Read the related feature story “Getting to the Heart of Sleep,” which describes Lee A. Surkin, MD’s envisioned new communication paradigm between sleep medicine and cardiology.

Within the past 10 years, the relationship between sleep and cardiovascular health has merged together and is advancing at an accelerated rate. The communication between the specialties is simply not progressing quickly enough to deliver optimal care. In our all too busy worlds where we are being pulled in different directions simultaneously, how can physicians take on yet another responsibility of learning and applying this life-saving knowledge? Can sleep physicians meet cardiologists in the middle of the bridge connecting their specialties? Absolutely!

The task of merging the cardio-sleep knowledge base and think tanks just got a whole lot easier. After much introspection, I came up with the solution that gives laser sharp focus to the issue. I created the American Academy of Cardiovascular Sleep Medicine (AACSM) and designed it to:

  • Foster clinical and academic research on the cardio-sleep relationship;
  • Create educational programs for healthcare providers that recognize the convergence of sleep disorders and cardiovascular disorders, starting at medical school, residency, and fellowship levels to develop this multidimensional thinking;
  • Increase public awareness for patients to become their own best healthcare advocates.

The AACSM will create a new medical communication opportunity providing solutions for a community of practitioners. It will bring together the universally recognized scientific achievements of the sleep physician and cardiologist into a single medical solution. This will truly be a new paradigm with the hope that physicians will be motivated to create models in their own communities.

I call on my colleagues in the sleep medicine community to join me on this worthy endeavor. To learn more about the AACSM, please visit and contact me at [email protected].

—Lee A. Surkin, MD