The first Postgraduate Course in Heart Failure, an initiative of the ESC Heart Failure Association, the ESC Heart Academy, the University of Zurich as well as the Zurich Heart House was announced in 2013 as the first course of this new educational initiative of the European Society of Cardiology and its constituent bodies.
The first Postgraduate Course in Heart Failure accepted 59 participants from 31 countries (Figure 1) in Europe, but also from India, Soudan, North Africa, South America and Aruba. The participants came to Zurich for seven modules and to a practical device-oriented module to Brussels four times a year for 2.5 days to attend lectures, interactive case presentations, rapid-fire sessions, clinical rounds as well as hands-on experiences with different imaging modalities as well as virtual training of heart failure-related interventions
After each module, the participants had to pass multiple choice exams with 25 questions. The minimal percentage of right questions required to pass was 70%. There was a possibility to re-do the exam if failed in the first attempt.
The course covered the entire spectrum of heart failure management from diagnosis of heart failure with reduced and preserved ejection fraction, to different imaging modalities, drug treatment up to mechanical assist-devices and transplantation. 120 faculty members from the University Hospital Zurich as well as from Europe, the US and Singapore took part to the modules as chairpersons, speakers or hands-on-teachers.
The first Postgraduate Course in Heart Failure was successfully concluded with a memorable graduation ceremony that took place on Friday, October 30, 2015 at the University of Zurich. The participants received the Certificate of Advanced Studies in Heart Failure of the University of Zurich and the Certificate of Attendance from the ESC, HFA and the European Heart Academy. At the certification ceremony, the legendary Eugene Braunwald MD, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, gave the keynote lecture entitled “The new generation of heart failure specialists” (Figure 2). Furthermore, the Director of Education of the ESC Academy, Alec Vahanian, MD, FESC from Paris, Gerasimos Filippatos, MD, FESC, President of the ESC Heart Failure Association, Panos Vardas, MD, FESC, Director of the Brussels Office of the European Society of Cardiology and past-president as well as the Directors of the Course in Zurich, Thomas F. Lüscher, MD, FESC, Francesco Maisano, MD and Frank Ruschitzka, MD, FESC as well as other members of the Heart Failure Association did also participate to the ceremony (Figures 3 and 4).
The memorable ceremony was followed by a swinging party in the Tower Restaurant of the University of Zurich.
A PCHF alumni event will be held once a year at the occasion of the HFA congress with all previous and current PCHF participants and faculty members in order to maintain the contact and to follow up on the different heart failure initiatives undertaken by the participants in their own country after attending the PCHF.
The course is supported by educational grants from St. Jude Medical, Servier, Novartis and Bayer Healthcare
Stefan Anker, Berlin; Gerasimos Filippatos, Athens; Francesco Maisano, Frank Ruschitzka, and Thomas F. Luscher, all Zurich
Jeroen J. Bax, Leiden; Gerhard Hindricks, Leipzig; Michel Komajda, Paris; Theresa McDonagh, London; Fausto Pinto, Lisbon; Piotr Ponikowski, Wroclaw; Karl B. Swedberg, Gothenburg; Alec Vahanian, Paris; Panos Vardas, Heraklion.