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If you're studying for the cardiology boards, chances are you either just started a new job as an attending or are already working in a busy practice. In either case, the days where you can lug a large textbook, notebook, and binder to the library and study throughout the day and night are over (thankfully!). You now have the blessing and curse of having to work while studying for an exam that encompasses all the knowledge required to practice modern cardiology.
Enter the Ace of Hearts: Cardiovascular Board Review. We've taken all the main content of a traditional board review course and packed it into an easy-to-carry and use flashcard format. You'll realize that there are moments in your busy day that can be stolen to study. Imagine this, you're waiting for a patient to roll into the cath lab or your office patient is being triaged by the medical staff. You have 5 minutes. You take out a flashcard from your scrubs or white coat and review the entire section on pacemakers, inclusive of the major clinical trials you need to know, complete with engaging questions and answers. By the time your patient is ready for you, you've covered 5 flashcards, which is the equivalent of listening to an hour of lectures. You put the flashcards back into your pocket, take a deep breath, and walk into your patient's room.
I made these flashcards at the peak of my early career and about 5-6 years after taking the exam. I feel blessed to be in a field that is constantly and rapidly updated with solid clinical science. The motivator to do this project, which I pitched to the publisher, was based on my fear of missing important updates in cardiology. There is no good answer on how to stay updated in cardiology after fellowship where you had constant lectures and didactics. How do I make sure I'm offering my patients the best available therapies? My choice to take on this massive project was simple once I realize that "first, do no harm," means keeping up with the latest science for your patients and knowing your stuff. I knew I was onto something when, after days of putting together a "chapter" from the latest ACC/AHA guidelines, I would start referring to the flashcards to treat my patients. My hope is that after using these for the boards, you keep the pack of cards in your office and use them as a quick reference for your patients.