Why Don’t More Female Residents Choose Cardiology as a Career?

This post was authored by LaVone Smith, MD, member of the WIC Section and a second year fellow in Cardiovascular Medicine at The University of Virginia Health System.

While women constitute almost half of graduating internal medicine residents and nearly 40 percent of first year fellows in medicine subspecialties, there remains a large gender gap in cardiovascular training programs, where women represent only 20 percent of fellows entering the specialty.  Continue reading

The Importance of Curbing Smoking and Regulating E-Cigarettes

Today the American Heart Association (AHA) released a policy statement on electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes). I commend the AHA for addressing this hot topic, and for shedding light on the importance of expanding regulative authority over the e-cigarette.

Nearly 50 years ago, low-tar cigarettes came on the market with the suggestion that they were safer than regular cigarettes. Smokers either switched brands instead of quitting or even started smoking under the mistaken impression that low-tar cigarettes were a healthier choice. We learned years later that low-tar cigarettes were actually more likely to lead to lung cancer and no better for the heart. Continue reading

In Tribute to Arthur Hollman, MD, FRCP, FLS

This post was authored by John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, immediate past president of the ACC.

Arthur Hollman, MD, the archivist and historian for the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) and honorary member of the California Chapter of the ACC (CAACC) has died.

Arthur Hollman, MD, Dipti Itchhaporia, MD, FACC, and John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, at the 2013 BCS Meeting in London, England.

Arthur Hollman, MD, Dipti Itchhaporia, MD, FACC, and John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, at the 2013 BCS Meeting in London, England.

Born in 1923, Dr. Hollman graduated from University College Hospital Medical School in 1946 and studied under Sir Thomas Lewis, Paul Wood, MD, and John Goodwin, MD, in London. He was a consultant physician with a long interest in the therapeutic use of medicinal plants. He represented the Royal College of Physicians of London on the Advisory Committee of the Chelsea Physic Garden for 26 years. He was a livery member of the Society of Apothecaries, to whom he gave the Hans Sloane Lecture entitled “Plants in Medicine.” His associated interest in plants and medicine brought him the Fellowship of the Linnean Society (FLS) in 1985. Continue reading

The Intersection of Digital Health and Patient Engagement

This blog post was authored by Shalom Jacobovitz, chief executive officer of the ACC.

Technology has completely transformed the way people live their lives – from how they consume information to how they communicate with each other. Now, more than ever, marrying technology with medicine has the potential to reshape how we engage with patients.

It has been reported that the average person checks his or her phone more than 150 times per day which equates to about two hours of mobile screen time per day. And it’s not just patients that are using mobile technology, an estimated 90 percent of health care providers use smartphones and almost as many use tablets. Furthermore, 70-75 percent of people seek health care information online. Figuring out a way to provide patients with credible health information that can be accessed on the go is the future of our industry. Continue reading

Prenatal Congenital Defect Diagnosis on the Rise

This post was authored by Gerard R. Martin, MD, FACC, a past chair of the ACC’s Adult Congenital and Pediatric Cardiology Council and senior vice president, Center for Heart, Lung and Kidney Disease, Children’s National Health System.

In the last several years, cardiologists working with obstetricians have made great strides towards increased prenatal diagnosis of critical heart defects, with the proportion of defects diagnosed before birth increasing from 44.9 percent in 2004 to 63.8 percent in 2009, in a Massachusetts statewide population study. This is good news for the nearly 40,000 babies who are born with congenital heart disease every year – but we still have a long ways to go, as diagnosis rates continue to vary greatly between hospital centers and regions of the country. Continue reading

Vegan Diet, Healthy Heart?

This post was authored by Kim A. Williams, MD, FACC, incoming president of the ACC, and originally appeared on MedPage Today.

Physicians want to influence their patients to make lifestyle changes that will improve their health, but sometimes the roles are reversed and we are inspired by patients. It was a patient’s success reversing an alarming condition that motivated me to investigate a vegan diet.

Just before the American College of Cardiology’s (ACC) annual meeting in 2003 I learned that my LDL cholesterol level was 170. It was clear that I needed to change something. Six months earlier, I had read a nuclear scan on a patient with very-high-risk findings – a severe three-vessel disease pattern of reversible ischemia. Continue reading

Attention Sports Fans! Countdown to the 3rd Annual ACC Sports Cardiology Summit

This post was authored by Christine E. Lawless, MD, FACC, course director for the 2014 ACC Sports Cardiology Summit and past chair of the ACC Sports and Exercise Section.

Torn between two loves: sports and cardiology? No need to be. At the ACC’s 3rd Annual Sports Cardiology Summit, held Sept. 12-13 in Indianapolis, you can have it all! Course faculty planners promise to deliver an exciting blend of state-of-the-art lectures, cutting-edge original research, interactive workshops, real-world sports cardiology cases, and networking with peers and members of the ACC’s Sports and Exercise Cardiology Section. Here’s a preview of what to expect: Continue reading

Stepping up to the Plate to Help Veterans

Grave concerns regarding veterans’ access to care emerged recently after inexcusable wait times for care were brought to light. To make matters worse, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the agency tasked with protecting the men and women who serve so selflessly, was covering up the issue by manipulating wait lists. I think we can all agree that this situation must be remedied as soon as possible so that veterans across the country get the care they deserve.

In response to the crisis, Congress overwhelmingly passed the “Veteran’s Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014” last week and the president signed the bill into law today. Continue reading

Be Heard on the Hill at ACC’s Legislative Conference

This post was authored by Kim Allan Williams, Sr., MD, FACC, president-elect of the ACC. – See more at: http://blog.cardiosource.org/?s=Kim+Williams&submit=Search#sthash.46AzM8Qn.dpuf
This post was authored by Kim Allan Williams, Sr., MD, FACC, president-elect of the ACC – See more at: http://blog.cardiosource.org/?s=Kim+Williams&submit=Search#sthash.46AzM8Qn.dpuf

This post was authored by Kim Allan Williams, Sr., MD, FACC, president-elect of the ACC.

Hundreds of cardiovascular professionals will gather in Washington, DC, Sept. 14-16 to get up-to-speed on the health care landscape and become effective advocates for patients and cardiovascular professionals during ACC’s 2014 Legislative Conference.

Given that we’re in the midst of an era of constant change and increasing burdens within the health care system, it’s only appropriate that this year’s conference will focus on how ACC is leading the transformation of care. This event provides the opportunity to interact with congressional and federal policymakers as well as national health experts, and discuss the regulation and legislation which is vital to the success of practices in every setting.  Continue reading

Make Your Voice Heard on Tobacco Regulation

This post was authored by Thad F. Waites, MD, FACC, chair of the Governance Committee and member of the Board of Trustees, Advocacy Steering Committee and NCDR Management Board.

Did you know that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not currently have the authority to regulate tobacco products other than cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, smokeless tobacco and roll-your-own tobacco? Surprisingly, cigars, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), hookah and other similar products are actually not subject to any regulations. As a result, the FDA is prevented from even requiring studies of their effects on people. Continue reading