Career Development | Tips For Academic Advancement For Women in Cardiology

Recent statistics from the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) demonstrate that few women are in academic positions, with fewer women becoming full professors. The current statistics suggest that fewer women reach top academic positions compared with men – 19 percent of men and 5 percent of women are full professors. Meanwhile, there are equal numbers of men and women at the instructor level. Whether this reflects women having inadequate credentials or being less likely to apply for promotions is not yet known.

Given the national focus on prevention, many medical schools and academic medical centers have expanded the academic promotion requirements beyond research to include expertise in teaching/education, clinical care and administrative/leadership service.

As women, we need to be proactive starting at a fellowship stage to make a conscious effort to apply for promotions, if we wish to achieve academic advancement.

Here are a few tips for charting a pathway for academic advancement on the clinical track:

  1. Understand the criteria for promotion
  2. Develop and update your professional curriculum vitae on a quarterly basis. Be sure to track and document your academic accomplishments
  3. Volunteer for institutional committees
  4. Identify a mentor and an academic sponsor
  5. Create a Teaching/Education portfolio and include:
    1. All presentations: grand rounds, resident/fellow conferences
    2. Invited regional, national and international lectures
    3. Community education
  6. Create a Clinical Care portfolio and include:
    1. Recognition by local and regional communities for excellence in clinical care
    2. Commitment to service and community involvement
    3. Dedication to patient care
  7. Mentoring portfolio, including residents and fellows
  8. Leadership/Administrative portfolio: local, regional and national committee membership and task force appointments (e.g. ACC, American Heart Association, etc. ).
  9. Clinical Research portfolio: abstracts, reports, reviews in peer review journals, etc.

This article was authored by Jennifer H Mieres, MD, FACC, professor of cardiology and population health at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine in Hempstead, NY.