Heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, kidney disease and other cardiorenal metabolic-related disorders are increasing in prevalence and placing a financial and workforce strain on the medical system.
Providers have been trained to treat these conditions within their respective specialty; patients with diabetes are treated by endocrinologists, those with heart disease are treated by cardiologists, nephrologists treat renal disease, and so on. But this siloed care model is inefficient, expensive, and outdated. We are constantly learning more about the interrelatedness of these conditions; for example, the leading cause of death in patients with type 2 diabetes is heart disease.
Because of the increased understanding of the complex relationship between cardiovascular, renal, and metabolic decline, there is an imminent need for a new method of care. Cardiometabolic Health Congress (CMHC) and its partners support the development of a cardiometabolic specialty dedicated to comprehensive care for patients with these risk factors and conditions, that will treat the patient as a whole person instead of a cluster of symptoms.
Citing the current body of literature and professional society guidelines, the authors of the July 2020 article, “Cardiometabolic Medicine – The U.S. Perspective on a New Subspecialty,” advocate for a cardiometabolic medicine specialization training program. The multimorbidity of cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia and metabolic syndrome are too common to ignore. They envision a cardiometabolic clinical training program that would “include relevant parts of traditional endocrinology and cardiology programs with an important emphasis on lifestyle.”
In their February 2021 article, “Comprehensive Care Models for Cardiometabolic Disease,” Reiter-Brennan C, Dzaye O, et al, also propose the development of a distinct cardiometabolic specialty to address the complex needs of patients with cardiometabolic conditions, who they argue are currently being managed inadequately. “In light of increasing obesity prevalence, the aging population, and rising medical expenditures, this will only expand in the future,” they write regarding the increasing cost and burden of cardiometabolic diseases on the health care system.
In the traditional training model, students complete medical school and then seek further resident training in a specialty area such as cardiology. Only once they are immersed in their specialty do some providers realize that many patients are seeking care from multiple specialists for conditions that were historically considered unrelated.
Within its Cardiovascular Health Clinic, Mayo Clinic offers a personalized Cardiometabolic Program where patients are treated by a collaborative, multidisciplinary team of specialists that include cardiologists, dieticians, endocrinologists, sleep medicine experts and others. This program highlights the growing understanding that the constellation of symptoms and risk factors deserve a dedicated specialty encompassing many medical disciplines.
Although there is no formal cardiometabolic specialty designation or training for medical residents yet, several leading institutions recognize the need. CMHC’s partner, the Cardiometabolic Center Alliance, recognizes the vast potential of expanding the current care model to include a cardiometabolic specialty within the current scope of clinical training. They are working to recruit 20 health care organizations, academic and professional societies, and other key partners to build a nationwide network of cardiometabolic training centers.
When patients begin to understand, as the medical community now does, that the risk factors and symptoms of cardiometabolic decline are all related, they become equipped to manage their health. Spending less time visiting multiple specialists and more time implementing lifestyle interventions and treating the source of their conditions instead of the symptoms will result in better quality of life and less burden on health care organizations.
At Cardiometabolic Health Congress (CMHC) we are proud to offer the Foundations of Cardiometabolic Health Certification Course to all levels of practicing physicians, including medical residents, to realize our goal of expanding the delivery of medical care to include a cardiometabolic health specialty. We think beginning this training in cardiometabolic principles early is so important that we are providing an incentive for medical students, residents and fellows to begin this course immediately. Students at any level of training can now enroll in this first-of-its-kind certification course for a deep discount of $500 off the registration fee. Enroll now, and in about 75 hours of self-paced virtual education you’ll be eligible for the influential Certified Cardiometabolic Health Professional credential, an elite recognition of mastery in the field of cardiometabolic medicine.
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