An Introduction to the Fascinating World of Cardiology – Summer School

8 t/m 12 juli 2024

Radboud Universiteit en Radboudumc

This unique course will teach you about various aspects of Cardiology & Cardiothoracic Surgery and provide you with clinically oriented lectures and hands-on practical sessions given by some of our finest professors and doctors. It is co-designed and co-organised by PhD candidates in Cardiology and VECTOR, a medical student association that promotes extracurricular education in the field of Cardiology and Cardiothoracic surgery.

Cardiovascular diseases are among the world’s most common non-communicable diseases with a continuously increasing prevalence due to an aging population and poor lifestyle habits. This course consists of a general program in which you will get a better and deeper understanding of the different clinical and research aspects of Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery.

The lectures will not only give you a better understanding of the basics of Cardiology (such as cardiac anatomy and physiology), they will also introduce you to topics and techniques specific to the various sub-specialties of Cardiology, such as performing and interpreting echocardiography, interventional cardiology and electrophysiology. We will also be practicing dissection skills and surgical techniques in various practical workshops highlighting Cardiothoracic Surgery and paediatric (congenital) Cardiology.

Last year’s course kicked off on Monday with a general introduction followed by lectures on the basic sciences: anatomy and physiology of the cardiovascular system. After lunchbreak, the students were welcomed at our dissection lab to attend a hands-on porcine heart dissection guided by one of our cardiac surgeons.

‘Diagnostic’ Tuesday started with three lectures regarding the four most important diagnostic tools in Cardiology: electrocardiography, cardiac MRI, coronary angiography and echocardiography. In the afternoon, students got to practice their echocardiography skills using state of the art echocardiography machines.

Wednesday was focused on Interventional Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery accompanied by lectures on transcatheter and surgical aortic valve replacement, percutaneous coronary interventions, and coronary artery bypass surgery. This was followed by two hands-on sessions in which students were teached to 1) perform a coronary bypass on a porcine heart and 2) implant a transcatheter aortic valve. These were the best rated practical sessions of the week!

Thursday was themed around the subjects congenital heart diseases and heart failure, which included a lecture on how to diagnose different congenital anomalies in a systemic way. This was followed by a practical session in the dissection lab to observe and diagnose some very special tiny hearts. This day ended with a special patient demonstration to give the students the opportunity to learn about what life is like when you are diagnosed with heart failure and get more information on the patients perspective regarding healthcare.

Last but not least, the final session of the week was focused on resuscitation: using virtual reality glasses, students got the chance to learn how to save a life!