To Members of the Heart Failure Society of America:
It was my pleasure to participate in HFSA’s AHFTC Fellowship Consensus Conference on April 26-27 in Atlanta. This Conference, led by Mark Drazner, MD, Immediate Past President at HFSA, gathered over 20 advanced heart failure physicians to discuss themes generated from nearly 40 interviews with key stakeholders and additional data from multiple surveys.
The lively and passionate discussion and respectful debate over these two days made me proud to be a member of the HFSA and to associate myself with such talented and dedicated heart failure physicians. I want to thank all of the participants in the Conference for taking time out of their busy schedules to work on a critical issue facing our profession.
Several themes emerged from the data and discussion in Atlanta:
- Fellows entering an AHFTC fellowship typically want an academic job in VAD/transplant
- Work/life balance is an issue
- There are more therapies and devices in heart failure yet training still focuses on VAD/transplant
- Lack of compensation (real or perceived) is an issue
- AHFTC has an image and exposure issue
The potential options for action fell into five categories:
- Alternative fellowship pathways
- Regulatory/compensation efforts
- Marketing the AHFTC fellowship
- Mitigating quality of life/mental health challenges
- Improved education/exposure
The Board of Directors is developing specific plans based on the work at the Consensus Conference in the coming months and extending into years with the goal of drawing more physicians to the heart failure profession, enhancing their experience and careers as heart failure physicians and improving the care we provide to our patients.
John Teerlink, MD, FHFSA
HFSA President 2022-2023