Audacious Optimism, Career Transitions and Professional Vision: Lessons From the ACC WIC Leadership Workshop

During this year's ACC Legislative Conference, attendees had the fantastic opportunity of participating in the ACC Women in Cardiology (WIC) Leadership Workshop. Female cardiology Fellows in Training (FITs) spent an afternoon with mentors from across the country to share experiences, connect and discuss wide-ranging topics such as career transitions and planning, interacting with news media, and recognizing priorities.

The afternoon kicked off with a delicious lunch, allowing attendees to mingle and discover common interests. Lunch was followed by an insightful and engaging talk titled, "Audaciously Optimistic: The Journey of Startup Founders" by keynote speaker Samantha Rudolph, co-founder and CEO of Babyation.

She reviewed the challenges of being a startup founder in a male-dominated field and shared stories of success, wisdom and practical advice on navigating frequent ups and downs we all encounter. Rudolph also encouraged our group to take an interest in financial planning, noting that only 2.2 percent of venture capital went to women in 2017.

Cardiology Magazine ImageToniya Singh MBBS, FACC
Cardiology Magazine ImageGarima Sharma, MD, FACC
Cardiology Magazine ImageTina Shah, MBBS, FACC
Cardiology Magazine ImageGina P. Lundberg, MD, FACC
Cardiology Magazine ImageAlison L. Bailey, MD, FACC

Next, Nicole Napoli, director of media relations at the ACC, gave us a useful run down on how to interact with news media as experts in the field. Avoiding jargon, using clear statements and "quote worthy phrases," and focusing on 2 – 3 key talking points are the cornerstones of a successful interaction with the media.

Afterwards, Toniya Singh MBBS, FACC, chair of the ACC WIC Council, moderated a panel discussion on the myths and truths of career transitions.

Garima Sharma, MD, FACC, emphasized that a first job is an important opportunity to get to know one's priorities and "a rewarding career is more about doing what you care about then doing what you love." She highlighted the role of multiple mentors in achieving success and the importance of working with people that share the same values.

Tina Shah, MBBS, FACC, shared her successful experience of career transition and discussed that remaining true to one's values when making a change is key.

She noted, "You don't always have control over the timing of change. But you do have control over what you make of the change." She made the excellent point that involvement and leadership within the ACC is attainable even when employed in a private organization.

Gina P. Lundberg, MD, FACC, shared her experience with career transition and provided several tips for successfully navigating such transitions, including career planning, building networks, mentorship, building a niche, and developing business and leadership skills. She described academic avenues in private practice including medical education, research and STEM.

There was tremendous audience participation with many questions answered and leaders present in the audience made several helpful comments.

The workshop concluded with a career planning exercise led by Garima Sharma, MD, FACC, and Alison L. Bailey, MD, FACC. They reviewed the fundamentals of developing long-term personal and professional vision and establishing short-term goals. The participants completed a values grid, which was a wonderful exercise in self-awareness and a roadmap to the future.

Overall, the workshop was a resounding success. As an FIT, the opportunity to connect with a vast network of mentors who are willing to be your sponsors and personal life coaches is incredible.

We look forward to participating again next year.

Cardiology Magazine Image

This article was authored by Vrinda Trivedi, MBBS (@vtrivediMBBS), Fellow in Training (FIT) at Brown University in Provident, RI.