practical guidance for clinicians and patients in situations not covered by the 2013 ACC/American Heart Association Guideline on the Treatment of Blood Cholesterol to Reduce Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Risk in Adults. Since the publication of the 2013 cholesterol guideline, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors for certain patients and the recent publication of the HPS2-THRIVE and IMPROVE-IT trials have provided new evidence about adding non-statin therapies to statins as combination therapy. “This consensus pathway document is the first in a new format, where we offer guidance to clinicians in an easy to understand algorithm approach framed in a data supported fashion,” said James L. Januzzi Jr., MD, FACC, chair of ACC’s Task Force on Clinical Expert Consensus Documents. Special Issue of JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging Highlights Value of CV Imaging in Women A special issue of JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging, published on April 4, focused on unique sex and gender evidence in the evaluation of ischemic heart disease, valvular disease, screening and radiation exposure, and more. In an ACC in Touch Blog article, Leslee J. Shaw, PhD, FACC, associate editor of JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging and a member of ACC’s Cardiovascular Disease in Women Committee, notes that “The response from the research community was amazing and signifies true interest in identifying causal pathways and novel diagnostic approaches tailored for women. This is a must-read issue for all physicians, women’s health experts and female patients!” New PCI Bleeding Risk Checklist Now Available The ACC has released a Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) Bleeding Risk Checklist designed to inform physicians and the cardiovascular care team about common problems and possible solutions to reducing bleeding risks after PCI procedures. The checklist facilitates consistent risk assessment and communication between a physician and patient undergoing a PCI procedure. The checklist is the first tool in a new PCI Bleeding Risk Toolkit available through ACC’s Quality Improvement for Institutions. Visit CVQuality.ACC.org to download the checklist. Joining Member Sections Member Sections are the driving force for putting ACC’s strategy into action. Member Sections provide in-depth clinical knowledge specific to each specialty and bring together a network of health care professionals with similar interests. To join Member Sections and help drive initiatives within the College, visit ACC.org/Membership or call ACC’s Resource Center at 202-375-6000, ext. 5603. ACC Launches First Open-Access Journal – JACC: Basic to Translational Science In April, the ACC launched its first open-access journal – JACC: Basic to Translational Science – which serves as a forum for advancing the field of translational cardiovascular medicine, and as a platform for accelerating the translation of novel scientific discoveries into new therapies that improve clinical outcomes for patients affected with or at risk for cardiovascular disease. Highlights from the first issue include a look at “kinetics and signal activation properties of circulating factor(s) from healthy volunteers undergoing remote ischemic preconditioning,” as well as whether “extracellular matrix hydrogel promotes tissue remodeling, arteriogenesis and perfusion in a rat hindlimb ischemia model.” Visit BasicTranslational.OnlineJACC.org to learn more. NOTABLE NEWS Paula Adina Johnson, MD, MPH, FACC, Named President of Wellesley College Paula Johnson, MD, MPH, FACC, has been named the 14th president of Wellesley College, the first African American to serve in the position. Johnson previously served as a professor and faculty member at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in addition to serving as chief of the Division of Women’s Health at Harvard Medical School and Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. According to Wellesley College’s announcement, “Having devoted her life to improving the lives of women, Dr. Johnson brings a rare understanding of the issues of equity, inclusion, and well-being that are so important to our community.” In Memoriam: Arnold Martin Katz, MD, FACC Arnold Martin Katz, MD, FACC, a prominent figure in cardiovascular research, passed away in late January. In addition to receiving the American Heart Association’s 1975 Humboldt Prize for research achievement, Katz was also honored with the Peter Harris Distinguished Scientist Award of the International Society for Heart Research, the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Heart Failure Society of America, and the Medal of Merit of the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences. He previously served as the first chief of cardiology at the University of Connecticut’s School of Medicine and, after retirement, as a visiting professor of medicine and physiology at Dartmouth Medical School and Harvard Medical School. During his lifetime, Katz published over 400 articles and his textbook, Physiology, is now in its 5th edition. Katz is survived by his wife, four children and eight grandchildren. Katz will be greatly missed by his colleagues, students, friends and family. Anthony A. Hilliard, MD, FACC, Named Associate Chief Medical Officer at LLU Anthony A. Hilliard, MD, FACC, was named the associate chief medical officer for medical services at Loma Linda University International Health Institute. The position is one of three newly created in early 2016, including associate chief medical officer for children services and associate chief medical officer for surgical services. Hilliard is a member of ACC’s Leadership Academy and the chair of the Early Career Section Leadership Council Paulette S. Wehner, MD, FACC, Selected For ACGME Task Force The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has selected Paulette S. Wehner, MD, FACC, to serve as a member of the Sponsoring Institution 2025 Task Force. As part of the Task Force, Wehner will help lead the conversation on the future of medical resident education and setting new goals. Wehner currently serves as the vice dean for graduate medical education at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and is an interventional cardiologist with the school’s department of cardiology William A. Zoghbi, MD, MACC, Named Chair of Cardiology at Houston Methodist Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center announced in early April that ACC Past President William A. Zoghbi, MD, MACC, has been named chair of the department of cardiology. “I am honored and very excited to lead the department of cardiology at this juncture,” Zoghbi said. “We have a tremendous opportunity to grow and continue leading medicine, providing the most comprehensive cardiovascular care to patients, innovating in research and training the future generations of cardiologists.” According to Houston Methodist, Zoghbi has been an innovator during his 30 year clinical and academic career, and is renowned as one of the top cardiologists in the world in the field of cardiovascular imaging.
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