ACC Florida WIC Chapter Meeting
Earlier this year, the ACC Florida Women in Cardiology (WIC) Chapter held its second annual meeting in Orlando, FL. The weekend-long session, designed to focus on WIC and Fellows in Training (FITs), attracted more than 40 attendees from across the state in various stages of their careers.
The event began with a networking and educational dinner, where learning focused on the awareness of issues that women in cardiology encounter, which are frequently disparate from the challenges our male counterparts face. Despite the long workday, along with several hours of traffic and travel time for some FITs, there was a great turnout and enthusiastic participation.
An introductory talk on various topics relevant to WIC and professional growth and development sparked several hours of conversation, ranging from topics on work-life balance to a discussion of the ever-pervasive imposter syndrome. Many female FITs noted that they were the only women in their programs; some were the only women in their cardiology division. Without local role models, they were greatly encouraged after listening and interacting with other WICs. They were also grateful to receive advice from senior female cardiologists who have successfully navigated the demands of career and family while having successful cardiology careers.
While most of the conversation was encouraging, serious issues were also discussed, including the challenges in interacting with male co-fellows and superiors. Many women voiced their experiences with being told by colleagues or formally advised by to avoid competitive subspecialties in cardiology, such as interventional and electrophysiology, because of their gender. However, listening to these experiences furthered the aim of the ACC Florida WIC Chapter – to promote more women to enter cardiology and advocate for them at all stages of their professional careers. We look forward to building on the success of this past session by growing our network and expanding on these conversations in future ACC Florida WIC Chapter sessions.
This article was authored by Litsa K. Lambrakos, MD, FACC, cardiologist at the University of Miami Hospital in Miami, FL.