6th Annual Advances in Cardiovascular Diagnosis & Therapy

One of many benefits of continuing medical education events, besides the opportunity to share and learn the latest information in one’s field, is the chance to renew old friendships and test out or strike up new collaborations.

This was the case recently at the CME event hosted by the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and organized by course director Michael C. Giudici, MD, FACC, FACP, FHRS. As emcee for the day, Giudici introduced each speaker and while they were getting set up, he drew names of attendees for gift card door prizes. Every now and then he would read a name and express surprise at his own recognition. “I haven’t seen you in forever,” he might say.

But it was not just attendees who were reconnecting. Guest speaker Firas Zahr, MD, now director of Interventional Cardiology and co-director of the Complex Heart Valve Program at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon, had been a member of University of Iowa Health Care until just a couple years ago. Former colleagues were glad to see him and attendees were also treated to his participation in two different presentations, first on transcatheter valve therapy and then as part of a panel on mitral regurgitation with Mohammad Bashir, MBBS, and Ramzi El Accaoui, MD. Suzanne Hennings, MSN, ARNP, moderated their case study discussion.

The day began with an introduction from Division Director Barry London, MD, PhD, who was followed by Kan Liu, MD, PhD, director of the UI Heart and Vascular Center’s Echocardiology Lab. Liu walked audience members through a variety of different medical image interpretation techniques. He was followed by the first panel discussion of the day, a series of case studies in heart failure with discussion between Alex Briasoulis, MD, PhD, and Jessie Baker, MSN, ARNP. Their conversation and audience participation was facilitated by Katie Halbmaier, DNP, ARNP.

Milena A. Gebska, MD, PhD, spent time detailing the different ways that cardiovascular diseases manifest in women than in men, requiring consideration in treatment options. Gebska also described novel therapeutics for primary and secondary prevention. Zahr’s solo presentation and panel discussion were next separated by a lunch.

Archit Sharma, MBBS, followed the afternoon panel with a detailed description of the variety of options available in ECMO, a procedure in which a person’s blood is removed, oxygenated, and replaced, when they are unable to do so on their own. Sharma explained the situations in which this extreme but life-sustaining measure might be required and when it might be inadvisable. Steven Bailin, MD, was next and he defined syncope and provided a number of practical approaches for evaluation and management.

As is often the case with CME events, the day closed with a presentation from a fellow. This time, it was Amgad Mentias, MD and Chief Fellow in Cardiology. Mentias revealed the results of a retrospective analysis he and his colleagues performed, looking at VA data to find in what instances would critical limb ischemia in veterans result in amputation, revealing that use of revascularization procedures could reduce the likelihood of need for later amputation.

At the end of an informative but fast day, Giudici offered his thanks to the speakers and the attendees and invited all back, even former colleagues, next year.

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