Gender Equality in Medicine: A Male Perspective

Bina Ahmed MDFrizzell HeadshotThis post was authored by Jarrod D. Frizzell MD, MS, second-year cardiology fellow, PGY-7, in the Division of Cardiology at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and Bina Ahmed, MD, FACC, FSCAI, assistant professor of Interventional Cardiology at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine in Albuquerque.

I (JDF) am a white male of European descent and, by that virtue alone, the clear majority in medicine. So why am I writing about women in cardiology? For three simple reasons: my wife, who is a surgeon, and my two daughters. I believe gender equity is an issue that should be a common cause between genders, and not solely one “for women, by women.” This is as true for medicine and cardiology as it is for society as a whole. Continue reading

The National Hockey League (NHL) and the Sports Cardiologist

Bush,HowardThis post was authored by Howard S. Bush, MD, FACC, member of the ACC’s Sports and Exercise Cardiology Section.

I am a practicing interventional cardiologist, interested in the cardiovascular evaluation and management of athletes, running the spectrum from the weekend warrior to those who play professionally.  You might ask “how” or “why” someone who opens blocked arteries would get involved in professional ice hockey.  In comparison to the other major league sports in our country, hockey falls a distant fourth in terms of things like revenues, salaries, fan interest, TV markets and organizational infrastructure.  Nonetheless, in December 1992, a patient of ours was awarded a franchise as the NHL expanded and we were asked to be involved in the medical care. My first experience with professional hockey was at the training camp in the summer of 1993 in Peterborough, Canada, with the late coach Roger Neilson. The rest is history.  Continue reading

In Memoriam: ACC Past President Borys Surawicz, MD, MACC

ACC Past President Borys Surawicz, MD, MACC, a pioneer in echocardiography and a significant contributor to the cardiovascular academic community, has passed away.

Originally a native of Moscow, Russia, Surawicz trained in Europe from 1939 – 1949 before serving as a medical officer of public health in Holmestrand, Norway (1949 – 1950). One year later, he was named chief of medicine for the Bogenhausen Hospital in Munich, Germany. Continue reading

PINNACLE Registry QI Program in India: A Model For Other Resource-Limited Countries?

This post was authored by Nathan Glusenkamp, MA, director of the PINNACLE Program and William J. Oetgen, MD, MBA, FACC, executive vice president of the ACC’s Publication, Education, Science & Quality.

Today marks a seminal event in the evolution of the PINNACLE Registry with the publication of an article in the Journal of the American Heart Association. “Cardiovascular Disease Performance Measures in the Outpatient Setting in India: Insights from the American College of Cardiology’s PINNACLE India Quality Improvement Program (PIQIP)” is the first published report from PIQIP, an international project within the PINNACLE Registry program that has been ongoing for the past three years. Continue reading

World Health Assembly: A Time For Renewed Commitment to Reducing NCDs

This post was authored by John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, former ACC President.

This week, I have the privilege to be part of the delegation representing the ACC in Geneva, Switzerland, at the 68th session of the World Health Assembly where officials from 194 Member States are reviewing the World Health Organization’s (WHO) activities over the past year and setting new priorities for the future.

The main functions of the World Health Assembly under the auspices of the United Nations (UN) are to determine the policies of the WHO and focus on critical topics in global health. (In fact, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who now presides over the G-7, kicked off today’s plenary session speaking to the challenges of this very subject.) The assembly will focus on ongoing efforts to lower the number of patients with non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular disease. NCDs cause 63 percent of global death, with cardiovascular disease making up the highest proportion, yet receive disproportionately small funding from global aid networks – less than 1.3 percent by most recent estimates.  Worldwide, 80 percent of death from NCDs are in low and middle-income countries. Left unchecked, it is estimated that NCDs will be responsible for 73 percent of all deaths by 2020. Yet, so many of these deaths are preventable through education and a focus on closing gaps in care across populations.  (For more on this topic, see the ACC in Touch Blog from the landmark 2011 UN Summit on NCDs.) Continue reading

All Eyes on Innovation at Challenge Festival and Entrepreneurs Showcase

IMG_9372_FITZPATRICK_2015_Portrait_Crop_CARDIOMAGThis post was authored by ACC Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer Kevin Fitzpatrick.

We have all had that “aha” moment in our personal or professional lives that makes us think about creating or re-engineering a product, service or process to fill a gap or increase efficiency. However, most of us only daydream about the possibilities, stopping short of pursuing our idea and seeing it come to life. Entrepreneurs on the other hand turn this spark of insight into action.

Last week, dozens of entrepreneurs from around the globe descended upon the nation’s capital for 1776’s Challenge Festival, a week of events centered around startups and innovation. The Challenge Festival provided a platform for innovators to share how they are moving full throttle towards disrupting established and highly regulated industries such as health care, education, energy and transportation. Continue reading

From Mission to Daily Practice, Empowering Members to Transform CV Care and Improve Heart Health

IMG_9388_GUYTON-2015-HEADSHOTThis post was authored by Robert A. Guyton, MD, FACC, treasurer of the ACC.

This week’s release of a special JAMA issue focused on professionalism couldn’t have been more timely. Your ACC leadership is in the midst of a major effort to develop new tools and explore new certification processes aimed at ensuring that members are best equipped to handle the rapid changes in health care delivery and education. Just recently I shared with my fellow Executive Committee members that I believe it is time to make a critical change in our thinking and our messaging.

Our stated and noble mission is to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health. But, as Board of Governors (BOG) Immediate Past-Chair Michael Mansour, MD, FACC, in a recent address to the BOG asked: “Where is the member in our mission?”  I emphatically agree with this question – our efforts to realize the mission only float around in the iCloud without the daily actions of our members. Rather than a mission to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health, we should have a mission of empowering our almost 50,000 members to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health. This is where the rubber meets the road – one provider-patient interaction at a time. This is the intended site of implementation of the new discoveries from research, experience from registries, and assimilation of knowledge in guidelines and appropriate use criteria (AUC). Everything that’s in the iCloud comes to life when a provider and a patient come together to explore the new opportunities that arise from the explosion of knowledge in cardiovascular medicine. Continue reading

Happy Nurse Appreciation Month

NancyLundy headshotThis post was authored by Nancy L. Lundy, NP, AACC.

For those of you that practice in the cardiology arena, the ACC can be, and should be, your professional home.

The ACC pours countless resources into services designed just for the “non-physician” members of the College, offering its members opportunities to be involved in the local, state and national levels. With patient resources, instant access to current guidelines, hundreds of hours of CME and an internationally renowned Annual Scientific Session, nurses can be assured that all of our professional needs are met. Continue reading

Urgent Message from ACC Leadership Regarding MOC

All of us continue to be troubled by the complex situation presented by the changes in re-certification by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) over the past year. We have heard clearly that our members are unhappy, and many are dissatisfied with ACC actions to date. Our approach to the issue has been careful and deliberate, perhaps leading to the assumption that the ACC is not adequately addressing the problem.

The current ACC approach is as follows:

  • We respect the intelligence of our members in analyzing the best path for continuing education/certification individually and realize that it may not be the same for each of us; we are not wedded to one solution for all.
  • An ACC Task Force led by ACC Immediate Past President Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, MACC, is focused on continuing to provide input to ABIM to see if proposed temporary changes become permanent and to see if their processes can further improve to the extent that they are helpful and acceptable to members.
  • A second ACC Task Force led by ACC President-Elect Richard Chazal, MD, FACC, is aggressively exploring whether an alternative board should/could be developed by ACC for our members. Potential possibilities could include: new board(s); working with already established alternate boards and/or other organizations; working within or without ABMS framework; and other solutions. While working as rapidly as possible, we want to be cautious, realizing the great complexity of the situation.

Continue reading

Unexpected Hurdles in my ACHD Fellowship: Providing End-of-Life Care

Keri Shafer HeadshotThis post was authored by Keri Shafer, MD, Boston Children’s Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

The care of adults with congenital heart disease (ACHD) is a rich and rewarding experience filled with unique challenges, some unexpected. I began ACHD fellowship enthusiastically determined to improve my understanding of complex cardiac physiology with questions swirling through my mind such as “What is anatomic malposition?” and “How is a Kawashima performed?” I soon learned that ACHD care is much more than that. Quality care requires a comprehensive understanding of the function of every organ system as years of congenital heart disease can take a toll on the lungs, kidneys, liver, etc.  Growing up with congenital heart disease can also affect patients’ approach to nearly every aspect of their lives. Therefore, the most successful ACHD physicians continually demonstrate compassion, patience and excellent communication skills when caring for their patients and families. Paramount among these skills is the ability to help patients and families through what can be the most difficult part of care: end of life. Continue reading