Orientation lectures are program-specific and held each July and August for all trainees entering the program. The objectives of these lectures are to introduce our cardiovascular imaging program, protocols, and technology; and broad exposure to the mentors and their respective research projects, the various methodologies employed, and current studies, including rationale, protocol, and progress. In addition, trainees are also required to attend introductory workshops offered by the BWH Center for Clinical Investigation to introduce the beginning clinical investigator to the world of human based research. Workshops include topics like biostatistics, clinical epidemiology, genetics and genomics, HIPAA issues, institutional review boards, and research patient data registries (RPDR).
Advanced coursework in medical physics: This is a one-semester, program-specific, comprehensive course in medical physics applied to noninvasive cardiovascular imaging, and it is required for all trainees. The objective of this course is to provide a comprehensive, clinically-relevant, and integrated review of medical physics in nuclear medicine, cardiac and vascular MRI, and CT, and related fields. This course is directed by Dr. Michael Jerosch-Herold, one of the mentors in this program.
Laboratory Research Meetings
Individual imaging laboratories run a weekly meeting to discuss research progress within the laboratory. These experiences include journal clubs as well as a review of research progress. This provides the trainee with the opportunity to observe and participate in laboratory discussions that often lead to the posing of novel research questions, development of proposals, refinement of scientific methods and techniques, and deliberations about the importance and significance of research findings. Each trainee is expected to present his/her research plan, discuss its progress, and when complete, present the findings to other members of the multi-disciplinary imaging group.
Research-in-Progress Seminars are held bi-monthly. This seminar series is attended by faculty members within and outside the T32 program, post-doctoral trainees including the T32 fellows, and students. They feature presentations of research projects conducted by trainees and, occasionally, junior faculty. Trainees are required to present their research progress at least twice during each of the two research years of their training program. Faculty mentors lead the discussion following these presentations.
Cardiovascular Imaging Grand Rounds are held every Monday at noon. These conferences are typically patient-centered and follow a didactic or case-base format that reviews the role of noninvasive imaging in diagnosis and management of different clinical conditions and discussion of relevant scientific literature. These conferences feature speakers from BWH and visiting Professors from other institutions. Dr. Ron Blankstein, co-director of the clinical training program in cardiovascular imaging, directs these conferences.
Difficult Case Conferences are held every Thursday at noon. The objective of this conference is to discuss cases that present challenges to interpretation, diagnostic dilemmas, or unusual findings of common and/or rare pathology. The conferences are led by the clinical and/or research trainees (especially for challenging cases that occur in the context of a research project). Clinical and imaging faculty participate in the discussion. Dr. Justina Wu, co-director of the clinical training program in cardiovascular imaging, coordinates this weekly conference.
Difficult Case Conference
Journal Clubs are held monthly. This activity is led by a trainee and precepted by one faculty member. It helps trainees to critically analyze research data, identify strengths and weaknesses and discuss potential alternatives to study design and/or analyses. It occasionally results in new research ideas for trainees to pursue.
There are other required and elective courses available at BWH and Harvard University, which complement the program-specific learning activities outlined above. When applicable, tuition for coursework (e.g., Clinical Effectiveness Program, Master’s degree in Public Health, Epidemiology, or Health Policy, etc.) is supported by the training-related expenses available in the T32 budget.