Feature | Women in Cardiology: The Bluegrass State Experience

This article was authored by Lynda Otalvaro Orozco, MD, FACC, an adjunct assistant professor of medicine in the department of cardiovascular diseases at the University of Kentucky, Gill Heart Institute, Manchester Memorial Hospital, Appalachian Regional Healthcare.

The Women in Cardiology (WIC) Section encourages female physicians, scientist and women working in the cardiovascular team to come together and continue fostering networking, mentorship, guidance and support for priorities of interest for all of us in our local chapters.

Recently we had our second annual luncheon in Louisville, KY. This meeting provided us with a special opportunity to mix and mingle with exceptional and successful female cardiologists, scientists, pharmacists, researchers, fellows and members from the cardiovascular team. We discussed a myriad of topics involving clinical practice, academic development and research ideas including non-clinical related subjects from our lives.

This year we had great speaker, including: Emelia J. Benjamin, MD, ScM, FACC, professor at the Boston University School of Medicine and professor of Epidemiology. Dr. Benjamin, delighted us with her presentation about “Burnout, and Resilience; The Importance of Practicing Primordial Prevention.” During her talk, we had roundtable discussions in addition to an interactive discussion around burnout with a special emphasis in mindfulness, resilience and prevention.

We also had the pleasure of meeting Allison Ball, the state treasurer of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the youngest statewide female elected official in the country. During her closing remarks, she discussed a different perspective the struggles women may encounter in leadership positions, and how to overcome difficulties and find success in different fields.

This meeting was an opportunity to learn from others who have been in the same situations with the same questions we may have now. There are no easy answers; however, we could gain different perspectives providing us with enough tools to reduce negative outcomes affecting our lives and consequently our development in our professional environment.  

We are hoping this effort started by our Susan Smyth, MD, PhD, FACC, governor of ACC’s Kentucky Chapter, and her team at the University of Kentucky, endures over time. We are also hopeful that other chapters from different states come together and continue to build into this community of women in cardiology.