In Case You Missed It: Recap of ACC.19 Early Career Lounge Sessions

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The Early Career Lounge at ACC.19 hosted three fantastic discussion sessions dedicated to career development for early career cardiologists.

The first session occurred on Saturday, March 16, as Joshua Schulman-Marcus, MD, FACC, led a conversation about "Personal Finance for Early Career Cardiologists." Topics ranged from debt management to retirement savings and insurance. This session was valuable because it was led by cardiologists with a particular interest in sharing their knowledge of personal finance with their peers. Attendees also found the discussion relevant to their personal situation as they transition from the long process of medical training to staff physicians.

The second session, "Early Career Transitions: Career Guidance for the Early Career and Beyond," featured two experienced speakers, including William A. Zoghbi, MD, MACC, former ACC President, and Anthony A. Hilliard, MD, FACC, former chair of the Early Career Council. Both offered their unique perspective on the challenges and transitions that early career cardiologists face. Hilliard spoke to his experience transitioning from early career to mid-career, and how he shifted from a purely clinical role to an administrative leader.

Zoghbi shared his deep and vast knowledge from a long career with multiple transitions and decision points. Despite the different stages of their careers, both speakers stressed the importance of mentorship and a focus on high-priority career goals. The attendees left this session with a unique perspective about the upcoming transitions they face and the tools necessary to navigate them.

The third and final session occurred on Monday, March 18, as Beau M. Hawkins, MD, FACC, from the University of Oklahoma, led a conversation on "How Can Industry Influence My Practice: A Primer for Early Career Physicians." The speakers discussed a variety of topics ranging from the Sunshine Act to varying levels of industry support and the likelihood of financial conflicts, either perceived or real, due to these activities and interactions. Early career attendees left this session with a balanced perspective on ways interactions with industry could benefit or harm their career.

All three Early Career Lounge sessions at ACC.19 were met with resounding success. Attendees learned a substantial amount from the speakers and their colleagues in attendance. The intimate environment of the Early Career Lounge facilitated discussion and sparked conversation. We eagerly anticipate similar sessions next year at ACC.20/WCC in Chicago, IL. We look forward to seeing you then.

This article was authored by Michael W. Cullen, MD, FACC, cardiologist at Mayo Clinic in Owatonna, MN.