The Cardiovascular Science Program is offered by Midwestern University at its campus in Glendale, Arizona.

The curriculum consists of courses in perfusion technology, perfusion devices, anatomy, physiology, physiological management of bypass, ethics, pathology, cardiology and research.

The curriculum is a full-time professional program of seven continuous quarters. The program begins with three quarters of didactic and laboratory education. During this time, you receive exposure to clinical medicine by clinical observation at affiliated hospitals in the Phoenix area.

Summer quarter of the student's second year begins the four-quarter clinical rotation segment that is held at affiliated hospitals throughout the region. The didactic and clinical faculty consists of perfusionists, anesthesiologists, cardiac surgeons and professional educators.

Your study includes:

  • Extracorporeal circulation and cardiopulmonary support
  • Counterpulsation
  • Circulatory support and ventricular assistance
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  • Blood conservation techniques and autotransfusion
  • Myocardial preservation
  • Anticoagulation and hematologic monitoring and analysis
  • Physiological monitoring and analysis
  • Blood gas and blood chemistry monitoring and analysis
  • Induction of hypothermia or hyperthermia with reversal
  • Hemodilution
  • Hemofiltration
  • Administration of medications, blood components and anesthetic agents via the extracorporeal circuit
  • Documentation associated with described duties

Other areas of study may include:

  • Isolated limb and organ perfusion
  • Electrophysiological analysis
  • Surgical assistance
  • Organ preservation
  • Dialysis

Several area hospitals and clinics serve as the practice and observation sites for Midwestern University's perfusion program. Students may request a practice site, but the program adviser makes the final assignments. Relocation during clinical rotation may be necessary. Annually, Mayo Clinic's campus in Scottsdale, Arizona, can accommodate two to three perfusion students.

Through Mayo Clinic's well-planned and supervised rotations, you gain perfusion experience in cardiac surgery at Mayo Clinic Hospital, where specialty surgical teams provide care to patients requiring heart repair surgery. Annually, Mayo Clinic Hospital performs approximately 250 open-heart procedures.

Grading or evaluation

As you move through the perfusion rotations, your preceptor and faculty from Midwestern University evaluate you in each main curriculum area. Performance is evaluated using a competency-based evaluation system and performance appraisals.

Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences uses evaluative tools that include:

  • Demonstration of skills
  • Self-assessment exercises
  • Faculty reviews

Mayo's system of evaluation provides students and faculty with a comprehensive look at individual performance. This allows faculty and administrative staff to direct students who are experiencing academic difficulty to the appropriate support resources, including tutoring programs and counseling opportunities.

Dec. 18, 2014