New York State FIT Committee Showcase: Part I

Welcome back to our series on ACC chapter engagement for FITs! The intent of the series is to encourage FITs to actively engage in their state's ACC chapter.

In this article, we delve into another hub of FIT excellence, the New York State ACC Chapter! At a time when the entire world is barely emerging from isolation, lockdown and the exacerbated demand of medical and cardiovascular care, the New York medical community – hit hard by the pandemic – stands out for its bravery, frontline fortitude, and survival of extraordinary challenges.

New York has the distinction of being the state where the American College of Cardiology was founded in 1949. They held their first meeting two years later in NYC and attracted more than 275 physicians. The state chapter was later founded in 1990. New York has around 1410 cardiologists of various subspecialities in world renowned cardiovascular centers, both in New York City and across the state. It is also the heart of many nationwide trials, countless prominent leaders and pioneers in cardiovascular research, and the hub of multiple medical schools. While there is great depth and diversity in the NYACC and its FIT members, they are all united by the common goal of providing excellent cardiovascular care to their patients.

I sat down with the 2022-2023 catalysts of the state's ACC chapter – Dikshya Sharma, MBBS; David Power, MBBCH; and Ameesh Isath, MBBS – as well as 2021-2022 FIT catalyst, Sarah Rosanel, MD.

Why did you decide to be a part of NY ACC?

Power: The NYACC gives us the opportunity to engage in health education and research, to represent our state chapter in leadership roles nationally and to provide pathways for professional development as early career cardiologists. It also allows for greater collaboration with co-fellows across New York and nationally. As a foreign medical graduate (FMG), the NYACC allows me the opportunity to connect with other FMG's to discuss navigating career issues and sub-specialty training. Overall, the New York ACC chapter has cardiologists with an impressive representation of various subspecialties, career stages and diversity – allowing FITs the opportunity to find professional mentorship with cardiologists who have walked similar paths.

What activities does your chapter do?

Power: Our chapter reflects the national ACC in many of its aims and activities, including career development, and FIT engagement. The NYACC State FIT Jeopardy session is one of our flagship yearly sessions, where more than a dozen teams from different cardiology programs in New York compete to test their medical knowledge. The top FIT jeopardy team competes in the national ACC jeopardy tournament.

At the mid-point of the academic year, our NYACC Chapter hosts the much-lauded "Shark Tank Challenge," in which residents and fellows from across the state pitch their innovative ideas and prototypes to a panel of three "shark" judges. The shark tank competition collaborates with the ACC Health Care Innovation section and serves as a launching pad for many innovative ideas for FITs and residents across the state. For all those involved, the Shark Tank Challenge event allows for networking and helps foster ideas for innovation and collaboration.

Sharma: In conjunction with the Shark Tank challenge, we hold a yearly Young Investigator's award competition open FITs, medical students, residents, or graduate students. This allows us to reach out to prospective physicians early in their training to foster their interest in cardiology. Our YouTube channel is full of educational material – including the After Shocks series – aimed at providing recaps of lectures from prominent Cardiology conferences. We have also partnered with other chapters for important discussions – the latest being our partnership with PA ACC for a summer series on handling microaggression, discrimination and bias at the workplace.

What is your advice on going forward to FITs in general?

Isath: There are lots of opportunities to be involved within the local and national chapters and starting at the state level can help lead to opportunities in the national level. The FIT committee can be a platform to hone leadership skills and open avenues for professional development. Additionally, even if you are not interested in getting involved in the FIT committee, I would recommend looking at NYACC as a platform for mentorship, for collaboration with colleagues with similar interests, as well as meet for finding mentors who can support you for the rest of your career.

To read part two of this interview, click here.

Thank you, Drs. Dikshya Sharma, David Power, Ameesh Isath, and Sara Rosanel, for your highly informative discussion and bringing a great deal of information to the ACC community (national and international) about your efforts!

Be the catalyst for change in your state chapter! The belief in what we do has a meaningful and profound impact on colleagues, the practice of cardiology and especially the patients.

This article was authored by Megan Pelter, MD, an FIT at Scripps Health. Twitter: @MeganPelter

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