Photo gallery: #shelookslikeacardiologist event aims to inspire young women
The percentage of women entering most first year medical school classes across the nation is about 50 percent. The ratio of women in most internal medicine residency programs across the nation is about 45 percent.
However, the ratio of women in most cardiology fellowship programs is only around 20 percent. Across the nation, it is estimated that less than 15 percent of cardiologists are female and less than 10 percent of interventional cardiologists and electrophysiologists are women.
While there are likely many factors affecting this trend, one of the main difficulties in recruiting women is the lack of visible women role models in the field. Very few young women have the opportunity to see or interact with female cardiologists as they are pondering career choices.
In response to these statistics, Claire Duvernoy, M.D., chose to bring awareness to this issue by bringing female faculty and fellows at the Frankel Cardiovascular Center together to host an event that would introduce female-identifying high school juniors and seniors to female cardiologists and potentially inspire them to pursue a career in cardiology.
On Saturday, Oct. 12, 40 hopeful and high-performing young women from surrounding areas came to the CVC to explore a career in cardiology. Duvernoy and others led the event along with several other members of the house staff and faculty. They talked about their specific role at the CVC, in addition to offering their insights and personal stories. The event featured a tour of the CVC, a hands-on echocardiography demonstration, and a “show and tell” that showcased cardiac devices and tools of the trade.
There were small group discussions and the female faculty offered insights into the journey to becoming a cardiologist.
The visiting high school students were engaged and inquisitive.
The faculty planners hope to develop mentoring relationships with many of the attendees along their career path. During the program, the female faculty acknowledged that they wouldn’t be where they are today without a mentor that helped them to see that a career in cardiology is possible.
The female faculty of the CVC believe that increasing young women’s exposure to the field of cardiology — and to practicing female cardiologists — will pique the students’ interests and improve the likelihood that some will pursue a career in cardiology. The group aims to continue and expand this program in years to come!