ACC Southeastern WIC Conference Recap

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FEATURE | I recently had the pleasure of attending the ACC Southeastern Women in Cardiology conference in Point Clear, AL. I have been to a variety of different conferences in my training so far, but none have been quite as unique and special as this one.

This meeting was a wonderful opportunity to get to meet and bond with a variety of women from different backgrounds and at varying points in their medical careers. It served as a safe and open forum to discuss many of the issues surrounding female physicians in cardiology today.

To set the stage for the weekend, the conference was held in the idyllic location of the Grand Hotel, a historic complex located just off the shore of the Mobile Bay. The hotel demonstrated a sense of grandeur and elegance that was only surpassed by the beauty of the surrounding beaches and gardens. It provided a sense of comfortability and serenity that would foster the overall themes of openness and fellowship of the weekend to come.

The weekend started off with a welcome reception in one of the conference rooms on the hotel property. This reception provided an opportunity for members to mingle and network. As a fairly shy and introverted individual, the event served as an easy "icebreaker" to start connecting and sharing personal experiences and ideas.

I was able to connect with other Fellows in Training (FITs) from the surrounding region from both pediatric and adult backgrounds. It was quickly evident that despite our different backgrounds, many of us shared similar experiences.

For the remainder of the weekend, our days would be filled with a variety of seminars that would cover topics ranging from negotiating contracts, wealth management as a modern female, and how to manage burnout and attempt work-life "balance."

Each one of these sessions would spark several hours of meaningful and thought-provoking discussions amongst the group. It provided a safe platform to discuss topics that amongst our male colleagues at work may feel too taboo to bring up.

As a current FIT, it also provided a means to receive advice from a variety of difference cardiologists at different points in their careers. This conference ultimately provided me with a sense of empowerment to continue to grow within the field of cardiology, as well as a sense of responsibility to relay that same sense of empowerment to the junior fellows, residents and medical students that I work with on a daily basis.

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This article was authored by Laura Wilson, MD, Fellow in Training (FIT) at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL.