Overview on the Certificate Course in Cardiac Electrophysiology for Allied Professionals

Jason Riley, Director, Cardiac Electrophysiology Institute of Australasia (CEPIA)

Jason Riley, Director, Cardiac Electrophysiology Institute of Australasia (CEPIA)

Background Despite the many excellent conferences and symposiums available to the EP community, for those residing in the Asia-Pacific region, there was no dedicated and comprehensive educational program designed to educate allied professionals and EP fellows in the complex field of cardiac electrophysiology. Realizing there was a lack of formal education in this area, Jason Riley founded the Cardiac Electrophysiology Institute of Australasia (CEPIA), an independent organization with the aim of providing the ultimate EP teaching program and setting the industry benchmark for educational qualifications. After years of research and preparation, the Certificate Course in Cardiac Electrophysiology was developed, which is designed to teach all there is to know about cardiac electrophysiology, from basic anatomy to advanced 2D and 3D mapping techniques, with an emphasis on the analysis of intracardiac recordings. It is a “real world” course teaching both theoretical and practical skills, endowing participants with the ability to perform any diagnostic or invasive electrophysiologic procedure, from syncope studies to atrial fibrillation ablation procedures.  Course Setup The course consists of three separate modules, each of three days duration, in which delegates receive lectures, tutorials, case studies and participate in practical hands-on sessions. The first course was run in 2007, and was substantially expanded upon and improved for 2008, based on delegate feedback. Delegates are examined on each module via an online exam, as well as having to submit a workbook designed to assess the practical application of the theory taught. Module A was held on February 6-8 of this year, and delegates received comprehensive lectures on Anatomy and Physiology, Principles of EP, Sinus and AV Node Dysfunction and Cardiac Pharmacology, by experts such as Dr. David Whalley, Assoc. Prof. Michael Kilborn and Dr. Bruce Walker. They also participated in tutorials on catheter location using x-ray fluoroscopy, as well as hands-on sessions covering cardiac anatomy, EP catheters and sheaths and EP recording equipment. Module B was just recently conducted (May 28-30, 2008), with lectures being delivered by Dr. Anne Powell, Dr. Stephen Pavia, Dr. Paul Stobie and Dr. Michael Davis on the more meaty subjects of Principles of Ablation, AV Node Reentrant Tachycardia, AV Reentrant Tachycardia and the fascinating Rare Supraventricular Tachycardia Syndromes covering Atriofascicular Fibres, Fasciculoventricular Fibres and Persistent Junctional Reciprocating Tachycardia. Delegates enjoyed participating in the hands-on ablation session and being able to see and hear the dreaded “steam pop,” as well as the tutorial on how to decipher and interpret RF ablation plots. Everyone will reconvene on September 10-12 for Module C, which will complete the course with lectures on Atrial Tachycardia, Atrial Flutter, Atrial Fibrillation and Ventricular Tachycardia. Module C is scheduled to take place at the Mercure Hotel Brisbane in Brisbane, Australia. Course Benefits The CEPIA Certificate Course in Cardiac Electro-physiology is designed to teach both the theoretical and practical skills needed to work in this exciting and technically challenging field, and successful graduates are awarded a Certificate of Accreditation. Currently the course is being assessed by the Australian government with the intention of upgrading it to a nationally recognized Graduate Diploma. This has been an enormous undertaking, but it is one which will improve the overall standing of the course, and will allow participants to receive an official government-recognized qualification that can be used to further their careers. The course is run in an open mic format, allowing everyone to ask questions at any time, with plenty of time for group discussions and debate. Many debates are continued by delegates after hours in local pubs and restaurants, which is a practice fully encouraged by CEPIA and its faculty! Since delegates attend from cities all over Australia as well as New Zealand, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines, it is a great way to network and discuss different practices. The CEPIA course is the only course in Australasia to be endorsed by the Heart Rhythm Society, and is also supported by Biosense Webster, St. Jude Medical, Medtronic and GE Healthcare. For more information, please visit: www.cepia.com.au