FIT December Spotlight: Ada C. Stefanescu Schmidt, MD

December 14, 2016 | Ada C. Stefanescu Schmidt, MD
Career Development

Each month, the Fellows in Training (FIT) Section newsletter, ACC On-Call, will highlight the achievements of one cardiology FIT. The Section would like to recognize Ada C. Stefanescu Schmidt, MD, a cardiology fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, an FIT member of the Surgeons' Section Leadership Council, and a member of ACC’s Leadership Academy, as the 'star FIT' for the month of December. She describes her research interests, hobbies, career goals and involvement with the ACC in a short interview below.

What are your future plans (plan after fellowship)?

I plan to complete adult congenital heart disease fellowship following my cardiology fellowship.

What are your research interests?

I am interested in outcomes research, with a focus on risk prediction and patient-reported outcomes.

What are your hobbies outside of cardiology/cardiothoracic surgery?

Photography, traveling.

Do you have any mentors that you would like to recognize?

I have been lucky to have outstanding mentors and role models since the start of my training- in particular, Hasan Bazari, MD, and Patrick O’Gara, MD, MACC. My research mentor is Laura Mauri, MD, MSc, FACC and I collaborate and learn from Robert Yeh, MD, MSc, FACC; John Spertus, MD, MPH, FACC; and Ari Cedars, MD. Ami Bhatt, MD, FACC, and Doreen Defaria Yeh, MD, FACC, have been my clinical and research mentors in the field of congenital heart disease, and Douglas Drachman, MD, FACC and Kenneth Rosenfield, MD, MHCDS, FACC, in the cath lab and education projects.

Please describe your roles as FIT Representatives in the ACC Surgeon’s Council.

As the cardiology FIT representative on the ACC Surgeons’ Leadership Council, I have worked with my surgery resident FIT colleagues to increase membership and involvement of cardiothoracic surgery residents in the ACC. I also represent the ACC on the Thoracic Surgery Residents’ Association (TSRA) Executive Council, and have collaborated with the TSRA to organize activities for residents and fellows at ACC’s and American Association for Thoracic Surgery’s (AATS) national meetings.

What advice do you have for fellows in cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery to ensure there is outstanding, ongoing collaboration?

Getting to know one another is the first step! We have much to learn from one another, from clinical skills (such as cath lab skills, management of access complications, understanding factors that increase patients’ operative risk) to research (the STS/ACC Registry, research around risk adjustment and outcomes reporting). As a cardiology FIT, I recommend that you ask to spend time observing in the OR, get to know the surgery residents and ask questions to better understand the surgical process, the reasons why some patients might be poor operative candidates. Make a point of involving the surgery residents in quality improvement initiative or research projects in your institutions (or in ACC/NCDR/large database projects), to get their insights and to start forming collaborations early.

I’ve had the chance to attend AATS’ conference this year and it was a great experience – we are working on making membership and conference registration easier for cardiology FITs, more to come soon! As hybrid revascularization and valve replacement approaches are becoming more common, we will increasingly have to work together to both improve the technology and procedural techniques and choose the best treatment for each patient, and the ACC is a great forum to start those collaborations.

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