Some may ask how Nkechinyere “Nkechi” Ijioma, MD, a first-year interventional fellow at The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, finds the time to do it all. She is a member of ACC’s Fellows in Training (FIT) Section Leadership Council, the FIT representative for the ACC Minnesota Chapter, editorin- chief of the FIT Section homepage, ACC.org/FIT, a member of the College’s Leadership Academy, a roving reporter for ACC’s FITs on the GO video blog, and more. “It is very feasible to serve the ACC in different capacities, and still undergo a busy cardiovascular fellowship and sub-specialty training,” notes Ijioma, whose time at the Mayo Clinic is predominantly spent in the cardiac catheterization lab performing procedures, and in the outpatient Cardiovascular Exam Clinic once a week. Photos courtesy of the Mayo Clinic 8 – 8:30 a.m. To start the day, Ijioma attends a weekly reading to review coronary angiograms with other first-year cardiovascular fellows assigned to the cardiac catheterization lab. During Ijioma’s lunch hour, she informally meets with Michael Cullen, MD, past chair of the ACC FIT Section, to share ideas about the ACC and discuss potential ways to increase FIT engagement in both the ACC Minnesota Chapter and national ACC activities. 8:30 a.m. – Noon Once a week, Ijioma and Gurpreet S. Sandhu, MD, PhD, FACC – director of Mayo Clinic’s cardiac catheterization lab and Ijioma’s faculty mentor – meet to evaluate patients during the Cardiovascular Exam Clinic. Noon – 1 p.m. Ijioma meets with Joerg Herrmann, MD, to discuss content ideas for the ACC FIT Section homepage, ACC.org/FIT. Ijioma is editor of the page, which includes articles written by FITs on the College’s strategic themes, the role of the ACC in the international community, and more. Ijioma has a faculty-trainee research meeting with Amir Lerman, MD, FACC. Ijioma meets with Lori Blauwet, MD, FACC, her women-in-cardiology faculty mentor at the Mayo Clinic, and a career coach. As ACC’s 2015 Legislative Conference is nearing, Ijioma and David Snipelisky, MD, meet to discuss plans for the FITs on the GO Blog, which utilizes FIT roving reporters to provide YouTube video interviews with ACC leaders and participants at cardiovascular meetings and events throughout the year. Ijioma has an informal meeting in the Cardiovascular Care Unit with Sunil Mankad, MD, FACC, governor of the ACC Minnesota Chapter, about her ACC Leadership Academy project – to turn the current ACC FIT Jeopardy competition into an interstate ACC Chapter FIT Jeopardy competition. The newly redesigned competition will take place during ACC.16 in Chicago. FITs who wish to represent their chapter should contact their state’s chapter executive and governor. Ijioma and Mankad meet with Blauwet to review the opportunities to increase FIT participation at ACC Minnesota. Rajiv Gulati, MD, FACC, reviews coronary angiograms with Ijioma to discuss the intra-procedural plan. 1 – 5 p.m. After lunch, Ijioma preps for the cardiac catheterization lab. She meets with Paul Sundeen, RN, in the pre-cardiac catheterization prep room to review a patient’s chart prior to coronary angiogram to ensure the patient is ready for the procedure, informed consent has been appropriately obtained and there is team consensus on the pre- and intra-procedure plan. Ijioma assists Charanjit S. Rihal, MD, FACC, chair of the division of cardiovascular medicine at The Mayo Clinic, and Mackram Eleid, MD, FACC, who implant a MitraClip for transcatheter mitral valve repair with structural heart disease fellows Mohamad Alkhouli, MD and Mohammad Sarraf, MD. The Mayo Clinic is currently one of the top 10 centers for MitraClip implantation in the U.S. Over 70 MitraClip have been implanted at The Mayo Clinic since the inception of The Mayo Clinic transcatheter mitral valve repair program in May 2014. Ijioma and Malcolm Bell, MBBS, FACC, perform a percutaneous coronary intervention via the left ulnar artery. David R. Holmes, Jr., MD, MACC, and Thomas Munger, MD, FACC, implant a Watchman left atrial appendage closure device with structural heart disease fellows Mohamad Alkhouli, MD, and Mohammad Sarraf, MD. Ijioma assists with the procedure. The Mayo Clinic and Holmes were actively involved with the Watchman device feasibility study, and have been involved in all five clinical trials of the Watchman left atrial appendage closure device, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for atrial fibrillation in March 2015. John Bresnahan, MD, FACC, director of the Mayo Clinic Interventional Cardiology program, meets with Ijioma and the other interventional cardiology and structural heart disease fellows to review expectations and to discuss ways to improve the training program. 5 – 7 p.m. To finish up her day, Ijioma completes her medical chart documentation, contacts patients and participates in conference calls with ACC staff or on ACC Committee and Council meetings. Above all, Ijioma stresses the importance of mentors and encourages other FITs to identify their passion and volunteer in an area or section of the College where they can contribute to making the profession better. “My involvement with FIT activities within the College has helped shape my career and non-clinical skills,” she explains. If you are an FIT member and are looking for ways to get involved with the ACC, email FellowsinTraining@acc.org. Learn more about ACC FIT Section activities at ACC.org/FIT. Also learn more about the ACC’s Mentoring Program at ACC.org/Mentoring.
Published by American College of Cardiology. View All Articles.
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