2022 ACC Statement on Career Flexibility in Cardiology: Key Points

Walsh MN, Arrighi JA, Cacchione JG.
2022 ACC Health Policy Statement on Career Flexibility in Cardiology. J Am Coll Cardiol 2022;Oct 13:[Epub ahead of print].

The following are key points to remember from the 2022 American College of Cardiology (ACC) health policy statement on career flexibility in cardiology:

  1. Career flexibility is a critical component of a thriving workforce. Cardiologists work more hours than many other specialties and there is a need to improve career longevity, limit burnout, improve retention, and enhance balance between work obligation and life outside of work.
  2. Workplace flexibility is defined as a flexible work arrangement allowing autonomy over scheduled hours worked and allowance for flexibility in place of work (home, via telehealth, etc.). It does not mean working less hours.
  3. Career flexibility would allow both men and women to balance work and family life demands, in addition to allowing pathways to scale back work hours and pursue other interests while still contributing to career needs.
  4. Career flexibility is beneficial at all career stages. Current fellows-in-training and early-career cardiologists want emphasis on a healthy clinical learning environment, team-based care models, diversity, equity, inclusion, and well-being. Midcareer cardiologists may seek more time for nonclinical and nonwork priorities while still having the reassurance that the investments they made early in their careers remain relevant. Late-career cardiologists, an increasingly large share of the workforce (27% of practicing cardiologists are age 61 years and over) might want to extend their productive work years and stay engaged and relevant, although not at the same intensity as earlier in their careers.
  5. Cardiologists should be able to retain autonomy over their schedules and be given allowance to transition to part-time work without unreasonable repercussions.
  6. A cardiology division or practice should work out in advance, with fairness and transparency, the impact on compensation that will result from a change in work hours or call obligations.
  7. Reassess factors that lead to career deceleration include volume-based procedural requirements, rigid leave of absence policies, and inflexible call schedules.
  8. Institutional leadership will have to buy in to the idea that allowing career flexibility makes good business practice sense and increases an organization’s ability to compete for and retain a talented cardiology workforce.

Clinical Topics: Cardiovascular Care Team, Prevention, Stress

Keywords: Burnout, Professional, Cardiologists, Career Choice, Career Mobility, Cultural Diversity, Education, Health Workforce, Leadership, Occupational Stress, Parental Leave, Patient Care Team, Professionalism, Shift Work Schedule, Secondary Prevention, Telemedicine

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