Feature | Welcome to Early Career!

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The transition from Fellow in Training to practicing physician is both exciting and stressful. The autonomy we wished for as trainees is suddenly right in front of us, as are the obligations for billing, establishing a referral network and perhaps getting to know a new health system.

In some ways, there is a sense of "arriving." The long hours of studying and clinical service have finally enabled us to join the community of practicing cardiologists.

The ACC Early Career Section is comprised of cardiologists in the first seven years of clinical practice. Our peer group is distinguished from other members of the ACC by a unique set of concerns, challenges and definitions of success.

The Section was established to advocate for members, within and outside of the ACC, in effort to procure resources that ease transitions and prepare us to succeed in professional life.

The Section has a number of work groups that reflect the interests and initiatives of our members. We have surveyed the educational needs of ACC Early Career Section members, are identifying content that exists to address them, and are facilitating the creation of new content where gaps exist.

We have a growing number of initiatives with our international colleagues, robust communications framework, and have successfully lobbied for early career members to participate on local and national committees.

The ACC Early Career Section has also begun to tackle the issue of "wellness." While we trained and are familiar with the electronic medical record, many of us do not have experience with prior authorization.

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Additionally, the administrative burdens of running a practice are likely foreign, as are the complexities of hospital administration in general. These issues have received a tremendous amount of national attention and a number of groups within the ACC are working to identify actionable solutions.

If you have recently finished fellowship, now on your way to the Fellow of the ACC (FACC) designation, take advantage of one of the most active and productive Sections within the College.

Whether you just joined or have been a member for years, the ACC Early Career Section adds a dimension to your clinical duties, provides a community outside of your workplace, and facilitates professional successes and personal growth. Please offer a warm welcome to our newest Section members!

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This article was authored by Scott M. Lilly, MD, PhD, FACC, chair of the ACC Early Career Section Leadership Council.