California Chapter Women In Cardiology



ACC California Chapter Women in Cardiology Workgroup Formation


Because the ACC recognizes that the goals of the WIC committee may be further advanced through programs and activities at a more local level, the Executive Council of the California Chapter of the ACC has formally adopted the WIC Workgroup. We propose that the Workgroup include leaders from both Northern and Southern California, who will create a unified curriculum of activities, programs, and resources to be carried out in a parallel fashion in the two regions, either locally or regionally, with the regional groups occasionally having a larger gathering on the state level. Regional leaders will have a cohort of local leaders who will be available to participate in activities and programs based on their career level, practice affiliation, and other unique insights/experiences. We believe that women at different career levels have different needs, as do women in various job descriptions, but that all women in cardiology have something to learn from each other.

We envision the regional groups being centered around the academic centers in order to maximize access for trainees, but will strongly emphasize the participation of non-academic cardiologists, including those in private practice and industry. The Northern California centers would include UCSF, UCSF\Fresno, Stanford, UC Davis, and California Pacific Medical Center, while the Southern California centers would include UCLA, Los Angeles County-Harbor UCLA, UCLA-VA Greater Los Angeles, Cedar Sinai, UC Irvine, Loma Linda, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, UC San Diego, Navel Medical Center San Diego, and Scripps Clinic.

With this in mind, we have organized a preliminary table of activities and programs that may be offered by the CA ACC WIC group (see below). Each program is designed to meet the specific needs of women at each career level and to meet specific goals outlined by the ACC.
For women in medical training or residency, the goal is to attract more women to cardiovascular medicine. These women need access to more general information about cardiovascular medicine, including career options and the typical life of a cardiologist. We feel that the best forum for this is on the local level where students and residents can meet women cardiologists in their local community, creating an opportunity for networking and possible mentoring. We propose that each academic center hold a yearly forum with a Speaker Panel that will include leaders in academic medicine, industry, and private practice. Attendees will gain networking opportunities, mentorships and research opportunities.

For current cardiovascular medicine fellows, the goal is to retain them in cardiovascular medicine. At this stage in their career, they need to learn more about which career path is the best fit for them (i.e. industry vs. academia vs. private practice) and/or whether or not they should sub-specialize (i.e. general cardiology, imaging, interventional cardiology, electrophysiology). They also need to learn about job opportunities, interviewing techniques, contract negotiation, and funding sources (i.e. salaries, research grants, etc). An understanding of politics among the leaders of the academic center, private practice group, or industry will also empower them to advance their careers. Finally, teaching them strategies to maintain a work/life balance will provide a foundation for continued success in cardiovascular medicine. We propose holding quarterly didactic sessions at the regional level to address these various topics.

For women early in their careers in academia, private practice, and industry, the ACC can provide information that will be critical to career advancement. Didactic lectures on a regional level can be organized to address the specific needs of each of these career settings as outlined in the table below. We also propose the creation of a website of local, regional, and national opportunities that centralizes information into an easily accessible format. In addition, we envision the creation of a blog as a forum for women in cardiology to connect, share information, and discuss critical issues of concern to them and their careers.

For women in the later stages of their career, the goal is to provide them additional information for career advancement focusing on attaining leadership opportunities, building local and national reputations, and retaining status. Providing additional information about transitioning to retirement is also important. We think that an annual didactic session held regionally, followed by an opportunity to network with others would be a good forum to provide this information.

Lianna S. Collinge, CAE, CEO
California Chapter of the American College of Cardiology
Toll Free 1-877-460-5880 Fax 253.265.3043.


Equality and Diversity in Pediatric Cardiology: The Changing Times


[March 22, 2018] by Roberta G. Williams, MD, MACC, CA ACC Member
Rising concern about gender and racial equity has gripped our nation and the world. In 2017, the American College of Cardiology (ACC) championed this cause by forming the Taskforce on Diversity and Inclusion. This group, led by Pamela Douglas, MD, MACC, and Kim Williams, MD, MACC, developed the ACC's Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, which was recently approved by the Board of Trustees. Adult and pediatric cardiologists share goals of inclusion as a means of providing the best care for a diverse population; however, strategies to achieve these goals are dissimilar because pediatric and adult medicine differs greatly by patient and provider demography and by the pipeline of primary care residents. So what is the status of diversity within pediatric cardiology? And what strategies would provide a balanced workforce?

Please visit the ACC International Exchange page at http://www.cardiosource.org/intex. A list of sites and contacts for those offering exchange programs are available, organized by country, as well as resources for planning and managing the logistics of work-related international travel. This site will be frequently updated.

We will address gender balance first, since there is more data. The present workforce of board certified pediatric cardiologists is 66% male and 34% female.1 However, women have entered the field in increasing numbers over several decades, representing 40% of pediatric cardiology fellows in 2001 and 49% in 2016. The most recent group taking the subspecialty board examination is 51.4% female.1 There are likely to be several reasons for the shift in gender balance, but one strong factor is a seismic shift in the pipeline of medical students and pediatric residents, such that the first-time examinees for general pediatric certification are 74.5% female.1,2 Those of us who meet with pediatric intern candidates have become accustomed to seeing a brave lone male candidate in a room filled with women. Ironically, we need to reach down to the undergraduate level to show young men that there are interesting technologies and appealing work styles within the field of congenital heart disease, thereby enticing them down the path of pediatrics to cardiology.

Although gender balance is moving toward parity, it is important to also address factors associated with professional success. Only 20% of the ACC's Adult Congenital and Pediatric Cardiology (ACPC) section members are women.3 This is significantly lower than the approximately one-third of board-certified pediatric cardiologists who are women,1indicating possible barriers to participation in ACC activities, such as balancing childcare with Scientific Session attendance or committee participation. Financial necessity may also be a factor. The 2018 Doximity Physician Compensation Report indicated that women pediatric cardiologists were paid $249,000 per year on average, which is 15% less than men.4

How might we encourage more gender diversity in the section? The average age of ACPC members is 60 years and only 8.2% are between the ages of 31-40 years.3 Since recent graduates are gender balanced, an obvious strategy for increasing the gender diversity of the section is to recruit and retain young members. What measures would encourage young women to join the ACC, attend the Scientific Session and become section members? For early career women, lack of resources for childcare, breastfeeding and other family-friendly resources becomes a significant barrier for attendance at national meetings.5-7 Added costs of caring for a child at meetings also present a barrier; therefore, ACC might contemplate stipends or other resources to encourage participation. Curriculum content should include a recurring forum for specific topics related to planning and negotiating family leave, part-time employment, career tracks and negotiating part-time grant funding. These steps should enhance academic recognition, improve financial parity and decrease burnout.


Purpose of our California Chapter

The purpose of the Chapter shall be to contribute to the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, to ensure optimal quality care for the individuals with such diseases and to foster the highest professional ethical standards. In carrying out these purposes the Chapter shall function in consultation with the leadership of the College and as an advisor to local and state governmental and professional organizations concerning issues related to cardiovascular disease.

The Chapter shall, in the interests of patients, physicians, and the public in general, maintain a high level of social consciousness and involvement with socioeconomic issues which may influence access to high quality cardiovascular health care for all individuals.

The Chapter has been formed as a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit corporation underthe federal and California state tax codes. The Chapter maintains an Executive Office with a full time Executive Director and support staff. The Chapter also maintains a full time lobbyist and staff in Sacramento.

Profiles of CA ACC Women in Cardiology

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ACC membership is complimentary for those in an approved training program, and comes with practical benefits including on-line access to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) and discounts on educational products and programs. Other benefits include:


If you are not receiving ACC benefits and services, but are a fellow in training in an approved program, please fax a letter from your training director indicating you are currently participating in a program, include a current address with e-mail address to: Damion Wise at (202) 375-6842.

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