FIT February Spotlight: Hassan Mir, MD

February 15, 2017 | Hassan Mir, 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 Hassan Mir, MD, an FIT at McMaster University, as the 'star FIT' for the month of February. He describes his research interests, hobbies, career goals and involvement with the ACC in a short interview below.

What are your plans after cardiology fellowship?
I plan on pursuing further clinical training in cardiovascular prevention and echocardiography. I am also interested in pursuing a master's in Public Health or Health Policy to further broaden the impact of my clinical training to a larger scale. There are tremendous opportunities in both the academic and private practice models. I am leaning toward pursuing an academic practice where I can maintain a clinical practice while continuing to expand my interest in research and administration.

What are your research interests?
I am passionate about smoking cessation and have led several projects related to education and health policy in this field. Beyond this, I am interested in assessing the impact of smartphone technology on health outcomes. I am leading one such study trying to improve access of social assistance programs among patients in poverty. I hope to explore other means in which technology can be used to improve outcomes among our patients.

What are your hobbies outside of cardiology?
Outside of cardiology, I love traveling and spending time with family and friends. I enjoy playing sports and am actively training to improve my overall strength and endurance. I am an avid cricket player, having played semi-professionally and at the international level. Despite a busy training program, I continue to play on a weekly basis as a potent stress-reliever.

How do you approach work-life balance?
Work-life balance is among the most important, yet most challenging aspects of our career. It is vital to avoid burnout and something all of us must actively work toward achieving. I am forever grateful to my wife, Assya, who inspires me to live life to the fullest and maintain a healthy balance while supporting me in the pursuit of my goals and aspirations. My family and friends have also played a major role in achieving this balance and ensure I remain grounded despite the hectic nature of our work.

As FITs, we all have tremendous opportunities to get involved in activities outside of our clinical requirements. Most of us are keen to take on such extracurricular activities; however, it can add to our already heavy work load. Self-reflection has allowed me to gain a clearer picture of what I love to do and where I want to be in the next five to 10 years. Being passionate about what I do and only taking on activities which help me achieve my goals has allowed me to attain a better grasp on my work-life balance. Nevertheless, it is something that I continue to work on every day.

Do you have any mentors that you would like to recognize?
I have been very fortunate to have received mentorship throughout my academic career. From a clinical standpoint, Eva Lonn, MD, FACC, governor of ACC's Ontario Chapter, and Shariq Haider, MD, have epitomized what it means to be a well-rounded, compassionate and expert clinician. In my research career, Salim Yusuf, PhD, FACC, and Gordon Guyatt, MD, MSc, have been instrumental in inspiring and nurturing my interests. Their guidance has allowed me to seek meaningful answers to clinical questions I have come across during my day-to-day practice. I am forever thankful to my mentors and implore every FIT to seek mentorship from those around them.

How did you first become involved with the ACC?
During my cardiology training at McMaster University, I was paired with Dr. Lonn for my longitudinal cardiology clinics. This was a serendipitous pairing as she is also the ACC Ontario Chapter governor and informed me of the many resources and opportunities available through the ACC in education, leadership and advocacy. I was quick to get involved with the ACC activities in our Chapter and to take a leadership role as an FIT representative. I look forward to working with the local leadership to expand Chapter activities.

What other ACC activities are you involved in?
At first, my activities were limited to reading the articles and information on the ACC FIT Section Page on I also obtained the ACCSAP 9 educational product, which my seniors informed me was a useful tool in preparing for our licensing exams. By routinely visiting the FIT webpage and chatting with Dr. Lonn, I discovered the many ways that FITs can get involved with the ACC. Given my interest, I was nominated and selected to attend the 2017 ACC Leadership Forum in Orlando, FL, as the Canadian Chapter FIT representative. This was an inspiring meeting where I had the opportunity to meet and learn from trailblazers in the field of cardiology.

Since returning from the Leadership Forum, I have arranged an information session for other cardiology trainees at McMaster University to highlight the benefits and opportunities available within the ACC. Beyond this, we are planning a quarterly Journal Club, which will also serve as a networking opportunity for local ACC members. I also look forward to attending ACC's Annual Scientific Session (ACC.17) in Washington, DC, in March, where I will be presenting a case report and participating in the ACC FIT Jeopardy Competition on behalf of the ACC Canadian Chapter.

Beyond this, I will look for opportunities to join additional committees/councils or section working groups within the ACC.

What advice do you have for other FIT members?
The ACC is a fantastic organization with tremendous opportunities. It is the academic home for cardiology trainees and staff across the world. There are numerous academic meetings to broaden your knowledge base while learning and networking with leaders in the field. You can submit your abstracts for the opportunity to present in the research competition or join your chapter team to compete in FIT Jeopardy during ACC's Annual Scientific Session.

The ACC and FIT Section Council are keen to have you on board. They are very receptive to hearing your ideas and supporting you in applying them. Take a few minutes to reach out and learn how you can get involved!

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