WIC Section Focused on Engaging More Women in CV Practice
The more women in cardiology, the better — that’s the goal of ACC’s Women in Cardiology (WIC) Section.
“We want the WIC Section to be a home where we can come together and support one another as we continue to advocate for the interests of female cardiologists and encourage young women to pursue careers in cardiovascular medicine,” says Claire S. Duvernoy, MD, FACC, chair of the WIC Section Leadership Council.
The Section provides opportunities for women to strengthen their professional support system and leadership skills through mentoring and networking programs, professional development and the promotion of leadership opportunities within the College and its chapters. Its mission is also to enhance the appeal of cardiology for women residents by recommending changes in training programs and by promoting effective, efficient and diverse career opportunities.
"We want the WIC Section to be a home where we can come together and support one another as we continue to advocate for the interests of female cardiologists and encourage young women to pursue careers in cardiovascular medicine." — Claire S. Duvernoy, MD, FACC
The recent 4th Annual Women in Cardiology Summit held in Phoenix – organized by Sarika Desai, DO, chair of ACC’s Arizona Chapter WIC Section, and sponsored by the Arizona Chapter – is a great example of WIC in action. Attendees, most of whom were women, addressed important topics like balancing personal and professional lives. “Attendees wanted to know how I manage my day,” says Suzanne Sorof, MD, FACC, a panelist at the event. “How I fit in personal things like exercise and family time.”
“Work-life balance is an issue for any human, not just women,” explains Elaine H. Niggemann, MD, FACC, who also served as a panelist at the Arizona event. “I think it’s possible to be a cardiologist and maintain work-life balance – you just have to set limits.” She recalls a young cardiologist who signed on at her practice with the arrangement that she would never have night calls. “She may have made less money,” Niggeman explains, “but she got the flexibility that was important to her.”
Mentoring, another area of WIC focus, is critical to encouraging more women to enter cardiology. According to Santosh Desai, DO, having a strong and inspirational mentor can help medical students and residents gravitate towards cardiology. “I think providing avenues to find mentorship is even more important than offering mentorship programs,” Sarika says. “Finding the right mentor can be life-changing and equally provides the much needed guidance that is necessary to navigate the field of cardiology, especially when you’re interviewing for a job and comparing the benefits of different opportunities.”
"I think it’s possible to be a cardiologist and maintain work-life balance – you just have to set limits." — Elaine H. Niggemann, MD, FACC
At ACC.17, the WIC Lounge is serving as a hub for mentoring activities, including a session on influential leadership held yesterday, as well as a speed mentoring session taking place with the WIC Section meeting today. Additionally, several ACC.17 educational sessions are addressing important topics related to women in cardiology. A WIC Brown Bag Lunch Session taking place tomorrow will offer career advice for publishing, social media and negotiating the C-Suite and offer tools for success in academia and private practice.
“The playing field is not equal and the more we recognize it and talk about it, the more we can help make it equal for both men and women,” says Sarika.
Learn more about the WIC Section by visiting the WIC Lounge in the Lounge & Learn Pavilion, or at ACC.org/WIC.
Considering starting a WIC Section in your local chapter? Stop by the ACC.17 WIC Lounge, in the Lounge & Learn Pavilion, today at 1:30 p.m. to learn how it’s done. Toniya Singh, MD, FACC, will present “Establishing a WIC Section in a Local ACC Chapter,” based on her experiences with ACC’s Missouri Chapter.
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