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CCS Member Credits Trainee Programs for Skills You Can’t Find in a Textbook

For Dr Evan Lockwood, (a clinical professor at the University of Alberta, practising at the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute as a clinical electrophysiologist), the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS)/Canadian Cardiovascular Society Academy (CCSA) Trainee Programs were his way of learning the important industry skills not found in the pages of a textbook.

 “I was there to learn all the other important skills,” says Evan. “Making connections, developing relationships, building networking opportunities for us to do research, to collaborate on clinical ideas and practices. I think that those things have definitely been some of the strengths of [the CCS/CCSA Trainee Program] looking back,” muses Evan.

His journey with the CCS has had many phases, starting as a trainee from 1999 to 2007. After that, Evan continued to be an active member of the CCS involved in many committees and volunteering heavily with the CCS with “just about anything that [the CCS] needed a warm body to help out with.” This level of commitment was in part to show his gratitude for all the support the CCS provided him in the early part of his career.

Pictured farthest left: Evan Lockwood with trainees who participated in the 2019 Trainee Review Program.

“I was afforded many great opportunities by being a member of the CCS/CCSA Trainee Programs and the Trainee Committee, and I thought it was my turn to give back and help out those who are in need. I collected up a few words of wisdom over the years and I think it’s valuable for me to pass those along, as well some of my experiences,” says Evan.

One of the larger challenges Evan often sees among trainees is the inability to travel, especially during the pandemic. Trainees often start their training at an institution where they wish to later work, and they never leave. Evan thinks there is great value in meeting people outside your institution because it provides an opportunity to see how various experiences are handled by different staff teams, and sharing these perspectives helps the industry grow as a whole. This is where the networking opportunities provided by the CCS/CCSA Training Programs become an incredible resource in a trainee’s toolkit.

Evan described the Annual Cardiovascular Trainee Day held during the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress (CCC) as a ‘main event’ for trainees in the early 2000’s. It was these experiences that allowed him and his colleagues to make personal connections. Evan is now involved in research and education across Canada with various groups, and some of the contacts for these projects were made during these kinds of trainee events that took place over 14 years ago. 

“I can’t overstate how much I think we need to value the personal part CCS programs. That is something that doesn’t necessarily happen in other countries, or in other groups. And I think the CCS has done a great job at bringing us all together and fostering that.”

Note:

Evan has been an active member of the CCS since 1999 and has been giving back to CCS and trainees ever since. He served as the CCS Trainee Committee Chair and representative on CCS Council from 2005 to 2007. He was the CCS Local Arrangements Chair for 2009 CCC in Edmonton. Since 2010, he has participated in the yearly CCS/CCSA Adult Cardiology Trainee Review Program as a faculty member. Evan has also served on the Membership Committee, Journal Committee, and been an active member in the planning of the Annual Year in Review Program at CCC.

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