The Importance of Engaging With Local ACC Chapters: An Interview With Vincent Figueredo, MD, FACC
November 17, 2016 | Edinrin Rae Obasare, MD
Engaging in the ACC through your state chapter is exciting, rewarding, challenging, growth enhancing, and important in generating young leaders focused on eradicating cardiovascular disease.
In reflecting on my progression as an FIT thus far, I realize that much focus has been directed on research, academia, teaching and clinical acumen. I have identified important skill gaps such as career development, business of medicine, advocacy, quality improvement and population health. Getting involved in your state chapter addresses these gaps and other important facets of our growth as cardiovascular disease professionals.
I recently sat down with Vincent Figueredo, MD, FACC,eastern governor of ACC’s PA Chapter, associate chair of medicine, chief of clinical cardiology, and cardiology fellowship program director at Einstein Medical Center, to discuss the importance of engaging in the ACC through state chapter, specifically the PA Chapter.
How did you initially become involved in the ACC?
VF: I have been involved with the ACC since I joined as a FIT. I have gone to pretty much every ACC scientific session since that time – probably over a 25 year period. When I moved to PA and became the fellowship director, I got involved with the PA Chapter. I eventually chaired the education committee so that we could increase educational opportunities for FITs.
Why should FITs get involved in the PA Chapter?
VF: We strive at the PA Chapter to bring as many educational opportunities to FITs in PA. Ideally, we try to find or create educational courses important to them with regard to the Boards. We update them on the latest technology and special areas of interest such as geriatric cardiology. Furthermore, it allows FITs to go to mixers/socials to network with other FITs from other institutions. There are also opportunities to meet with and be mentored by fellows or other members of the ACC. This gives them increased career opportunities.
What opportunities do FITs have at the PA Chapter?
VF: We have many opportunities. At any time we have six to 10 FITs around the state working at the executive council level and on the task forces including: advocacy, education, and women in cardiology.
What are the main activities you would like FITs to engage in with the PA Chapter?
VF: Major activities available are focused on a prior authorization bill at the state legislature level. We are also continuing to work on CPR as a high school graduation requirement. This is locally in Philadelphia as well as at a state level. We are trying to focus heavily on educational opportunities for FITs, whether it is sub-specialty conferences within the state or Board related reviews. We are asking for fellow participation in this so that we may schedule ones that are relevant to them. We would like FITs to get involved in the Women in Cardiology Task Force. We are looking to significantly expand involvement there.
Why are you passionate about working with the PA Chapter?
VF: I believe the Chapter is looking out for cardiologists, FITs and cardiology associates, such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants. We are doing important work from a state legislative standpoint on simplifying prior authorization. We are working to have them follow appropriate use guidelines as opposed to random rejections. We are educating cardiovascular health care practitioners on the complicated new MACRA legislation that has come out nationally that we all need to understand. We are working nationally on maintenance of certification changes with the ABIM that are more in line with what cardiologists in this state believe would be important for ongoing education.
I am enthusiastic about the involvement of FITs and offering them as many opportunities as possible from an educational, legislative, and advocacy standpoint. Giving them, in these complicated times of health care, an opportunity to understand what is going on and coming down the pipeline. Enabling them to know how best to prepare for it. One last thing, I think there is a big focus on early career. Starting as a FIT in the ACC then going into practice, there is a lot of assistance and knowledge about how to approach your practice.
Do you have any final words of advice about engaging with the PA Chapter?
VF: FITs should get involved as early as possible in the ACC on a chapter level, especially if in PA. The resources are huge. The educational support is vast. There is great early career support. What you’ll find is that the ACC home is a fantastic place to be a part of and a wonderful resource throughout your career.
This article was authored by Edinrin Rae Obasare, MD, a second year cardiology fellow at Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. He is also a Fellow in Training (FIT) member of ACC’s PA Chapter.