Cardiovascular disease prevention career pathways: The status quo and future directions

Anum Saeed, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
Anandita Agarwala, Baylor Scott and White Health Heart Hospital Baylor Plano, Plano, TX, USA.
Anurag Mehta, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA.
Maxwell E. Afari, Divison of Cardiology, Maine Medical Center, Portland, ME, USA.


Cardiovascular disease prevention is a complicated field requiring similar resource allocation and training as any other subspecialty in cardiology. To highlight the increasing need for primordial, primary and secondary cardiovascular disease prevention at a population level, it is necessary to have a clear vision for not only adequate training in the field but also sample career trajectories that today's fellows-intraining (FIT) and early career (EC) physicians can use as a reference. However due to less centralized training, reduced exposure to the discipline and no clear institutional champions, direct access to "role model" careers in cardiovascular disease prevention may be lacking for today's generation of trainees. These trends may change with more formalized recognition and more visibility of career trajectories in the field. In the current short report, we propose career pathways in cardiovascular disease prevention that can serve as a board resource roadmap for today's FIT/EC physicians to design their careers in cardiovascular disease prevention. We explore three types of preventive cardiologists prototypes including; "the researcher", "the clinician" and "the academic" preventive cardiologist models. These models are based on experiences gained in separate preventive cardiology training fellowships in addition to general cardiology training. Further, with advances in the scientific technologies, we highlight the future trajectory in the field. Preventive cardiology, although currently not the most desired path for FIT/EC physicians to pursue today, has the potential to be seen as the lucrative and essential training field in the future.