ACC Oregon Chapter Holds Heart Club Dinner Focused on Heart Disease in Women and Women in Cardiology

Cardiology Magazine Image

CHAPTER ENGAGEMENT | In October 2019, at the beautiful Multnomah Athletic Club looking out over the Portland Timbers soccer arena, Portland's cardiovascular practitioners and trainees gathered for an ACC Oregon Chapter Heart Club Dinner titled, "Women and Heart Diseases and Women in Cardiology."

Attendees included male and female guests from all types of practices and across various stages of their career. The evening included a social hour for introductions, networking and catching up with familiar faces from prior events, followed by a lovely dinner of Pacific Northwest fare featuring a presentation from the talented and legendary Sandra J. Lewis, MD, FACC.

Lewis treated the audience to an outstanding discussion on heart disease in women and women in cardiology. She addressed the persistent under recognition and under treatment of cardiovascular disease in women, as well as reviewed the severe under representation of women in studies and trials from which our clinical practice and guidelines are derived.

Lewis also discussed the concept that "women are not just small men." Women have different presenting symptoms of coronary artery disease than men, are more susceptible to microvascular disease and plaque erosion and respond differently to treatment.

The second portion of the evening was a question and answer panel composed of prominent, local female cardiologists, including Jill M. Gelow, MD, MPH, FACC; Nandita C. Gupta, MD, FACC; and Xiaoyan Huang, MD, FACC.

These successful women discussed the challenges of being a female cardiologist in a field that remains 80% male. Discussion ranged from negotiating salaries to raising a family and having children during the intense years of training or early career.

The event left attendees motivated to see our female patients in a different light, as vulnerable and unique, and left us aware of the knowledge gaps present and on going need for research regarding cardiovascular disease in women.

As a current cardiology fellow, the evening provided exposure to an impressive group of women who inspire me to not just be "a small man" but to be a proud woman cardiologist.

Cardiology Magazine Image

The most inspiring prediction of the evening – offered by Herbert J. Semler, MD, FACC, a consummate clinician, scientist, inventor and entrepreneur who practiced in the Portland area for over half a century – was that we are on the right track, and in 20 years, female cardiologists will outnumber our male partners and our compensation will even exceed that of male cardiologists.

We look forward to working with our colleagues and ACC Leadership to achieve pay equity.

A special thank you to Ty J. Gluckman, MD, FACC, governor of the ACC Oregon Chapter, for supporting this event focused on women; Alan Morasch, CAE, for facilitating the event; and Norvartis for its educational support.

A great time was had by all and attendees were abuzz with plans for the next ACC Oregon Chapter and ACC Women in Cardiology events!

Cardiology Magazine Image

This article was authored by Miranda Merrill, MD, general cardiology Fellow in Training (FIT) at Knight Cardiovascular Institute, Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, OR.