Chapter Engagement | ACC Georgia Chapter WIC Meeting

This article was authored by Shae Anderson, MD, pediatric cardiology Fellow in Training (FIT) at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.

The Woman in Cardiology (WIC) Section gathering at the annual ACC Georgia Chapter meeting brought together many women and an impressive number of men within the field of cardiology. Immediate past ACC President Mary Norine Walsh, MD, MACC, was the lead speaker at the meeting. The diversity of genders represented along with Walsh's leadership experience highlighted the reciprocal relationship between women in cardiology and the wider cardiology community in shaping experiences and opportunities across the field.

Walsh offered a thought-provoking overview and led a panel discussion regarding the continued low numbers of women entering cardiology and gender differences in salary. In addition to Walsh, other panelist included Nanette Wenger, MD, MACC, and Gina Lundberg, MD, FACC, of Emory University, and Rachel Harris, MD, of Morehouse School of Medicine. Having just completed training in pediatrics prior to entering a subspecialty in cardiology, I have spent more time in a professional environment where women comprise the majority. The session made me realize that I often underappreciate the female underrepresentation that exists within medicine as a whole, specifically in cardiology.

The discussion on gender discrepancies within the field led to another discussion on the need for all young trainees – especially young female professionals – to have male and female mentors from an early stage of education. As proof of ACC's commitment to mentorship, my ACC Fellow in Training (FIT) faculty mentor, Andy Kobylivker, MD, FACC, warmly welcomed and introduced me to the ACC community. I am fortunate to be surrounded by men and women faculty at Emory University who have invested in mentoring me and helping me prepare for the FIT poster presentation at the meeting. It was an honor to be selected this year to represent my research alongside six adult cardiology fellows from Emory University and Augusta University. The environment was receptive and proved to be an excellent opportunity to develop professionally in the public speaking and academic arenas. It was a special experience to be recognized as second runner-up and share that moment with many of my mentors who attended the meeting. The congratulations and eagerness of other WIC Section members at the conference to provide new career opportunities and mentorship spoke volumes about the character of the ACC and WIC Section members, further encouraging and inspiring me as a young trainee.

The sessions throughout the weekend at the ACC Georgia Chapter conference offered an opportunity for me to learn from both adult and pediatric cardiologists on academic, clinical and technological advances within the field, while also enjoying the beautiful state where I live. It was a unique platform where adult and pediatric cardiologists gained new perspectives that can help them improve the care they deliver. I look forward to next year's meeting and increasing my involvement in both the ACC and the WIC Section.