Get FIT: Applications for VQI Fellowship in Training program open

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SVS Vascular Quality Initiative (VQI) logo

The Fellowship in Training (FIT) from the Society for Vascular Surgery’s Vascular Quality Initiative (SVS VQI) introduces residents and fellows in vascular-focused programs to the SVS Patient Safety Organization (PSO). FIT debuted just a year ago, in January 2022, with 16 inaugural trainees and 16 VQI mentors. 

The program lasts 12 to 18 months and is designed to foster an understanding of quality processes and metrics among the trainees through mentorship in the VQI. FIT is offered in collaboration with the Association of Program Directors in Vascular Surgery (APDVS), American College of Cardiology and Society for Vascular Medicine. 

VQI aims to raise the bar for vascular care, quality improvement and patient outcomes. Currently, 968 centers participate in the VQI’s 14 registries, and more than 1 million procedures have been captured. Vascular surgeons, cardiologists, radiologists and other specialists who perform vascular procedures participate in registry data collection. 

FIT is open to people completing medical residencies or fellowships in any vascular disease-focused specialty (vascular surgery, cardiology, radiology or vascular medicine). The trainees work closely with their mentors on participation in regional biannual meetings and review of comparative VQI data, including center-level quality improvement processes. 

They are part of the quality improvement process, plus work in quality charter development and research initiatives using VQI data. 

“This is an incredible opportunity for those who are invested in quality improvement and safety in vascular surgery,” said Gary Lemmon, MD. “Data—collecting it and sharing it—is at the heart of everything we do, and FIT participants learn how this all impacts patient care and outcomes.” 

Participants can: 

  • Gain knowledge/understanding of a PSO and its strengths and limitations on data sharing 
  • Gain familiarity with mechanics of data entry into the VQI website, including abstraction requirements, variable definitions and inclusion/exclusion criteria for registry data 
  • Learn the value of data review via regional group meetings, big-data analysis of VQI@VAM and how this cannot be done locally at a center or single institution 
  • Develop enthusiasm for participation in regional and national meetings as 1) potential for career networking, and 2) improving process of care back to center level 
  • Learn the value and mechanics in implementing a Research Allocations Committee (RAC) proposal and use of metadata via claims linkage such as Medicare 
  • Experience career advancement—again through networking capability, volunteer participation in steering committees/research/presentations and the value of mentoring from experienced vascular surgeons 

The first group of trainees will have the opportunity to present their work in June during VQI@VAM, the VQI annual meeting held in conjunction with the SVS Vascular Annual Meeting (VAM). These participants also will be competing for one of five coveted Jack L. Cronenwett Scholarships, worth up to $10,000 each, to continue their research and/or work more closely with committees and staff on VQI initiatives.

The scholarship is named for Jack L. Cronenwett, MD, vascular surgeon, educator and the VQI registry’s co-founder. More information is available at vascular.org/VQIFIT. 

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