proposal for a core curriculum for a European Sports Cardiology qualification
Sports cardiology is a new and rapidly evolving subspecialty. It aims to elucidate the cardiovascular effects of regular exercise and delineate its benefits and risks, so that safe guidance can be provided to all individuals engaging in sports and/or physical activity in order to attain the maximum potential benefit at the lowest possible risk. The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) advocates systematic preparticipation cardiovascular screening in an effort to identify competitive athletes at risk of exercise-related cardiovascular events and sudden cardiac death. However, the implementation of preparticipation screening is hindered because of lack of structured training and as a result lack of sufficient expertise in the field of sports cardiology. In 2008 the European Society of Cardiology published a core curriculum for the general cardiologist, in which sports cardiology was incorporated within the topic 'Rehabilitation and Exercise Physiology'. However, the exponential rise in knowledge and the growing demand for expertise in the field of sports cardiology dictates the need to systematically structure the knowledge base of sports cardiology into a detailed curriculum. We envisage that the curriculum would facilitate more uniform training and guideline implementation throughout Europe, and safeguard that evaluation and guidance of competitive athletes or individuals who wish to engage in leisure-time sports activities is performed by physicians with expertise in the field. The current manuscript provides a comprehensive curriculum for sports cardiology, which may serve as a framework upon which universities and national and international health authorities will develop the training, evaluation and accreditation in sports cardiology.
European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 2013, Vol 20, Issue 5, p. 889-903