90 women attended the “Women & Careers in Cardiology” breakfast held during ESC. The program, organized in partnership by SCAI Women in Innovations and the Netherlands Society of Cardiology Working Group on Gender, was comprised of presentations from leading women in cardiology on both the clinical and industry sides. The discussion addressed challenges to advancing your career as a female cardiologist, but also proposed practical solutions. Most importantly, it presented an opportunity for female cardiologists to come together in a forum of encouragement and support. Congratulations to program director and WIN member Yolande Appelman, MD for her dedication to making “Women & Careers in Cardiology” a successful event.
In the July 2013 issue of Cath Lab Digest, SCAI WIN member Allison Dupont, MD, FSCAI authors an article on radiation safety for female interventional cardiologists, and the use of robotics for reducing radiation exposure.
“Studies have shown that interventional cardiologists have the highest rates of exposure of any interventional specialists. Over the course of a career, there is no way to protect oneself completely from exposure. Robotic PCI can be an excellent way for the interventional cardiologist to reduce his or her radiation exposure. During pregnancy, when radiation exposure needs to be at a bare minimum, robotic PCI should be used wherever feasible for female interventionalists.
Not only women, but the entire field of interventional cardiology must be diligent about doing what we can to minimize risk by having a healthy respect for the dangers of radiation exposure. Interventionalists and cath lab staff need to utilize all available methods to minimize radiation exposure as much as possible.”
To read the full article, click HERE.
As in interventional cardiology, 89% of engineers are men. A toy company in San Francisco, CA has decided to do something about this, launching a line of toys called GoldieBlox that encourage girls to build. If we continue to address the social and developmental barriers that keep our young girls from pursuing careers in math and science, we will hopefully start to see change. Block on, ladies.
In a retrospective study published in Circulation using data from the CathPCI registry on more than 2.8 million procedures between January 2007 and September 2012, researchers found that radial access PCI increased 13-fold, from a negligible 1.2% at the beginning of the study to 16.1% at the end. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to evaluate the adjusted association between r-PCI and bleeding, vascular complications, and procedural success, using transfemoral PCI as the reference. After multivariable adjustment, r-PCI use in the studied cohort of patients was associated with lower risk of bleeding (adjusted odds ratio, 0.51; 95% confidence interval, 0.49–0.54) and lower risk of vascular complications (adjusted odds ratio, 0.39; 95% confidence interval, 0.31–0.50) in comparison with transfemoral PCI. The reduction in bleeding and vascular complications was consistent across important subgroups of age, sex, and clinical presentation. Despite this, radial access is used less often in certain high-risk groups, including elderly patients 75 years of age or greater, women, and patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS). The authors note, these high-risk groups may derive the greatest benefit from radial access in terms of absolute risk reduction in bleeding and vascular complications.
SCAI has entered into a partnership relationship with the Health Disparities Research Consortium (HDRC). HDRC is a new non-profit organization started in order to improve clinical research and clinical trial strategies so they can more appropriately address minority and female patient populations, not just in interventional cardiology but across medicine. Health disparities are a multi-faceted issue, but part of the solution for achieving improved outcomes is to change the research approach – enroll more diverse patients into trials, improve analysis of trial data and translate trial results directly into practice. HDRC Medical Director, Dr. Roxana Mehran, saw the potential to broaden the work of SCAI WIN to a larger platform, and approached SCAI to partner on the new initiative.
HDRC plans to launch its first US cardiovascular activities in 2014, but is using 2013 to build a multi-functional Investigator Database. The goals of the database are to match investigators with interested trial sponsors, develop a stronger understanding of physician experience and site patterns, and send free educational information to the investigators so they can improve their trial strategies at individual, practice or system-wide levels. Educational information will be gathered from partner organizations, connecting the dots between stakeholders. All components will be centered on metrics in order to track improvement.
In order to learn more, and register (for free!) in the HDRC Investigator Database, visit www.disparitiesresearch.org.