Early Career Professional Events at ACC.17

ACC's Annual Scientific Session keeps getting better and better – and this year was no exception. Whether it was the design, programming or location, ACC.17 was the most energetic meeting I've attended.

This year, the Early Career lounge was located right outside the main tent – and was a busy place, often used for preparing talks, reviewing programs, networking with old friends and meeting new ones. Jorge A. Gonzalez, MD, FACC, from Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, CA organized a session and procured speakers that represented pathways in clinical practice: private practice, clinical academics, research tenure track and an example of a hybrid model. Gonzalez crafted this program based on a needs assessment from our member section that suggested there was a lack of clarity about possible pathways after fellowship.

On Saturday, ECP members engaged senior leaders within cardiology and the ACC mentors in the lounge, discussed mentorship opportunities, College engagement and how to navigate a meeting the size of ACC.17 successfully. The feedback from this event was exceptional – from both ECP members and the esteemed senior cardiologists that attended. The participation and dialogue underscored the importance of our member group to the vitality of the College.

A discussion of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) followed this networking event, as much of the feedback the Council and College has received suggests that we are concerned about impending changes and wish to understand how to better prepare for upcoming implementation. Akshay Khandelwal, MD, FACC, governor of ACC's Michigan Chapter, shared his insights and strategies to prepare for what is a dynamic time in health care reimbursement.

On Sunday, Robert Shor, MD, FACC (@robertshor), a member of ACC's Board of Trustees and chair of ACC's Membership Committee, and members of the Board of Governors (BOG) came through the ECP lounge and shared their insights about engagement with the College, what opportunities exist in chapters and how we might best address the Fellow to ECP transition. This was a ripe discussion, and many of us shared our experience as early practicing physicians, and what the College and the local Chapters might do to make this transition more efficient and less anxiety-provoking. Several action items came from this session, and many of us made new connections with our state chapters.

In all, ACC.17 was an incredibly effective educational and networking experience. We learned more about each other. We shared common challenges and successes. Moreover, we discussed tangible initiatives that leverage our unique perspectives and abilities, and fortify our connection to the College. Now, it's back to "work," and looking forward to ACC.18!

This article was authored by Scott M. Lilly, MD, PHD, FACC, chair-elect of the Early Career Section.