Didactic College

The DICET Didactic College is a collection of conferences and symposia such as the Cardiovascular Fellows Boot Camp, Multi-Modality Cardiovascular Imaging for the Clinician, the Re-Evolution Summit and a number of smaller conferences that occur throughout the year. 


Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center Grand Rounds

During Grand Rounds, invited guest speakers present on topics in cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, vascular surgery and on various imaging modalities. Note to physicians: Houston Methodist designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

Weekly Cardiology Fellows Board Review
Cardiology fellows prepare for boards and recertification using the DVD curriculum of the Mayo Clinic Cardiovascular Review Course for Cardiology Boards & Recertification. Lectures on state-of-the-art subjects in cardiovascular medicine are followed by question and answer sessions. Topics are selected by the chief cardiology fellow.

Multi-Modality (Echo/MRI/CT/Nuclear) Conference
This is a discussion and a presentation in real time about different imaging modalities. The director of the Cardiovascular Imaging Institute selects the topic.

Heart Valve Conference
Case discussions and literature review will be moderated by Stephen Little, MD. Physicians discuss current cases, diagnostic considerations and strategies, available treatment options and surgical intervention where appropriate.

Cardiology Fellows Research Conference
Discussion centers around recent randomized multicenter clinical trials published in the literature and is moderated by Craig Pratt, MD.

Vascular Surgery Conference
Vascular surgery faculty and fellows discuss vascular surgery case studies. Discussion is moderated by Carlos Bechara, MD.

Cardiac Electrophysiology Conference
A review of topics in electrophysiology will be presented by Miguel Valderràbano, MD, and Paul Schurmann, MD. The conference format varies, including discussion of interesting electrophysiology cases, discussion of how to interpret tracings and review of the literature.

Multidisciplinary Ischemic Heart Disease Conference
Discussion of current ischemic heart disease cases and review of the relevant literature are moderated by Mahesh Ramchandani, MD, and Neal Kleiman, MD. Physicians discuss the best treatments for patients.

Cardiac Catheterization Conference
This conference includes an explanation of the various invasive procedures performed in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab. Participants view images of diseased coronary arteries, peripheral artery disease, abnormalities in heart chambers and heart valves. There is a review of the normal anatomy and physiology of the coronary arteries. Topics are selected by Neal Kleiman, MD.

Cardiovascular Imaging Journal Club Conference
During journal club conferences, cardiovascular imaging fellows hold regular discussions about recently published articles in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography (JASE), Circulation and Circulation Imaging. A faculty moderator, Su Min Chang, MD, is present during these discussions.

Conferences & Symposia

Cardiovascular Fellows’ Bootcamp
This condensed weekend course in the fundamentals of cardiovascular sciences for fellows and residents is designed to upgrade knowledge early in training. It is targeted for first year vascular surgery, cardiology, CT surgery, vascular medicine, interventional radiology fellows and third year primary certificate VS residents.

On the first day trainees immediately begin honing their technical skills in a full day of hands-on training with cadavers and simulators. Trainees can choose from 3 tracks: vascular, cardiology, and cardiac. The vascular track will demonstrate ultrasound-guided access, dissection and exposures on cadavers, and open vascular and endovascular surgical training. The cardiology track covers topics such as TEE/TTE interpretation using simulators, emergent hands-on management, tips and tricks for vascular access, cardiac catheterization, and a guided tour of cardiac and vascular anatomy from a surgeon’s point of view. The cardiac track will review cardiopulmonary bypass, coronary artery bypass grafting, aortic valve replacement, mitral valve techniques, aortic root replacement, and A-Fib ablation procedures. The skills lab is followed by an evening of interactive lectures on a variety of topics including peri-operative testing and risk stratification, basic cardiac and vascular hemodynamics, and vasospastic disorders and vasculitis.
The second day is comprised of interactive lectures on lower extremity arterial disease and renal artery disease, followed by concurrent sessions on the topics of abdominal and thoracic aortic disease, venous disease, heart failure, heart rhythm, and ischemic disease.

The final day’s lectures have concurrent sessions on visceral artery disease, thoracic outlet and upper extremity, dialysis access, cardiac imaging, and structural heart disease. At completion of this course, fellows will have a deeper foundation in the fundamentals of cardiovascular science. 

Learn more about Cardiovascular Fellows' Bootcamp 2016.

Cardiovascular Fellows’ Finishing School
Vascular Fellows have only two years to assimilate the “tools of the trade”: imaging, medical care of the vascular patient, endovascular, and open surgical skills. Although there are many high quality programs around the United States, few provide a truly comprehensive vascular education.  Consequently, many trainees sense an increasing degree of anxiety as they enter the last 6 months of fellowship with the sudden realization that they will be independently functioning practitioners within the near future.  The Cardiovascular Surgery Finishing School offers fellows a variety of options, which they can customize to some extent to meet any unmet needs they perceive. Both didactic and hands-on components are offered in this weekend course. 

A full day of one hour rotations provides hands-on training with cadavers and models on a wide range of methods including: thoracoabdominal exposure, SMA bypass, abdominal and thoracic debranching techniques, and vertebral, subclavian and obturator bypass, the difficult aortic neck, snorkel and sandwich techniques, stent grafting for ruptured AAA, carotid flow reversal, venous ablation, and perforator ablation.

Learn more about Cardiovascular Fellows' Finishing School 2016.

Pre-Intern Training for Vascular Residents
Incoming 4th year medical students who have matched into integrated vascular surgery residencies learn the skills to function on the floor and in the OR from their first day. Trainees practice their skills in hands-on workshops covering vascular dissection, ultrasound prep, ultrasound-guided access, anastomoses, endovascular techniques, and radiation safety. Before the event, trainees complete homework assignments on vascular physiology, ultrasound prep and vascular grafts to ensure deep understanding of these topics. The day’s lectures are customized to fill gaps in knowledge.

Learn more about Pre-Intern Training for Vascular Residents 2016

Pumps and Pipes
The solution to our problems most likely lies in someone else's toolbox; the challenge is in finding it. A significant problem in medical technology, and perhaps the energy business, is that developers are very inbred, exposed only to like-thinking individuals, which prevents innovation and the maturation of "out of the box" ideas. We believe that great benefit may be gained by exposing cardiovascular and imaging researchers to technology currently available in the aerospace field and in the oil and gas industry. We created this problem-focused forum to analyze issues relevant to the aerospace, energy and medical worlds, presenting and discussing with opposite industry counterparts, in an exploration of complementary technologies. Learn more at pumpsandpipes.com

Re-Evolution Summit
Cardiac surgery is undergoing a significant paradigm shift toward increasing minimal access surgery within all subspecialty areas of practice. These include interventions for cardiac valve repair, coronary revascularization, ablation of atrial fibrillation, aortic pathology and heart failure. Training in these minimally invasive techniques is important to better serve patients, improve outcomes and maintain a competitive advantage. The goal of this conference is to provide up-to-date evidence-based didactic lectures, along with expert-instructed hands-on exposure to the latest in all aspects of minimal access cardiac surgery with an emphasis on hybrid approaches.

Southwest Valve Summit
This Heart Valve Summit is designed to highlight case-based decision making for the accurate diagnosis and effective treatment of heart valve disorders. With an emphasis on functional anatomy, imaging innovation and percutaneous valve interventions, this course will engage and educate cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurse practitioners, internal medicine specialists and fellows in training. This interdisciplinary summit will combine short presentations, debates and an ask-the-expert live valve conference to expose participants to the most relevant medical, surgical and interventional options for contemporary patient care. The topics, cases and discussions will include both accepted and controversial treatment paradigms and will offer novel perspectives and recommendations to all members of the heart valve team. Learn more about Southwest Valve Summit IV.

EMS Bootcamp: Managing Cardiovascular Emergencies
EMS professionals receive training on evaluating and treating patients with life threatening cardiovascular diseases, including those awaiting cardiac transplant while being assisted by a ventricular assist device (VAD).

Cardiovascular MRI
Associated with its robust nature, cardiovascular MRI (CMR) is a very complex technology with a steep learning curve. As a result, there are currently few centers performing CMR in routine clinical practice. The Cardiovascular MRI Workshop is a weeklong program that covers the practical applications of cardiac MRI. Topics include basic MRI principles, cardiac anatomy, late gadolinium enhancement, stress imaging, vascular imaging, case interpretations and troubleshooting of image acquisitions.

Multimodality Cardiovascular Imaging
Knowledge of various imaging modalities is critical to understanding their advantages, limitations and appropriate utilization in patients with ischemic heart disease, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, cardiomyopathy, masses, valvular disease and aortic disease. This symposium offers the opportunity, in addition to didactic lectures by world experts, to have small group tutorials in each imaging modality, and hands-on experience with heart specimens to better visualize and understand cardiac and valvular structure and enhance correlations with cardiac imaging.

Transcranial Imaging Center
The Transcranial Imaging Center has a continued commitment to education in cerebrovascular ultrasound techniques. Individualized training courses in transcranial Doppler, transcranial duplex imaging and carotid duplex studies are offered in either a five-day (weekdays) or a two-day (weekend) format. The courses are directed toward physicians involved in caring for patients with stroke (neurologists, neurosurgeons, vascular surgeons and neurointensivists) and vascular technologists and other health professionals who need training in vascular ultrasound technology.

Vascular Surgical Training Association of Houston (VaSTAH)
Vascular surgery residents and fellows from the Houston area can attend these monthly didactic and hands-on workshops. A morning didactic session focused on a single vascular bed is followed by hands-on rotations pertaining to surgical techniques based on that vascular bed, while working through various stations in MITIESM.