In 1989, 14 individuals met and formed the Society for Vascular Medicine and Biology. Dr. Jess Young was the first president. By 2000, SVMB had 255 members, astounding because there were not yet boards in vascular medicine. View the SVM Past Presidents page.

Shortly after the founding of SVMB, Drs. John Cooke and Victor Dzau wrote a powerful editorial in the Annals of International Medicine titled, "The time has come for vascular medicine." In this editorial, they said,

"Vascular medicine is beginning to take form as a small but growing cadre of internists in this country who have acquired special expertise in treating vascular disease." They noted that "these advances, although impressive, have lagged far behind the explosive growth in vascular biology... consequently, vascular disorders are being treated piecemeal by physicians from various backgrounds."

While cardiology fellowship programs are supposed to prepare their fellows for cardiovascular boards, most are long on the cardio and short on the vascular. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, a larger number of cardiologists became interested in peripheral vascular diseases, especially as it related to interventional procedures for these patients.

Courses abounded teaching others "the how to of peripheral intervention." In the early years, many of the leaders in this area were very well trained in the technical aspects of endovascular therapy but less knowledgeable in the natural history, non-invasive evaluation and medical treatment of these disorders.

When Dr. R.L. Grye, president of the American College of Cardiology wrote in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, a column titled "Role of the cardiologist in peripheral vascular disease," SVM responded with a letter to the editor stating:

The time is long overdue to recognize the fact that vascular medicine is more than just interventional therapy, imaging or medical care of the vascular surgical patient. Without a thorough understand of the etiology, pathophysiology and natural history of the disease, as well as a knowledge of medical, surgical and interventional technologies, care for the patient with peripheral vascular disease will be less than optimal. The notion that a cardiologist who is trained in invasive cardiac technology can apply these same procedures to the peripheral vasculature is a misconception.

Highlights and accomplishments

  • In 1997, SVMB hosted the Royal Society of Angiology for the first transatlantic vascular medicine meeting in Boston, Mass. Individuals from the UK and the United States participated in this meeting and initiated discussions on how the two societies could work together to expand vascular medicine.
  • In 1999, SVMB, the Royal Society of Angiology and the Swedish Society for Vascular Medicine met in Edinburg, Scotland. These three societies held the 3rd Transatlantic Vascular Medicine Symposium: The Pharmacotherapy of Peripheral Arterial Disease: An Expanding Frontier for Vascular Therapies.
  • In 1999 and 2000, five societies participated in the Vascular Centers of Excellence Conference in Chicago. The SVMB, American College of Cardiology, the Society for Vascular Surgery, the International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery, and the Society for Vascular and Interventional Radiology put together a program to assist in the development of vascular centers and to search for solutions for the problems that often prevent vascular centers from being successful.
  • SVM has been involved in the education of vascular specialists and many primary care specialties.
  • Under the leadership of Dr. Alan Hirsch, SVM, with an unrestricted grant from Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, began an initiative -- The PAD Primary Care Series -- to educate primary care physicians. This series served as the most ambitious effort to date to create both public and physician awareness of the importance of peripheral arterial disease.
  • Under the leadership of Dr. Mark Creager, the SVM journal, Vascular Medicine, was indexed and has worldwide distribution. Dr. Heather Gornik assumed the leadership of the journal in 2014.
  • In 2005, SVM introduced the SVM Board Review Course, held in conjunction with the SVM Annual Scientific Sessions. The Board Review Course prepares physicians who are preparing for the Certification Exams offered by the American Board of Vascular Medicine. From 2011 to 2015, the SVM Board Review Course has been presented in conjunction with VIVA (Vascular InterVentional Advances) in Las Vegas. In 2016, SVM began to offer the Board Review Course independently.
  • In 2007, SVMB changed its name to the Society for Vascular Medicine.
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