AHA DAY 2: Strengthening The Sisterhood

Another exhilarating day in sunny Anaheim is over! 

Today, I was asked a powerful question, “What is one thing in cardiology that you want to change?” My first thought?  I’d like to increase the number of women choosing cardiology as a specialty. I can’t help but think of the brilliant minds that we may be losing out on… the ones who may one day develop the next big clinical trials, the ones who will surely embrace technology and AI implementation in medicine. The ones who will challenge the status quo and become the leaders of the future. 

So where do we start?  Our approach today was simple, bringing together current women in cardiology, starting from Fellows in Training to Early Career Members to Legends in the field.
It was amazing to hear the diverse stories and backgrounds of everyone who came, unifying our bond as cardiology sisters. 

Drs. Minnow Walsh and Malissa Wood gave us advice on actively seeking out leadership roles within our local, regional and national communities. Drs. Sharonne Hayes and Rekha Mankad aptly pointed out that when we all work together and lift each other up, we are at our strongest, while Drs. Laxmi Mehta and Dipti Itchhaporia, noted the importance of taking advantage of resources that are made available. What a treasure trove of pearls!

Dr. Annabelle Volgman even highlighted the networking power of social media, which helped inspire me to join Twitter! Find me now @MeganKamath—- can I reach 1,000 followers before the end of the meeting? Help me get there! #Ilooklikeacardiologist #cardiotwitter #blogger

A personal highlight for me was connecting with some of the people who have helped me in various ways throughout my own cardiology journey: Dr. Elisa Bradley who, during her congenital fellowship, helped me prepare for my own cardiology fellowship interviews; Dr. Nkechi Ijioma who helped connect me with the cardiology blogosphere; and Dr. Sophia Airhart whose advice has been invaluable as I have navigated the transition to advanced heart failure and transplant. 

I left our session not only with an expanded reading list to tackle and new social media experimentation to try, but also with my energy once again renewed in the possibility that the women of today can recruit more bright women to continue the field tomorrow. 

“She will rise. With a spine of steel and a roar like thunder, she will rise.” – Nicole Lyons

Megan Kamath Headshot

Megan Kamath is a Fellow in Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research interests include outcomes in advanced heart failure, decision making and relational medicine, and utilizing technology in healthcare. She is now tweeting @MeganKamath, so follow her on there!