Career Development | A Networking Platform For Female Cardiologists in Missouri

Last year, 30 women attended the Missouri Women in Cardiology (WIC) State Chapter “Rise and Shine” session in conjunction with the Missouri State ACC meeting. Lisa Alderson, MD, FACC, WIC Missouri Chapter council member and assistant professor from Saint Louis University, and I had a chance to meet many female physicians and allied health professionals as we emphasized the importance of becoming a member of the ACC WIC Section. Attendees discussed the advantages of joining the WIC Section. Allied health professionals who attended found the session useful, even if they were not WIC members. My presentation culminated with sharing the following tips with my colleagues:

  • Bring your business card to every meeting.
  • Reach out to your contacts within 48 hours after the meeting to keep the conversation going.
  • Develop an “elevator pitch” — a short 30-second speech that allows you to introduce yourself to new people.
  • Get active on social media — use Twitter to communicate instantly  and LinkedIn to build a professional network. Follow the hashtags #ACCWIC and #ACCFIT and join the ACC WIC Section pages on Facebook and LinkedIn.
  • Before you post, always THINK:
    • T – Is it True
    • H – Is it Helpful
    • I – Is it Inspiring
    • N – Is it Necessary
    • K – Is it Kind
  • Find both a mentor and a sponsor. These may be different people. It is your responsibility to ask to ask people to fulfill these roles.
  • When negotiating for a salary or promotion, do your homework. Salaries of professors in public universities are posted online and the Medical Group Management Association posts salaries by region and specialty. Use these resources as a guide.
  • Remember that all negotiations are a conversation, not a battle. The more prepared and flexible you are, the more likely you are to succeed.
  • Make sure to understand the criteria for promotion at your university or institution. If you are turned down, try to discuss and evaluate the criteria that led to the decision.
  • Know your numbers from the start. Ask for the relative value units or other numbers that your institution uses as criteria for salary and promotion and review them monthly or quarterly.
  • Read and understand your contract. It is worthwhile to pay a lawyer to review it if you find anything unclear.
  • Join ACC’s WIC Section to receive access to mentors and sponsors across the country who can help you navigate your personal and professional life.

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This article was authored by Toniya Singh, MBBS, FACC, cardiologist at St. Louis Heart and Vascular in Bridgeton, MO.