Chapter Engagement | ACC’s IL Chapter Hosts First WIC Section Event

This article was authored by Hena Patel, MD, a Fellow in Training (FIT) at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL.

The Women in Cardiology (WIC) Section of ACC’s IL Chapter held its first event in late November 2016. Hosted at Rush University Medical Center in downtown Chicago, this event was a huge success! Female physicians at every career stage – from FITs to late career cardiologists (and even a couple of internal medicine residents!) – traveled from near and far to attend.

The focus and overall goal was to allow women to network, discuss mutual issues and exchange ideas. The evening started with a welcome toast from Joan E. Briller, MD, FACC, and Annabelle S. Volgman, MD, FACC, who were instrumental in the planning process. They passionately spoke about the purpose of the WIC Section, a platform that brings together female physicians within the ACC, advocating for and advancing the priorities of interest to this group. This was followed by a period of mingling and introductions. Shortly after, a delicious (and I mean, delicious!) dinner was served. Dinner was intimate and highly interactive, with many of the established women offering invaluable advice for FITs and early career cardiologists about effective leadership and personal advocacy, negotiations and career advancement, managing work-life balance and communication. Diane E. Wallis, MD, FACC, former ACC governor, also gave an informal presentation about women in leadership.

Cardiology is far more accessible to women than it once was, but we are still at a frontier in a field that is male-dominated. This WIC event allowed us to strengthen our support system by networking with female cardiologists and FITs from multiple local programs. It was an opportunity for early career professionals to engage with the more senior cardiologists to hear current issues of concern. FITs had the chance to ask for advice and guidance in a welcoming environment. Everyone had a wonderful time, and by the end of the night, we were eagerly anticipating the next event. Future events will likely include more formal discussions on the business sides of cardiology and structured speed mentoring sessions. ACC’s IL Chapter WIC Section is planning to meet again soon and encourages more women cardiologists and future female cardiologists to attend – we really are stronger together.