From the Members Sections | Meet the "Youngest" ACC Section

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Pop quiz! Which of these was most recently granted status as an ACC section?

  • Fellows in Training
  • Cardiovascular Team
  • Early Career
  • Senior Cardiovascular Professionals

It’s a fact! Each of these are valuable sections, providing substantial benefits to their focused groups. But, the answer is... Senior Cardiovascular Professionals. Approved in March 2018 by College leadership, it’s the youngest section but with the oldest members. Its mission statement is: The promotion of activities that provide mutual benefit to the ACC and its senior professionals.

A working group of like-minded senior members of the College, chaired by L. Samuel Wann, MD, MACC, endeavored over the past two years to define the mission and goals and to tailor a new section to serve the unique and shared needs of the ACC’s older members. Input and support were provided from the Early Career, FIT and Geriatric sections, along with many individual ACC members and staff.

Nearly one-half of ACC’s membership is 60 years or older. One of the fastest growing groups in the College, the number of Senior Cardiovascular Professionals is expected to double over the next decade. This represents a significant challenge for the ACC and its individual members, for the health care enterprise, and most importantly for our patients.

ACC’s Senior Cardiovascular Professionals have an average of 30 years of involvement with the College — now bringing with them wisdom, consensus building skills, mentoring capabilities, experience with ethical issues and charitable inclinations.

In 2015, an ACC Market Intelligence survey was sent to nearly 12,000 domestic members ages 60 years and over to obtain demographics and opinions concerning the interests of our senior membership. The average age of responders was 70.25 years. Fifty-one percent expressed moderate or high member involvement. Only 18 percent expressed no involvement. Most were fellows of ACC (88 percent), 5 percent were an associate fellow and 5 percent were a cardiac care associate.

The top three board certifications were cardiovascular disease (70 percent), interventional cardiology (14 percent) and no board certification (12 percent). The top four special interests were adult cardiology (78 percent), interventional cardiology (9.4 percent), surgery (6.4 percent) and pediatric cardiology (4.5 percent).

A 2016 ACC Career Transitions Survey, conducted with domestic members ages 60 years and older, focused on reasons for retirement, interest in joining a senior cardiology section and types of activities desired by senior members. Over half of members surveyed were very interested in joining such a section. Age was the most common reason for retirement (41 percent), unhappy with current job followed at 34 percent, health at 14 percent and a new passion or career at 10 percent.

Survey respondents interested in a senior section were most concerned with health care employment alternatives to conventional practice. Two-thirds indicated they wanted opportunities for networking/discussion and sharing retirement strategies. More information on interests and objectives of the section are shown in the Figure.

What have we been up to? We held our first meeting of the Leadership Council during ACC.18 in Orlando and formed three Work Groups. The first networking opportunity for section members was hosted by the Illinois and Wisconsin chapters at their annual symposium in May. A Listserve of the members has been created. And, on September 5 at Heart House, the Leadership Council will hold a roundtable planning program.

Keywords: ACC Publications, Cardiology Magazine, Retirement, Leadership, Consensus, Goals, Mentors, Fellowships and Scholarships, Employment, Cardiovascular Diseases, Attitude, Demography, Intelligence, Certification

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