Chapter Engagement – FIT Forums and Transition to Practice

August 16, 2017 | Edinrin Obasare, MD
Chapter Engagement

As summer comes to its final month we reflect on the changes that propel us to the next season of our lives. This is an exciting and busy time for everyone. It also presents the opportunity to take part in activities our ACC state chapters offer.

No matter the fellowship program, there is a chapter close by. Our chapters provide us with a local academic community that is very helpful as we progress in our careers in cardiovascular disease.

Numerous activities our ACC state chapters offer include education, quality improvement, advocacy, women in cardiology, career development, business of medicine and population health. Despite these important sections, I was personally impressed to see the advent of online forums available through ACC's Pennsylvania Chapter. It has provided a quick and easy means to support co-FITs in our career journeys. I believe this is a progressive way to view the future of cardiovascular medicine.

This is good news: even if our chapter connections are not in-person, we are able to maintain contact through various online and social media outlets. I was excited when ACC's PA Chapter recently launched FIT Forums in January this year. This platform gives the opportunity for us to discuss topics we consider relevant at this early stage of our cardiology careers.

Our field is changing rapidly with new discoveries and ways of thinking about cardiovascular disease that are mind-boggling. To have an avenue to quickly and comfortably discuss important issues in this atmosphere is invaluable. This reflects much of the forward thinking and vision that the College demonstrates and distributes through its state chapters.

ACC's state chapters are important components of the professional homes of today's FITs. To that end, the PA Chapter has been working on several initiatives that cross fellowship program lines and are aimed at engaging FITs across the state in the activities of the Chapter as well as the ACC. In order to achieve those goals, with the support of the PA Chapter, we developed a statewide, FIT-moderated Google Groups forum to discuss issues important to FITs, starting with the fellow-to-faculty transition.

In April this year, Srinath Adusumalli, MD, and Ahmad Masri, MD, our FIT representatives to ACC's PA Chapter Executive Council, opened an FIT forum discussion regarding the transition out of fellowship. This is a very important topic for many FITs as it represents a time of anxiety as we move on to our first jobs out of training, or we may be moving on to more advanced fellowships requiring even more training.

Key topics of discussion were:

  • Selecting an academic, private practice or hybrid setting
  • How to approach looking for and negotiating a job in any of those settings
  • Negotiating time allocation
  • Common timeline in the job search process (from initial search to accepting a position and subsequently starting the job)
  • For junior fellows: general job search, negotiation and transition process

To consolidate and expand on these topics of discussion our Chapter had an FIT "Transition to Practice" live meeting this month with Sumeet K. Mainigi, MD, a clinical cardiac electrophysiology attending from Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA. Key points discussed were choosing the right job and understanding the lingo (compensation, relative value units [RVUs] and strategies for success). A few highlights were:

  • Get involved in hospital committees: "If you are not at the table, you are on the menu."
  • Be a good citizen: Contribute your time to the hospital you work at and its surrounding community.
  • Track your data meticulously: This includes procedures, office visits, RVUs, etc.
  • Be a nice person: People may appreciate you more for it.

The activities of ACC chapters are numerous. Summer gives us an opportunity to enjoy family and friends. Let us not forget to remain connected to our academic families also. Social media and the internet give us ample opportunity to stay connected even remotely. With the rapidly changing face of cardiovascular disease, platforms such as online FIT discussion forums provide us with this perfect space to keep involved, even if only for a few minutes a week. This may segue to live meetings and get-togethers, similar to the effect of popular forms of social media.

I am thrilled to be part of our exciting ACC community and state chapters that have a broad vision for our careers and seeks every opportunity to see us thrive. To this end, there is clear value in being involved with ACC state chapters where collaborative and social projects like FIT forums help to build and strengthen our community of FITs. I hope you will continue taking part in this joyful and rewarding experience!

This article was written by Edinrin Obasare, MD, a Fellow in Training (FIT) at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA.