The Heart Institute provides a rich, vibrant environment for advancing one’s skills and knowledge in the cardiovascular realm. It is a relatively unique setting in that physicians, nurses and researchers can engage in a wide range of education interests and mandatory training programs all within the same setting.
In terms of research and education, the Institute enjoys a close working relationship with the University of Ottawa. Our academic requirements are to educate and train undergraduates, graduates, and postgraduates in an environment that mandates a vigorous pursuit of research. As a cardiovascular centre of excellence, we provide the academic teaching, training, and research required by the University.
Physicians here hold teaching appointments within the University’s Faculty of Medicine, overseeing students in their cardiac rotations, residency and fellowship programs. Our teaching programs include undergraduate and postgraduate electives.
In Cardiology, residency training includes rotations in a wide range of units and functions, including the Coronary Care Unit, Catheterization Lab, Consultation Service, Cardiology Ward, Electrophysiology, Echocardiography, Non-Invasive Testing, Nuclear Cardiology, Research, Cardiac CT, Pediatric Cardiology, Adult Congenital Cardiology, and Ambulatory Cardiac Care.
Fellowships and Research Fellowships are also offered in Echocardiography, Invasive Cardiology, Nuclear Cardiology, Cardiac CT, and Positron Emission Tomography (PET). The scope of our educational programs extends beyond normal parameters, encompassing areas such as advanced practice nursing, research methodology, biostatistics, and medical ethics.
In Surgery, as part of the Heart Institute’s ongoing mission to educate new generations of young surgeons, the Division of Cardiac Surgery is fully accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada to train residents. Training requires a minimum of six years, following the completion of medical school, and we have 10 residents and one clinical fellow in the program.
Adult cardiac surgery for Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec is performed exclusively at the Heart Institute. As well, we receive referrals which come from across Ontario and Canada. We perform about 1,700 open heart procedures annually ranging from coronary surgery, valve repair and replacement, arrhythmia surgery, mechanical circulatory support, and transplantation.
In Nursing, education and training is providing through a variety of mechanisms including an annual Cardiac Nursing Series as well as online reviews, seminars and tests that provide an ability to work at your own pace as opportunities arise. Topics cover all aspects of care. For example, the 2008–09 Cardiac Nursing Series covered cardiac assessment and diagnostics, basic arrhythmia interpretation, heart failure, cardiac assist devices, cardiac surgery and more. Nurse educators exist in every major nursing unit to cultivate and promote knowledge development and best practices, much of which is developed at the Heart Institute.
In terms of research, the academic enrichment year may be used in various ways including laboratory or clinical research. Cardiac research at the Heart Institute enables young scientists to engage in a range of projects such as myocardial preservation, hematology, molecular biology, and hyperlipidemia.
There is a well structured set of seminars held weekly during the residents’academic half-day. These include postgraduate rounds in cardiac and thoracic surgery, cardiac pathology rounds, cardiac and thoracic case presentation rounds, journal club, and cardiac grand rounds. Residents are encouraged to present their research findings at national and international meetings and it is suggested that they attend at least one meeting per year. Funding is provided for this as available.