Author + information
- Pradeep K. Yadav, MD∗ ( and )
- Prashant Kaul, MD
- ↵∗Reprint requests and correspondence:
Dr. Pradeep K. Yadav, 6th Floor, Burnett-Womack Building, 160 Dental Circle CB#7075, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7075.
It has been 1 year since the publication of the inaugural Fellows-in-Training (FIT) & Early Career (EC) Page. Since then, every week, we have seen an incredible selection of ideas, concerns, advice, and questions from FIT and EC physicians. The interesting diversity of topics has provided an insight into the core issues that are important to trainees and early career cardiologists.
As expected, the majority of topics chosen by authors related to fellowship training and education, as well as early practice and specialization considerations. Others elected to give perspectives and analyses on issues ranging from mentorship, pregnancy during fellowship, and moonlighting to text messaging versus paging, board certification, and malpractice litigation. All titles from the first year are listed in Table 1.
Due to the significant interest and enthusiasm generated by the topics, the Journal added an editorial comment in response to each article written by a senior cardiologist published alongside the corresponding FIT & EC page. The simultaneous perspectives provide a fascinating juxtaposition of outlooks from either end of the career ladder.
The success of the page is, in large part, due to the ability of all FIT and EC cardiologists to easily relate to the topics and commentary. Personal communications with several fellows across the country have confirmed the widespread enthusiasm and eager anticipation for the page each week. Many fellows with an interest in publishing are now actively thinking of suitable ideas for the page. Our personal experience with our submission on “Training in Structural Heart Interventions” (1) was fantastic. In response to the paper, the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the ACC’s FIT Council collaborated to create a directory of programs around the country that offer training in structural heart disease. This directory will soon be available on the ACC website and will be an invaluable resource for future fellows who are interested in pursuing structural heart training. This highlights the potential effect of this page.
Life in training and early in the professional career can be demanding, both physically and mentally. Many at this stage are starting families or have young children to take care of. Sparing time for scholarly or research activity requires significant commitment and motivation. Only a fraction of FIT and EC physicians engage in regular research that leads to publication due to inadequate mentorship or either lack of interest or time (or both). The relatively simple and straightforward submission process for the FIT & EC page, therefore, makes it easier for those who otherwise may not have submitted a manuscript for publication to consider writing, and in so doing, may encourage them to engage in further scholarly activity.
Either the outline or the full report (1,500 word limit) can be e-mailed to the editorial director, who then notifies the authors on the status once the topic has been reviewed by the editors. It is helpful that the Journal accepts an initial synopsis of the prospective paper describing the concept. A short outline explaining the idea can be submitted. Once a positive response from the editorial staff is obtained, a finalized version of the paper can be submitted. Certainly, the ultimate acceptance of the manuscript will depend on its final review.
The key to acceptance has been to concentrate on matters that are relevant and unique to the target audience. A review of the list of titles already published serves as a catalyst for new ideas for prospective contributors and will help prevent submission of topics that have already been discussed (see Table 1 with a list of titles and respective hyperlinks). The Journal’s website has a “Topic Collections” tab that allows access to specific topics. We would suggest for the Journal to consider adding an “FIT & EC Page” link to that tab so that prospective authors can easily review the list of topics already published.
The papers are not meant to be scientific in nature, but should address substantive, hard-hitting topics that affect daily practice. If an issue affects you on both a personal and professional level, the likelihood is that others in your position also feel the same way. It is worth submitting your idea early so that you may have the satisfaction of seeing your opinion in print and to start a dialogue that may ultimately lead to change.
In summary, this vision is unique and incredibly motivating. We congratulate the Journal for a hugely successful first year and thank the editorial team for giving FIT and EC professionals an outstanding opportunity to participate in our professional society and for providing a platform from which our opinions may be heard.
- Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD ()
RESPONSE: Placing Value in Peer Mentorship
In my early professional life, mentors largely contributed to my investigational, clinical, and educational choices. The effect of these mentors was such that when I matured into an older “professional age,” I embraced 2 objectives. The first objective was an attempt to influence the younger generation of cardiovascular investigators and clinical cardiologists, just as my mentors had influenced me. The Journal (as the editor) and Core Cardiovascular Training Statements (as cochair of 3 editions), in my view, have been and continue to be great vehicles to accomplish this first objective. As my professional life—investigational, clinical, and educational—gets more and more complex, my second objective again aims to seek motivation and mentorship back to me. The younger generation, such as fellows-in-training (FIT) and early career (EC) physicians, provide fulfillment for both objectives.
In response to Drs. Yadav and Kaul, when I launched this feature of the Journal, I wrote about how I wished to create a prominent forum to discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with being at an early stage of one’s career (1). I knew we—the more experienced cardiovascular specialists—would have much to learn from the distinctive insights of these thoughtful, young cardiovascular investigators and clinical cardiologists. It has been reassuring to learn from Dr. Yadav and many others that this new feature in the Journal has served as a popular forum to mentor their peers.
Similar to Dr. Yadav, I have been delighted by the diversity and complexity of topics covered in these pages over the past year (Table 1). In December 2014, we started asking for responses from senior cardiovascular colleagues, as the content required additional perspective and context. Through these responses, I hope that we are encouraging intergenerational dialogue. Even beyond dialogue, these pages have resulted in action, such as the creation of the American College of Cardiology’s Structural Heart Interventions Training database after an FIT & EC page spoke to the lack of resources in this area (2).
We all should be motivated by the accomplishments of the past year, and I look forward to see what topics we will learn from this series in the forthcoming year.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation