March 11th, 2013

Diversity in Cardiology: Blogging from ACC.13

Several Cardiology Fellows who are attending ACC.13 in San Francisco this week are blogging for CardioExchange. The Fellows include Tariq AhmadMegan CoylewrightJeremiah DeptaKumar Dharmarajan Payal Kohli, and  Sandeep Mangalmurti. View the previous post  here and the next one here.

If the people who attend ACC are a good representation of the cardiologists of the world, then we certainly are in need of more diversity. There are few women and minorities, especially at the leadership level.

I would often get a sense of this during our conferences in fellowship, when the number of women were far outnumbered by the men, and sometimes we would have ratios of >15:1. Compared to other subspecialties of medicine, cardiology has longer training, and the work can be quite taxing, especially if one takes the invasive route and/or wants to start a family.

I feel a deep sense of respect and admiration of my female colleagues who juggle having children and caring for them while completing a challenging fellowship.

Along with being a CardioExchange blogger, I also run the Duke cardiology fellowship blog. Therefore, I brought this issue up with one of my co-fellows, Dr. Prateeti Khazanie. We came up with the idea of interviewing some of the women who are “greats” in cardiology to get their perspective. The list of interviewees continues to grow, and we have already interviewed the likes of Drs. Lynn Stevenson, Maggie Redfield, Judith Hochman, and Mariell Jessup.

What do you think the ACC can do to increase diversity?

Instead of continuing to increase the years of training, should cardiologists try to make fellowship “smarter” so people from all backgrounds can join our ranks?

More diversity in cardiology would surely lead to better care for our patients.

For more of our ACC.13 coverage of late-breaking clinical trials, interviews with the authors of the most important research, and blogs from our fellows on the most interesting presentations at the meeting, check out our Coverage Headquarters.

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