To better support the needs of cardiologists beginning their career in medicine, the ACC launched the early career professionals membership section in November 2011. The section serves members who have completed fellowship within the past seven years. Complimentary for cardiologist members within their first two years of practice, the section provides its members with a forum to learn, share knowledge and grow, as well as a voice within the College.
A recent survey of 240 ACC early career members showed that there continues to be several opportunities to support cardiologists in their early career. Cardiologists starting out in their career are burdened with not only managing their time, but also navigating the complexities of business. Survey results reveal that time management (60%) and reimbursement, coding and billing complexities (52%) are the biggest challenges cardiologists face when transitioning from training to practice.
In fact, business tools (70%) were identified as the most valuable resource to support this transition followed by work-life balance support (45%) and finance tools (45%). Given their struggles with the business aspects of their practice, they look to the ACC to provide assistance in a wide variety of areas from billing and coding (23%) to job placement (20%) to leadership development opportunities (20%) and to financial planning (18%). This is in addition to the clinical education resources that the ACC already provides to these members.
While the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) (87%) and the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) (55%) were cited as the most useful journals to the early career cardiologists, UpToDate.com (71%) and CardioSource.org* (67%) top the list of online resources.
For this tech-savvy generation, their top mobile app is CardioSource Mobile** (20%) followed by JACC for iPad (19%) with Epocrates and MedScape also listed as other popular mobile apps.
Given these struggles at this phase of their career, unfortunately, the early career physicians tend to be a less satisfied group. In addition to the business complexities of practicing medicine, these early career physicians also feel there is a burden of re-certification, which offers ACC an opportunity to provide additional tools to support MOC and certification requirements.
Recognizing all of these present challenges for young professionals, the ACC’s Early Career Professionals Council is dedicated to providing support and resources for early career cardiologists to conquer the unique set of career stage and professional challenges. They are tasked with identifying the needs of early career professionals and informing College programs to meet their needs, in addition to supporting relevant career development activities and networking, and fostering professionalism, engagement and leadership in College activities. To that end, the Council is currently working on offering a grants database to ACC members and developing a new mentorship program in addition to including articles on members’ top challenges in their quarterly e-newsletter. More information about the section and materials to support early career physicians are available at ACC.org/earlycareer.
*CardioSource.org is now ACC.org
**CardioSource Mobile has been discontinued