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The ACC is committed to improving diversity and inclusion within the cardiovascular workforce and the College’s membership, and recognizes the success of its Mission is dependent on including people, as members and as leaders, who provide a diversity of background, experience, ideas and perspectives.

The College’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is embodied in many different activities, including ACC’s recently updated Core Values.

Learn more about the College's Diversity and Inclusion Initiative in this 2018-2023 strategy summary.

  Background
  Background

In 2016, the College established the ACC Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion to address the static participation of women entering the cardiovascular workforce, recognizing diversity is not just an issue for cardiologists, it is an issue for quality patient care.

This initial charge has expanded to focus on the vision to harness the power of the diversity of its members to advance patient care, spur innovation, and improve health equity among individual patients and populations. In doing so, the ACC will ensure opportunity for all cardiovascular providers by working towards a fully inclusive organization and profession.

As of January 2018, the ACC Board of Trustees (BOT) approved the College’s diversity and inclusion strategy, which includes a vision, goals, objectives and a definition of underrepresented cardiovascular communities.

  ACC’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategy
  ACC’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

To augment the College’s charge to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health, ACC’s Board of Trustees (BOT) approved the proposed vision and goals of the College's diversity and inclusion strategy, including the definition of underrepresented cardiovascular professions, at its January 2018. These include:

Diversity and Inclusion Vision:

ACC will harness the power of the diversity of its members to advance patient care, spur innovation, and improve health equity among individual patients and populations. In doing so, ACC will ensure opportunity for all cardiovascular providers by working towards a fully inclusive organization and profession.

Definition of the Under-Represented Cardiovascular professional (URC):

A significantly lower proportion of members and/or leaders, relative to the U.S. population and/or relative to the available source population (including parent specialty/residency program).

Diversity and Inclusion Goals:

  1. To ensure that cardiovascular medicine in general, and the ACC in particular, benefits from a diversity of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives in leadership, cardiovascular health care delivery, business, education and science.
  2. To ensure that cardiovascular medicine in general, and the ACC in particular, attracts and provides rewarding careers and leadership opportunities for the full range of talented individuals.
  3. To ensure that the diverse health needs of cardiovascular patients and populations are met by cardiovascular clinicians sensitive to and prepared to meet the unique needs of their gender, cultural, racial and ethnic and other dimensions of diversity.

The BOT also approved three primary objectives of the College’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion to meet this vision. These are:

  1. To enhance the culture within the cardiology profession and the perceptions of the field to be inclusive, professional, equitable and welcoming;
  2. To realize and sustain the value of diversity over the long-term by implementing structures and continuous improvement programs within the ACC to ensure accountable execution;
  3. To engage and leverage all available talent by attracting and providing value to under-represented groups in cardiology (URCs) across the ‘career life-span’, from ensuring a deep pipeline, to recruitment, retention and leadership development.’

The visual below showcases how the College plans to foster a culture of inclusion:

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ACC’s Diversity and Inclusion 2018 Road Map

  1. Build a knowledge-based culture of inclusion in cardiology
  2. Develop data-driven, meaningful and feasible diversity goals across the ACC and the profession
  3. Build a robust pipeline of medical students and internal medicine residents interested in cardiology
  4. Ensure diversity and inclusion in our training programs (Program directors)
  5. Education and leadership development
  6. Assess and influence the perception, importance and reality of professional issues important to URCs. Embrace the Quadruple Aim
  7. Enhance ACC organizational capabilities and commitment

Click here to download the ACC's Diversity and Inclusion slide presentation >>>

  Diversity in Cardiology Statistics
  Diversity in Cardiology Statistics

Diversity is not just an issue for cardiologists; it is an issue for quality patient care. The prominent national Sullivan Commission on Diversity in the Healthcare Workforce, chaired by a former secretary of United States Health and Human Services issued the much quoted Sullivan Report: Missing Persons: Minorities In The Health Professions: A Report Of The Sullivan Commission On Diversity In The Healthcare Workforce, which noted that diversity plays an important role in the nation’s health:

"The fact that the nation’s health professions have not kept pace with changing demographics may be an even greater cause of disparities in health access and outcomes than the persistent lack of health insurance for tens of millions of Americans."

Similarly, the AAMC has called on policy makers to ‘prioritize research and initiatives for increasing diversity in the physician workforce.’ (Acad Med 2014; 89:1192)

Despite these recommendations and calls to action, cardiology is not a diverse profession in 2018. The following statistics illustrate the pipeline and workforce issues in cardiology:

  • 2010 ACGME data show that 4.3% of cardiology trainees were African American and 6.3% were Hispanic, compared to 5.7% and 9.1% respectively in internal medicine. (JAMA 2010; 304:1255)
  • Overall, less than 10% of medical students and less than 3% of medical school faculty are African American. (Gastroenterology 2010; 138:19–26)
  • 9.8% of adult cardiology FACCs in the United States in 2015 were women. (ACC internal data)
  • AAMC workforce reports show an improvement from 9.7% in 2007 to 13.2% women in 2015, but still far below the 37% women in general internal medicine.
  • Cardiology is 36th of 44 specialties tracked for percentage of women, and interventional cardiology is 42nd of 44 (only thoracic and orthopedic surgery are less diverse).
  • The proportion of women in cardiology fellowships has held steady at 21% for the past six years while internal medicine residents, our talent pool, are 43% female.
  • The proportion of women among adult cardiology fellows is lower than all other residencies with the exception of neurosurgery (17%) and orthopedics (14%).
  • Thoracic and vascular surgery attract more women to their training programs than does cardiology.
  • Interventional cardiology and electrophysiology are considerably less diverse, with 8% of trainees in either area being women. (Residency data from ACGME GME Data Resource Book 2015-2016 Table c.21; available here)
  Who is #TheFaceOfCardiology?
  Who is #TheFaceOfCardiology?
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The ACC is showcasing the diverse makeup of the cardiovascular profession, and #TheFaceOfCardiology is a way for ACC members to share their stories and accomplishments as diverse members of the house of cardiology on social media.

In 2018, the ACC launched a communications campaign to raise awareness of the College’s commitment to moving the needle around diversity in the cardiology workforce, and ultimately improving health equity among patients and populations.

The campaign is centered around the hashtag #TheFaceOfCardiology. On social media? Incorporate #TheFaceOfCardiology in your Twitter bio and don’t forget to use the hashtag in photos or posts on diversity.

Learn more about some of #TheFaceOfCardiology ACC members by clicking the images below.

Annette Ansong, MD, FACC (Pediatric Cardiology)Annette Ansong, MD, FACC
(Pediatric Cardiology)
ravis Batts, MD, FACC (Adult Cardiology)Travis Batts, MD, FACC
(Adult Cardiology)
Laxmi Mehta, MD, FACC (Adult Cardiology)Laxmi Mehta, MD, FACC
(Adult Cardiology)
Eugene Yang, MD, FACC (Adult Cardiology)Eugene Yang, MD, FACC
(Adult Cardiology)
  Resources and Recommended Readings
  Resources and Recommended Readings
  Assessment Tools
  Assessment Tools

Please note the American College of Cardiology does not endorse the following tools. These are made available as a resource only.

  Business Case for Diversity
  Business Case for Diversity
  Diversity in the Academic Setting
  Diversity in the Academic Setting
  Mentoring
  Mentoring
  Photo Gallery
  Photo Gallery

Click the photos below for a larger view with photo captions.

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