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What is 'Master the Machines'?

In short, Master the Machines is exactly what the name implies. A clinical course designed to help you master a variety of mechanical circulatory support devices!

As a new cardiac anesthesiologist and intensivist, I found myself taking care of many patients on a variety of mechanical support devices, from ECMO, to HeartMate 3 LVADs, Balloon Pumps and more. In taking care of these patients I quickly found that there was a lot of learning to be done that couldn't necessarily be found in a textbook, but many times required more clinical experiences. What's more was every time I learned something new about a device, more questions and clinical scenarios would arise regarding how the devices work, how to place them or how to manage them- If I had these questions and concerns, I had a hunch that many others have the same ones as well.


So, I started writing it all down, drawing diagrams, labeling pictures and compiling my own set of notes on the devices including how they work, how to place and remove them, management strategies and goals, imaging, weaning, troubleshooting emergencies and everything else about them I would need to know to successfully manage these patients. And thus, 'Master the Machines' was born.

By combining my passion for medical education with my love of drawing and my day to day work with these devices, I have sought to create a constantly growing and evolving educational program to help others better understand the fast moving field of mechanical circulatory support with fun graphics, comprehensive PDFs and easy to follow short form videos!

  • How much does the course cost? What do I get for what I pay? How long do I get the course for? Does pre-ordering get me anything else?
    $450.00 Purchasing the course within the first six months of release (this includes all pre-orders as well as post pre-order sign ups) will get a 2 year subscription! Any time the course is purchased AFTER the first 6 months of release you will receive a 1 year subscription Because I want this to be an 'evolving' or 'living' course- I want to make sure that people are able to stay up to date with new devices, new strategies and more. As a result, the plan will be to allow for re-purchases of the course after your initial purchase for a lesser cost! (yet to be determined- but it seems like a feel bad moment for a new device to come to market and I add it to the course only after yours expired! I want you to be able to learn about that one too and shouldn't have to pay full price!)
  • Are there discounts for groups and/or students?
    This content is not meant to be gate-kept. I want to make sure everyone is able to learn about mechanical support! Please directly message me via the website or Instagram @Countbackwardsfrom10 and I am more than happy to work with you on group and student discount rates!
  • What will I get out of this course?
    I distinctly remember watching my first ECMO cannulation and thinking, 'wow, this is awesome. I want to do that' - so I went to read about how to cannulate, even went to a course... and wouldn't you know, I found 'get access, insert your wire, dilate, put in your cannulas and you're done!' As if it were that easy... What kind of wires do you use? Where do you want to get access? What size cannulas? When do you heparinize? How much do you give? It's not just, 'get access and cannulate'. And then came all of the clinical management questions, troubleshooting, device emergencies, ramping, weaning, imaging, bedside evaluation, there was just so much to know and no good place to learn it... So I designed this course with one thing in mind... Me!! In a nutshell- I wrote the course I wish I had when I started practicing! I made a course to address the questions and concerns that I had as a clinician that I know others have as well. And because it's a constantly evolving course, any questions and clinical scenarios that come up, I will add to it! So what will you get out of this course? You will have a better understanding of how our MCS devices work, how to manage them, place them, troubleshoot their emergencies, remove them, evaluate them on a daily basis and so much more!
  • Who is this course for?
    Anyone who is involved in the management of patients on mechanical circulatory support. An intensivist, cardiac surgeon, bedside nurse, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, perfusionist, respiratory therapist, anyone interested in the material it doesn't matter, this course is for you. If you are involved in the care of patients on any of these devices and are interested in not only knowing more about the devices, how they work and how they're managed, then the material found here is for you! That said, not everyone will gain the same from every part as everyone else. I am not a cardiac surgeon, I don't necessarily need to know the technical steps to implanting the HeartMate 3 LVAD, and the bedside respiratory therapist may not necessarily need to know which wires we use to dilate over for the arterial cannula. The course is meant to be as all encompassing as possible, while still being simple, interesting and engaging!
  • What is an 'Evolving Course'
    Most medical courses we attend are set. They have a set agenda with a set number of lectures for a set amount of time that happen at a pre-designated time that you have to be there for, and once it's over, it's over. 2 days, maybe 3 days tops. 'Master the Machines' is an online course that I run myself, no publisher, no institution, just me. This means that I can fix mistakes, add content and material, adjust videos, and even add entire sections to the course as new devices become available ALL in REAL TIME without having to wait. Mechanical circulatory support itself is a rapidly evolving field of medicine, new devices, a variety of new ways to troubleshoot and manage them and so much more. As a result, I wanted a course that reflected that and so WHAT YOU'RE GETTING IS NOT THE FINAL PRODUCT! Rather, you are getting a course that will change over time, corrections made, new devices added and new strategies for management added as time goes on. Thus, a 'Living Course'.
  • How is your content delivered?
    I deliver my educational material in 3 primary ways... Written text, short form videos, and clinical scenario discussions. But within that, the delivery system is broken down in a more subtle way. The written text includes graphics, a combination of illustrations and cartoons, that help to make more abstract or hard to appreciate device anatomy more relatable and understandable, alongside annotated real life pictures and images to show the real life correlation between diagram and patient. In the video series I take you through the written text using primarily graphics from the book (sometimes there are words on the slides), explaining topics in more detail with more clinical correlations and scenarios. In essence, it's story-time with David. All of the videos are kept to less than 20 minutes, with some only being 3 to 10 minutes long to facilitate maximum and concise information delivery without boring you! Finally, I'll be bringing you weekly (or every other week), clinical case scenarios in which a case will be presented and the management to be implemented will be discussed. This helps to bring the learned material into a more real-world application and help make it more memorable!
  • Where does the content from the course come from?
    The field of mechanical circulatory support is relatively new (although ECMO has been around for many years), it is becoming more and more mainstream as devices get better, smaller, slicker, less expensive and the expertise becomes more readily available across the globe. As a result, clinical data can be limited and clinical practices may differ from institution to institution. The first and primary source for any of the devices reviewed in this course is the FDA manual (IFU) and package inserts available from said device, as well as any information available directly from the company or company website. Following that comes large overarching recommendations from sources such as peer reviewed literature as well as from any governing bodies with expertise in the field such as ELSO, the American Heart Association and others! Finally, I look to institutional protocols that we follow as certain procedural or management steps are institutionally and clinically driven- If you have something you all do, send it my way and we can get it up here! If you are ever concerned about where a recommendation comes from, please do not hesitate to reach out and let me know! Or, if you have a different strategy, feel free to tell me so we can add it to the course! Citations can be found in the written PDF text at the end of each section.
  • What is the return policy?
    Probably something people will look for as soon as they are considering the course- At this time I am not offering returns due to the nature of the course. Once purchased, the videos become available as do the downloadable PDFs. Because of this, it is near impossible to know who has simply taken the material In order to facilitate the best and most honest delivery of my course, I make freely available samples of the content both written and in video form, as well as by providing a very clear outline regarding what you will learn in each lecture and each section! I am confident that after you start with this course, you won't want to return it!
  • Does this course provide CME credit?
    A question many people have reached out about- CME credits. Unfortunately, because the content of the course has been reviewed by representatives and engineers from the device companies themselves, the course cannot be offered with CME credit due to conflict of interest.
  • How is the course organized/laid out?
    In organizing and developing this course I looked to some of my content role models... The kind of material that I have enjoyed studying and learning from. Material such as "The Only EKG Book You'll Ever Need" and "Clinical Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple", as well as videos from sources such as "Pathoma" (from my medical school days!) served as models from which I developed this. Big text, big pictures, and simple explanations for complex content helps make intimidating material simpler and more digestible than reading through a 2,000 page text book!
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