Author + information
- Maithili H. Shenoy, MD, MPH∗ ( and )
- Tushar A. Tuliani, MD
- ↵∗Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Loma Linda University, 11234 Anderson Street, Loma Linda, California 92354
We greatly enjoyed reading the recent report by Tong et al. (1). The authors beautifully summarized the current situation of academic cardiology for early-stage cardiologists, presenting current challenges for early career (EC) academic cardiologists, obstacles identified by a survey of current EC members of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), reasons for failure to receive funding from the National Institutes of Health/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, potential solutions, and a call to action with specific recommendations. We respond to this call with a proposal for a dedicated Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) publication showcasing articles by early career investigators (ECIs). Is it time to launch JACC: Early Career?
There are many cardiology fellows, residents, and students interested in pursuing careers in cardiology. The ACC’s EC section has approximately 7,000 members. The ACC has taken tremendous initiative to encourage early-stage physicians with the Fellows’ Bootcamp, Young Investigator Award at Scientific Sessions, and Fellows in Training and EC Sections with a mentor-mentee database. In an online survey about the ACC’s offerings for early-stage cardiologists, 75% of the EC Section rated the ACC’s overall value “very strong.” Early-stage cardiovascular professionals desire support with research opportunities and academic planning. Eighty-five percent of EC professionals reported seeking an academic position and two-thirds wished to conduct research. Obstacles identified included lack of time, unstable funding, burdensome regulatory compliance, competing against PhDs, overemphasis on relative value unit–based metrics, which can discourage academic pursuits, and insufficient support from institutions. However, is part of the conundrum constituted by lack of dedicated space for publications by ECIs? After all, the final step for successful research is publication.
JACC: Early Career could be launched under the JACC flagship in the EC Section, with the current JACC editor serving as editor-in-chief. Under his direction, the editor could be the chair of the EC Section/working group chair/ECI with an accomplished research background. ECIs could include students, residents, fellows in training, physician-scientists, and cardiologists within 10 years of completion of fellowship training. For consideration for publication in JACC: Early Career, the ECI ought to be the first author. The senior author could be an ECI/designated mentor.
Apart from original articles, unique features could be sections addressing grant writing, ethical considerations, common statistical scenarios, clinical quandaries akin to “Stump the Professor,” experiences by seasoned cardiologists with successful careers in research, and success stories by EC cardiologists. This journal would be a resource for the reader to access the latest research by ECIs, learn something clinically relevant, increase knowledge of research methodology, and, most importantly, feel motivated to conduct meaningful successful research. The JACC audience would expand to include students and residents and would serve as an opportunity for senior cardiologists to identify ECIs with similar research interests and possibly forge mentee-mentor relationships.
“We have been fortunate to have great stalwarts in clinical research. Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge.”
—Stephen Hawking (2)
JACC: Early Career would enable the next generation to develop the prowess to bear this torch when the time comes.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation
- ↵Philosophy is dead: professor Stephen Hawkings quotations quotes. Available at: http://www.age-of-the-sage.org/stephen_hawking/philosophy_is_dead.html. Accessed August 18, 2014.