ACC’s Cardiovascular Training Section was established last year with the goal of facilitating the training of the future cardiovascular workforce and serving as a resource for important issues in the profession. The Section aims to provide analysis, insight and practical guidance on issues related to cardiovascular training to the Board of Trustees, Board of Governors, and other members of the College and staff. Members of the section work within the College to advance cardiovascular science and practice through research and education, establish training criteria and guidelines, and influence health care policy. Julie B. Damp, MD, FACC, recently took over as the chair of the Section. She is an associate professor of medicine and the associate director of the Cardiovascular Medicine Fellowship Training Program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where she also attended medical school and completed her internal medicine and cardiology fellowship training. While also interested in cardiac disease in pregnancy, noninvasive cardiac imaging and critical care cardiology, as the child of educators, an interest in training and education is in her blood. Damp spoke with Cardiology to discuss her interest in cardiovascular training and her vision for the future of the Cardiovascular Training Section. How did you decide to become a physician? Like many physicians, I was drawn to medicine by the blend of science and the care of others. Growing up, I was cared for by a physician who was a strong, kind and intelligent woman who provided an early and empowering example to me of what an impact a physician could have. Daily, I am challenged academically and also by the humbling honor of knowing and caring for patients facing illness. What drew you to education and training? My parents are educators, so in addition to seeing the difference physicians make, I grew up focused on the importance of education and understanding the influence teachers have as well. This certainly impacted the experience I had coming through my own medical education and training and helped me find another avenue in medicine through which I am both challenged and humbled. Have you had any mentors that have made a large impact on your career? What kind of advice did they give you? I have been so lucky to have many mentors throughout my career – I would hate to mention any by name for fear of leaving one out! These individuals all had a tremendous impact on my career, some in very specific areas and others more broadly, and they have given me invaluable advice. Two pieces of their wisdom I come back to on a daily basis are these: 1) make choices in your career based on what you love to do; and 2) as you are juggling life, make sure to know which balls will break if you drop them. As the new chair of the Cardiovascular Training Section, what are your plans for the Section? The Section has flourished under the leadership of Chittur A. Sivaram, MBBS, FACC, who was the first chair. I foresee continuing this growth and the efforts of the section as we expand our understanding of best practices in medical education and implement these in cardiovascular training. What role do you think the Section can and should play in the training of cardiologists? The Cardiovascular Training Section is made up of a group of talented individuals who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience pertinent to the training of cardiovascular practitioners. As a result, the section has great potential to bring this experience together, to collaborate, and to disseminate knowledge about effective training practices. The section should continue to use this rich set of skills and knowledge, providing an active and impactful voice in the training of cardiovascular practitioners. Is there anything else you would like to add? I would just add what an amazing experience it has been being involved with the ACC. I have had the opportunity to meet and work with such talented people who are dedicated to improving cardiovascular education and practice, and it has greatly expanded my skills and practice. Learn more about the CV Training Section at ACC.org/CVTraining.
Published by American College of Cardiology. View All Articles.