ACC Delaware Chapter WIC Regional Meeting

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CHAPTER ENGAGEMENT | We are proud to announce that last April, the ACC Women in Cardiology (WIC) Delaware Chapter held its first event. After nearly a year of hard work and planning, Carly Fabrizio, DO, my co-fellow at the Christiana Care Health System in Newark, DE, and I founded the Chapter together.

We were thrilled to see our efforts come to fruition.

Our source of inspiration for pursuing this chapter was the WIC Leadership meeting at the 2018 ACC Legislative Conference. The meeting was an incredible experience because it gave us the opportunity to meet and interact with female leaders in cardiology from around the country, as well as participate in discussions on mentorship, advocacy, work-life balance and more.

We were particularly inspired by an eye-opening talk on radiation safety from Sheila Sahni, MD, FACC, and Melissa R. Robinson, MD, FACC. The talk highlighted the need for more comprehensive education regarding radiation safety for all trainees. Moreover, it taught us that the risks associated with radiation exposure to the operator and fetus are much lower than what is theorized, provided that proper safety precautions are taken.

While this talk was beneficial to all female cardiologists, it was particularly helpful for female fellows and residents wanting to pursue cardiology but often choosing other subspecialties out of a fear of radiation exposure and unsafe pregnancies. These kinds of discussions are essential to help young trainees make informed decisions about their careers and families.

In planning this event, Fabrizio and I worked for months with the ACC Delaware Chapter, including Governor Anthony Clay, DO, FACC; Governor-elect Wasif A. Qureshi, MBBS, FACC; Chapter Executive Miriam Surdin; and CV Team Liaison Jennifer M. Oldham, MSN, RN, AACC. We also had the support and guidance from Toniya Singh, MBBS, FACC, current chair of the ACC WIC Section, and we are so grateful for her mentorship.

The evening started with a mix-and-mingle session with drinks and appetizers at the Hilton. There were several cardiologists from Delaware in attendance, including some that had driven almost two hours to be there. Sahni, our key note speaker, gave us a fantastic talk on radiation safety and gender disparities in cardiology.

One of my biggest takeaways from the meeting is simply the energy we felt in the room. Everyone was happy to be there, united by a common passion for cardiology and motivation to support and mentor more women to join this amazing profession. There were female cardiologists that had practiced in Delaware for over a decade and had not had the chance to connect with one another.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the discussions and evening as a whole, and told us that they are looking forward to more of these events in the future. We are in the process of organizing a larger, regional ACC WIC event in 2019 with the ACC Maryland Chapter, as a part of Delaware's first ACC state chapter symposium.

Overall, it was a successful inaugural meeting – one that will hopefully lead to even more successful events in the future.

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This article was authored by Pragya Ranjan, MD, Fellow in Training (FIT) at Christiana Care Health System in Newark, DE.