CardioPulse Articles

2013 European Heart Journal  
To work as an invasive cardiologist, carry out research, be responsible for cardiology teaching at a busy medical school, and act as a reviewer for a long list of journals requires energy. But that is something that Prof. Lino Gonçalves, associate professor of cardiology at the University of Coimbra Medical School in Portugal has much of. He must have, because 3 years ago he also accepted the substantial role of leading the taskforce charged with developing the European Society of Cardiology
more » ... C) online educational platform. At the time he was also a member of several committees as well as editor for the ESC Congress Reports, so the first question that springs to mind is what made him jump at the chance to take on such a substantial role on top of his already impressive workload. The simple answer, and something that is immediately apparent upon talking to him, is that the project is one he is deeply passionate about. The ESC e-learning platform, which is now up and running although still in its early days, enables harmonization of training across six sub-specialties of cardiology, including heart failure and acute cardiac care. It is 'pioneering', says Prof. Gonçalves. 'No other platform is doing this, we are the only ones doing this worldwide. We expect that in the next year we will have general cardiology training and the possibility of national language translations'. Initially set up as a way of overcoming problems inherent in increasingly free movement of doctors across borders within Europe, the revolutionary nature of the platform can perhaps be best underlined by the interest received from outside the continent. Even at this early stage, expressions of interest from as far afield as Brazil, South Africa, and Malaysia show that this was a much-needed endeavour. Moving within 3 years from an idea to a working reality has been no mean feat. Especially as much of the work relied on voluntary help from ESC committee members. How did he bring it all together? 'We built up a task force with members from different associations and the work started', he says, making it sound much easier than I am sure it was. 'We are volunteers so I had to arrange the schedule and it involved some travelling because there was the need to show what we were doing at a national level. It has taken a lot of work and hours spent to make this project a reality'. He adds: 'It is a lot of work but I'm doing it gladly because I believe this is a really important project for Europe'. The key to juggling it all is being highly organized, he explains, and making sure you use 'many hours of the day'. Breaking down his schedule, he estimates he spends 7-8 h doing clinical work, 3 h on research and teachingalthough he oversees the curriculum rather than doing much direct teaching himself these days-and everything else has to fit in as and when, and that includes considerable travelling. He says he also has a family to take care of but he believes he has found the right balance between work and personal life. It is not surprising that within this heavy timetable, something has to give and this year he stepped down from editing the ESC Congress reports, another Society endeavour he clearly feels very strongly about. 'I felt it was too much work but it was a very interesting role and it is a fascinating project'. Again his work centred on coordinating the volunteers who have offered their time to summarize the most important aspects of the meeting. And it is a popular offering, with Published on behalf of the
doi:10.1093/eurheartj/eht430 pmid:24231412 fatcat:ze55l2lvqbhz7ksjwnq2by2vpm