Focus on PA-ACC: Family time!

October 27, 2016 | Edinrin Rae Obasare, MD
Chapter Engagement

Families – some we choose and others we find ourselves in. In most families, everyone rallies together to achieve a common worthwhile goal. The ACC is a large organization, with local state chapters which serve as the “smaller family” unit for ACC members. The Pennsylvania Chapter (PA-ACC) is my local ACC chapter/family. In fact, we are such a big unit that we have two divisions with respective ‘parents’. Our eastern PA-ACC division is governed by Vincent Figueredo, MD, FACC, and the western division by Suresh Mulukutla, MD, FACC. As cardiovascular FITs, we enroll in this huge ACC family as FIT members. I am relatively new to my ACC state chapter family and I am quite excited with the vast opportunities available to me and my fellow FITs.

My first introduction to the PA-ACC family was through their educational/quality improvement section. In October 2015, during my first year of fellowship, I attended the PA-ACC meeting on ‘Electrophysiology for the General Fellow.’ We were given top-notch presentations by faculty throughout the state. This included Steven Rothman, MD, FACCRajat Deo, MD, FACCJoshua Liez, MD; Soraya Samii, MD, FACCBehzad Pavri, MBBS, FACCSudip Nanda, MD; and Daniel Frisch, MD, FACC. Even though I knew little about EP at that point, I learned a lot, and appreciated the fact that faculty would go out of their way on a Saturday to educate us with their expert knowledge; for free! Since then, I have attended several educational conferences provided by the PA-ACC, including a FIT Board prep EKG session in May this year. This was organized by our current eastern FIT elect representative, Naveen Bellam, MD. At that session Joshua M. Cooper, MD, FACC, and  Dr. Pavri,  gave an excellent case-based tutorial on EKG reading for the boards. 

In addition to academic meetings, the PA-ACC family is pro-active in ensuring that FITs have a successful career, get the right first job, and successfully negotiate their first job contract. In order to achieve this goal, the PA-ACC organizes networking opportunities through meet-and-greets with faculty and other FIT members. In addition, the PA-ACC hosts financial webinars such as the webinar on ‘Financial Planning for FITs,’ held in February this year. This was organized by the Early Career Section, and hosted by Mark Vergenes and Joe Noca.

The PA-ACC is also involved in advocacy. For instance, Andrew R. Waxler, MD, FACC, and William A. Van Decker, MD, FACC, hosted a webinar in April this year. It was entitled: ‘Advocacy in Action.’ The advocacy section caught my interest because of the important problems that it intends to solve. Issues such as: improving prior authorization bills in the state, working with the American Heart Association to teach student CPR as a high school graduation requirement, and challenging the American Board of Internal Medicine to make national changes that make the education we receive as cardiologists relevant. Personally, the PA-ACC advocacy section presents a tremendous growth opportunity as I wade in undiscovered territory and increase my individual capacity beyond the responsibilities of my fellowship training.

My cardiovascular disease fellowship program director and eastern governor of the PA-ACCDr. Figueredolater introduced me to the population health section of the chapter. He described his passion in this section as they collaborate with our states' department of health to extract public data on important cardiovascular issues in our state such as obesity, hypertension and smoking. He also identified this as a great opportunity for FITs interested in research. He further expressed the PA-ACC’s particular focus on women in cardiology given the unique cardiovascular disease burden women bear in our state. The PA-ACC is looking to significantly involve expansion here.

In the end the PA-ACC wants to do what any good family would. It strives to nurture the growth and development of its younger family members - FITs, as we journey the uncertain path of fellowship and beyond. Please join us on this rewarding journey! Get active in your local ACC state chapter!

This article was authored by Edinrin Rae Obasare, MD, a Fellow in Training (FIT) at Einstein Medical Center.