FIT July Spotlight: Craig Alpert, MD

July 20, 2016 | Craig Alpert, MD
Career Development

Each month, the Fellow in Training (FIT) Section newsletter, ACC On-Call, will highlight the achievements of one cardiology FIT. The Section would like to recognize Craig Alpert, MD, an advanced heart failure/transplant FIT at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, as the 'star FIT' for the month of July. Alpert has been actively involved with the activities of the ACC over the past few years. He describes his research interests, hobbies, career goals and involvement with the ACC in a brief interview below:

What are your research interests?

I am interested in heart failure symptom burden, palliative care, geriatric cardiology and medical education.

What are your future plans after completion of training?

I plan to pursue a career as an academic heart failure/transplant cardiologist.

What do you enjoy doing outside of cardiology?

I enjoy listening to music, traveling, eating and cooking ethnic food, watching sports of any kind, running with my wife and golden retriever, and spending time with friends and family.

Who have been your most influential mentors?

I would like to recognize Peter Hagan, MBBCh, BAO, FACC; Michael J. Shea, MD, FACC; Claire S. Duvernoy, MD, FACC, chair of ACC's Women in Cardiology Section; Scott L. Hummel, MD; Ellen Hummel, MD; Kim A. Eagle, MD, MACC, editor in chief of; and of course, my parents, Judy and Barry Alpert.

How did you become involved with the ACC?

There is a strong ACC presence at the University of Michigan. Mentors and friends already involved in the ACC came across separate opportunities in both palliative care and medical education that aligned perfectly with my interests. Once they started to play matchmaker, it did not take much convincing!

Are you currently involved in any ACC committees?

I am currently the FIT representative to the ACC Lifelong Learning Oversight Committee and the Palliative Care Working Group, as well as a member of the Geriatric Cardiology Section FIT Working Group.

What past and current ACC activities have you worked on?

After two years of attending local and national conferences, I had the good fortune to join the Geriatric Cardiology Section and serve as the FIT representative to the Palliative Care Working Group. In both instances, I very much enjoyed being able to work alongside the leaders in our field while also meeting other fellows who share similar interests. Given my strong commitment to medical education, I jumped at the chance to plan a novel clinician-educator conference for FITs with Kim A. Eagle, MD, MACC, Patrick T. O'Gara, MD, MACC, Shashank S. Sinha, MD, and Michael W. Cullen, MD, FACC, when the occasion presented itself. Last February, the inaugural "Teaching Tomorrow's Teachers" (3T) debuted as eighteen FITs from around the country convened in Big Sky, Montana, to develop their skills as educators alongside some of ACC's finest master educators. In March, we then held an education-themed skill-building workshop in the FIT Lounge at ACC.16. Out of one opportunity springs another, and this past June I was invited to represent FITs on the Lifelong Learning and Oversight Committee, which helps shape the educational mission of the ACC.

What is your message for incoming FITs who are interested in getting involved with activities of the ACC?

I continue to be amazed by the breadth of ACC's offerings and the endless opportunities geared specifically toward FITs. The extent to which the ACC is willing to invest in its trainee members is truly remarkable. Whether your path is quite common or less well-traveled, the ACC is prepared to help and is positioned to do so as a result of its – biggest asset – its dedicated membership.