MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Pamela S. Douglas, MD, MACC, FASE, FAHA
Ursula Geller Professor of Research in Cardiovascular Disease
Duke University School of Medicine
Durham, NC 27715
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: For any profession to succeed, it needs to attract top talent. We surveyed internal medicine residents to find out what they valued most in their professional development, how they perceived cardiology as field and how these two areas are associated with their choosing a career in cardiology or another specialty.
We found that trainees were seeking careers that had stable hours, were family friendly and female friendly, while they perceived cardiology to have adverse work conditions, interfere with family life and to not be diverse. We were able to predict career choice with 89-97% accuracy from these responses; the predictors are mix of things that attract to cardiology and those that are deterrents.
For men, the attractors outnumber the deterrents, for women its just the opposite.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Trainees perceive that the things they want most from their professional lives are often characteristics that they see as foreign to cardiology. To attract more talent the cardiology profession needs to address the negative perceptions of the field ( including the reality underneath those perceptions). This is especially needed to attract women into this overwhelming male profession—a key consideration since nearly half of all residents are female.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Future research could include exploration of how to the change the perceptions and reality of the field for cardiology to be more aligned with personal goals of the future workforce. Other medical specialties, such as OBGYN, urology and surgery, have done this successfully and now enroll a higher proportion of women trainees than cardiology.
Disclosures: No disclosures but one acknowledgement: I am the chair of the ACC Diversity and Inclusion Initiative.
Douglas PS, Rzeszut AK, Bairey Merz CN, et al. Career Preferences and Perceptions of Cardiology Among US Internal Medicine TraineesFactors Influencing Cardiology Career Choice. JAMA Cardiol. Published online May 30, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2018.1279
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