My Early Career Experience With Chapter Engagement in Georgia

Fresh out of cardiology fellowship training, I joined an accountable care organization in Atlanta. Being part of a small and new group, I had a huge responsibility to establish my network. ACC's Georgia Chapter felt like home away from home!

I signed up for the Georgia Chapter annual conference and was surprised to meet many "friends of friends" – people who knew my mentors, were trained in the northeast and Facebook friends from Emory who I had never met before. It was an amazing experience. Plus, the conference was held at a luxury Ritz Carlton lakeside resort! Bonus point checked.

I wanted to be an active member of the Georgia Chapter, so I met with the executive director of the chapter and introduced myself to two cardiology fellowship program directors. I expressed my interest in the ACC Inter-State FIT Jeopardy contest and was offered a coach position for the Georgia FIT team to help them prepare for the 2017 National ACC FIT Jeopardy competition. I met with FITs at Emory University and Augusta University and we coordinated our training sessions. Our team performed very well at the national contest. The program directors were highly impressed with my team's performance and I was offered the coaching job for one more time – the 2018 National ACC FIT Jeopardy competition.

The FIT Jeopardy contest is a great way to engage with your local ACC state chapter, FITs and Early Career physicians. In furtherance of my desire to actively participate with the Georgia Chapter, I discussed the option of conducting an intra-state Jeopardy contest at the Georgia Chapter's annual conference. My proposal was discussed by the Georgia Chapter board members and approved overwhelmingly. The Georgia Chapter will conduct its first Jeopardy contest in November. There will be two teams – FITs vs. Early Career physicians. I will be coaching the FIT team and cannot wait to lift the trophy!

My experience with chapter engagement as an Early Career physician has been highly satisfying and helpful. I would encourage all Early Career cardiologists to be actively engaged with their respective ACC chapters. I think such competitions should be held at all ACC state chapter meetings, with a goal of bringing together many FITs and Early Career cardiologists on one platform.

Networking is an investment in your career. It takes time but, when done correctly and consistently, can yield great results for years to come.

This article was authored by Kunal Gurav, MD, FACC, an Early Career cardiologist at JenCare in Atlanta, GA.