10+ Year Member
Dec 16, 2007
Hi everyone,

Today I was fortunate enough to shadow a private practice interventional cardiologist and saw a whopping 8 cases in one day.

In the few minutes of lunch break we had, I tried really probing my mentor for a ten year outlook in terms of research and expansion in intervention but he was quite vague mentioning perhaps valve replacements and septal defects...

I also ran into an EP but he didn't go into specifics either for his field...

So overall, I don't really have a sense of what the field could be like in 10 years (when I would actually start working).

I want to be in something that will constantly grow, expand, and change (academic setting as well). So I am currently in between cards and hem/onc but sort of towards hem/onc after today.

Summary - two questions

1) What is your overall standpoint on the ten year outlook for interventional and EP cards individually in terms of research and expansion?

2) Where does a low life medical student try to find editorials/reviews/big picture thinkers of the respective fields?

Thank you for your opinions and information.
Feb 18, 2010
It is hard to accurately predict how any field would be like in 10 years time. More so when you are busy private practice cardiologists. It's foolish to decide between two totally different specialties based on these two interactions.

While it is hard to look into the crystal ball, it is much easier to look back at what happened in the last 10 years, as a measure of how the field "grows, expands and changes". A few things that happened in Cardiology in the last 10 years, off the top of my head:

Interventional cards - Drug-eluting stents since 2003, currently 2nd generation and 3rd generation stents (not much different from iPods :laugh:), carotid stenting, percutaneous valve replacements, percutaneous ASD closures, percutaneous left atrial appendage occlusion...

EP - Advances in a-fib ablations, VT ablations, popularity of ICDs, biventricular devices, cardiac resynchronization devices...

Cardiology is much more than Interventional and EP. For instance, there have also been many advances in imaging (3D and 4D echocardiography, contrast echocardiography, cardiac CT, cardiac MRI, cardiac PET), heart failure and transplants (LVADs, artificial hearts), genetics and genomics (genome-wide associations, personalized medicine), preventive and general cardiology (advances in medical therapies and MI care), etc.

When you consider all that has happened in the last 10 years, it is unlikely that there won't be similar "growth, expansion and changes" in the next 10.

One measure of "growth, expansion and changes" in Cardiology research is the explosion in cardiology journals over the last 10 years... the two most reputed cardiology journals Circulation and JACC recently spawned 8 sibling journals in total to accomodate all the new research. There are several dedicated journals for every diagnosis and specialty out there - EP, interventional cardiology, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, cardiac CT, cardiac MRI, nuclear cardiology, etc.

This is just the Cards perspective, I am sure Hem/Onc also has had significant developments over the last 10 years, and will have more in the next 10.

Good luck!