Meetings and Events | Women in Cardiology Symposium and Roundtable at CRT 2016

This article was authored by Smita Negi, MD, a fellow in training, PGY-7, at Washington Hospital Center/ Georgetown University.

Meetings and events focusing on female cardiologists are so rare, that it is refreshing to attend events that highlight problems specific to females in the field of cardiology. One such event was a “Women in Interventional Cardiology “ roundtable, chaired by Cindy Grines, MD, FACC, and Roxana Mehran, MD, FACC, held during this year’s Cardiovascular Research Technology (CRT) Meeting, in Washington, DC. The Sunday half-day program began with the Women & Heart Symposium. Some prominent speakers, including Alexandra Lansky, MD, FACC, and Alice Jacobs, MD, FACC, discussed the gender specific issues in cardiology, such as disparate outcomes in acute myocardial infarction. Kimberly Skelding, MD, FACC, discussed the unique challenges faced by the women cardiologists, especially those working in cardiac catheterization laboratory, which strongly resonated with the audience.  Dr. Skelding shared some of her experiences as an interventional cardiology trainee and, later, a proceduralist, in a male dominated catheterization lab.

This was followed by the “Women in Interventional Cardiology roundtable,” which was a dynamic session that addressed the issues specific to female interventional cardiologists, including starting in academic or private practice as a junior attending, research and mentorship, and developing as a leader. It was a unique opportunity for the young early career or in training women cardiologists to discuss issues and obtain guidance on a one on one basis with the luminaries, even as they shared their experiences on how they carved their path to success.

The roundtable provided an excellent platform to trainee female cardiologists to ask questions ranging from work-life balance, complications during procedures to negotiating job contracts and finding a niche in academic medicine. The success stories of these role models, with excellent career and family balance was a great example of how they could “have it all”. More of these events are needed to inspire female trainee residents to choose cardiology as their area of specialization, where ratio of female to male still remains extremely low.