ACC Georgia Chapter: Engaging FITs on the State Level

February 12, 2016 | Thomas Riddell, MD
Chapter Engagement

The ACC Georgia Chapter promotes high standards in the practice of cardiovascular medicine and surgery in the state of Georgia and maximizes the quality of cardiovascular care received by the residents of the state. The Chapter hosted its annual meeting in November of 2015 at the Ritz Carlton at Lake Oconee. The three-day conference was led by Donald A. Page, MD, FACC, president of the ACC Georgia Chapter.

The curriculum this year highlighted the vast spectrum of cardiovascular disease. The first day of the conference focused on atherosclerosis and vulnerable plaque, led by both national and local experts. ACC President Kim Allan Williams Sr., MD, FACC, presented an update on national issues from the ACC on the second day. Many other presentations were given over the following two days on topics such as cardiomyopathies, pulmonary embolism and new hyperlipidemia management. For the second year in a row, a workshop focusing on cardiovascular surgery served as a highlight of the meeting. This workshop provided a platform for surgeons to showcase surgical techniques, such as mitral valve repair and minimally invasive CABG, as pertaining to cardiologists.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was given this year to Paul L. Douglass, MD, FACC, a practicing interventional cardiologist at Atlanta Medical Center and clinical assistant professor of cardiology at Morehouse School of Medicine. The night was capped off with a show from the Capitol Steps, a political satire group from Washington, DC.

Eight fellows from Emory University and Georgia Regents University presented posters at the 2015 ACC Georgia Chapter meeting.  From Emory University, Tamas Alexy, MD, Nima Ghasemzadeh, MD, Kobina Arhin Wilmot, MD, and Jeffrey H. Sacks, MD, presented posters. Their topics included circulating microRNA in obesity, biomarkers in myocardial infarction, epidemiology in coronary artery disease, and pediatric cardiac readmissions, respectively. From Georgia Regents University, Michael Ibe, MD, Amudhan Jyothidasan, MD, Loren Morgan, MD, and Stefani Samples, MD, presented posters. Their topics included thrombolytic agents, echo characteristics of interatrial shunting, oral  acetylcysteine in contrast nephropathy, and echocardiography assessments of atrial septal defects. Dr. Ibe won the award for “Best Poster” for his presentation on the “Use of Thrombolytic Agents to Improve Specificity of the D-Dimer Test for Detection of Intravascular Clots in Patients Suspected of Pulmonary Embolism.”

As the Fellow in Training (FIT) representative from Emory University, my primary goal is to attend the semi-annual GA/ACC council meeting and provide meaningful feedback as it relates to current FITs. This year, a special meeting was designed specifically for FITs and Early Career Professionals. The meeting was chaired by Michael Balk, MD, FACC, and included four presentations from cardiologists in Georgia including Syed Tanveer Rab, MBBS, FACC, J. Jeffrey Marshall, MD, FACC, Matt Certain, MD, and Jonathon R. Murrow, MD, FACC. The meeting focused on topics such as job searches, contract negotiation and practice management as pertaining to new graduates. 

There were many important messages to take home from this presentation. First, the average cardiologist has works in 2.7 practices during their career, and your first job will not likely be your last. You should determine what aspects of a new job are more important to you – whether it is location, reimbursement, call schedule, etc. – and find the job that best fits those criteria. Lastly, a successful career ultimately results from hard work (and lots of it!) and positive relationships with your referral base. The program was well received and will continue to grow in the coming years.

Lastly, both Emory and Georgia Regents University will be sending FITs to compete in “FIT Jeopardy” at ACC’s Annual Scientific Session in Chicago, IL, April 2 – 4. The ACC Georgia Chapter will be represented by Brian Heeke, MD, Danesh K Kella, MD, and Amudhan Jyothidasan, MD. Join the Georgia team for their preliminary round against the ACC Missouri, Alabama and Mississippi Chapters on April 2 at 9:45 a.m!

This article was authored by Thomas Riddell, MD, a fellow in training at Emory University.