The Bricks and Mortar

"What do I value about the ACC? The potential it gives me for networking, meeting other people that have interests similar to me. I value the website, the guidelines … I value the scientific specials … I value a lot the advocacy that they do to represent physicians at different levels. Those are things I value the most." — Academic Cardiologist

Research from 1,200 online surveys and 100 half hour in-depth interviews with ACC members provides a compelling picture of what cardiovascular professionals most require and value from the ACC. Cardiovascular clinicians join the ACC because of its breadth of educational resources, including its JACC journals and clinical practice guidelines, as well as its prestige in the health care community, advocacy capabilities, clinical registries and professional support network.CardioSurve March 2015

On the education front, ACC’s efforts to provide members with an efficient, cost-contained and more personalized educational experience resonate across all member types and sections. Cardiovascular professionals credit the ACC for delivering credible cardiovascular knowledge through its clinical educational offerings spanning 13 clinical pathways. From live courses like the Annual Scientific Sessions to convenient digital content, self-assessment tools, audio products and educational accreditation, these educational offerings continue to be desired by members spanning across the entire care team and at all stages of their careers.

From JACC journals to clinical guidelines, the ACC also has a number of valued, evidence- based resources to help members stay at the forefront of their profession clinically. JACC continues to be rated the number one benefit of ACC membership and is also the most highly cited and influential cardiovascular journal in the world. Guidelines, coupled with Appropriate Use Criteria and other clinical documents ensure members are providing the most appropriate, up-to-date, evidence-based patient care.

Helping members thrive and transform care in any delivery and reimbursement environment is another important element of member value, particularly with clinicians and non-clinicians currently in practice. In fact, nine out of 10 cardiologists believe that shaping the future of public health policies and helping members thrive and transform care are the most important goals for the ACC. Given the constantly shifting health care landscape, reimbursement is a highly debated topic and members feel the ACC is in a good position to be an ally and advocate for members.

Smartly using data, information and knowledge to accomplish organizational goals also resonates with members who recognize the potential cost-saving advantages from the use of databases such as NCDR. As members grow in their respective cardiovascular fields, the ACC provides outcomes data through its suite of hospital and outpatient data registries to help with decision making and appropriate use of treatments and therapies. Registry participation is also recognized by members for helping to meet federal program requirements, as well as maintenance of certification requirements.CardioSurve March 2015

The Fellow of the ACC (FACC) and the Associate of the ACC (AACC) designations are among the most tangible professional benefits to members. These four letters signify a commitment to quality, patient-centered cardiovascular medicine and are a capstone for adult cardiologists, pediatric cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, researchers and academicians, specialists in a cardiovascular-related field, or members of the cardiovascular team who have achieved the highest levels of education, training and professional development. More than 2 out of 3 cardiologists consider the FACC designation to be very/extremely valuable, with cardiologists in private practice and/or practicing internationally finding these designations most valuable. Slightly fewer (62%) say that it is very important to their institution that a cardiologist be an FACC which mirrors a study conducted in Fall 2011 with hospital administrators in which 72% of hospital c-suite executives said that it was very important for a cardiologist at their institution to be an FACC. Moreover, almost three-quarters of hospital administrators and cv directors reported that they were more likely to hire an FACC to fill their open cardiologist positions.

Looking to the future, the research highlights several opportunities to leverage the College’s strengths to even further increase member satisfaction and involvement with the College. Continued advocacy and professional support, particularly around MOC and graduate medical education and research funding, is especially desired by members. As one cardiologist stated, "Please increase your advocacy against burdensome, unproven, and expensive MOC requirements imposed by the ABIM."

Personalization and streamlining of resources and content is another area for growth. The College’s new website,, which launched in January, places the College down this path by bringing a focused, in-depth and personalized approach to the online experience. is organized by clinical topic hubs, optimized for mobile devices and provides easy, streamlined access to the trusted content like JACC and clinical guidelines that users want from the ACC.

“I’m early in my career, and for me, it’s been very valuable to get the chance to meet other people in the field who have been mentors and also have helped me to look at where I want my career to go,”
— Early Career Cardiologist

ACC professionals also highlight professional development and local activities as primary needs that can be met in part by ACC Chapters, which provide localized programming, leadership and mentoring opportunities for all members of the care team. Continued growth of the College’s leadership training and mentoring programs is important, as is continued expansion of ACC member sections.

Patient education and defining how best to tackle the huge goal of improving population health are other areas where the College can grow. To date, the ACC is partnering to pursue global sustainable development goals targeted at non-communicable diseases, and is also finding new ways to encourage team-facilitated patient education through programs like CardioSmart.

"As the professional home for the entire cardiovascular care team, the ACC is dedicating more time and energy than ever to make certain that our 50,000+ members have the tools and information necessary to meet change head on, while also continuing to provide the best, most appropriate care to the ever increasing number of people with heart disease," says ACC CEO Shalom Jacobovitz. "This focus on member value is critical to the College’s mission of transforming care and improving heart health."

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Keywords: ACC Publications

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