About “You Belong in Cardiology”
To address the underrepresentation of women and minority physicians and allied professionals in Cardiology, we aim to implement a mentorship and career exploration program to increase the pipeline of underrepresented groups in the field.
“We aim to inspire students, cultivate an interest in cardiology, foster long-term mentorship relationships and develop the pipeline of future cardiologists and allied professionals in cardiology from diverse backgrounds.”
The “You Belong in Cardiology” program started as an initiative in the cardiology program as a Mass General Cardiology Fellowship Award in 2022, granted to first-year cardiology fellow Dr. Giselle A. Suero Abreu with the support of Dr. Doreen DeFaria Yeh, cardiology fellowship director, and Dr. Malissa Wood, former associate chief of diversity and inclusion. You Belong in Cardiology was also inspired by the successful program “I Look Like a Cardiologist” founded in 2019 by Dr. Kathryn Berlacher and will be conducted in partnership with the Mass General Youth Scholars Program, in partnership with the Mass General Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) and Center for Community and Health Improvement (CCHI).
Our Commitment: Mass General is committed to innovative solid strategies as part of the We Belong mission in the Division of Cardiology and the Cardiology Fellowship Program to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Dates: January 24th, January 31st , February 7th, February 13th and February 14th 2024
Time: 3:30-5:30 pm.
Location: Yawkey 4-820
General plan: Our goal is to cultivate future cardiologists and allied professionals in the field of cardiology from diverse backgrounds. We aim to expose 10th-grade students who self-identify as a racial or ethnic minority, LGBTQIA+, potential first-generation college student, or of a disadvantaged socioeconomic to the field of cardiology and its allied professions. We hope this program will familiarize students with cardiology and foster mentorship relationships.
Program Structure: The mentoring program will include four group sessions for participants to be exposed to the work in cardiology and interact with cardiologists from diverse backgrounds with opportunities for questions and one-on-one connection. This interactive session will include workshops on different career pathways and engaging workshops, including hands-on CPR training and heart dissections. Each student will be paired with a current physician and fellow who can provide longitudinal mentoring throughout their career journey.
Meet our leadership team
Giselle Alexandra Suero Abreu, MD, PhD, MSc
Cardiovascular Disease Fellow
2022 MGH Fellowship Pilot Program Awardee
Doreen DeFaria Yeh, MD
Director, MGH Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Program
MGH Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program
Cardiovascular Disease and Pregnancy Program
Cardiovascular disease Program Director
Co-fellow mentorship: Njambi Mathenge MD, MPH, Kemar Brown MD
The Scope of the Issue
Despite many efforts, racial and sex disparities in healthcare persist. Our mission in the “You Belong in Cardiology” program is to help increase the culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging within the field by addressing disparities in the pipeline of the Cardiology workforce.
Why is this important?
Several studies have validated that diversity in the healthcare workforce is critical to enhancing access to care, reducing health disparities, and improving the quality of care for all, particularly underserved patient populations. Factors such as patient-physician concordance and gender have been associated with improved control of cardiovascular disease risk factors and health outcomes.[1-4]
The workforce in cardiology
- At every stage of training in cardiology, the number of women and individuals from underrepresented racial and socioeconomic backgrounds remains low. [5-8]
- While women represent more than 50% of medical students, the number of women applying to cardiology fellowships has remained stagnant over the years. Only 24% of US cardiovascular disease fellows are women, with even lower proportions in procedural cardiology subspecialties—14.5% in interventional cardiology and 11% in cardiac electrophysiology. [9-10]
- Underrepresented minority (URM) trainees are 9.9%, 8.9%, 7.4%, and 10.2% of cardiovascular disease, interventional cardiology, clinical cardiac electrophysiology, and advanced heart failure and transplant cardiology fellows, respectively.
- These longstanding disparities translate to the workforce, and URM physicians represent only 13% and 7.5% of practicing adult cardiologists, respectively. [5,6]
We believe that longstanding efforts through the You Belong in Cardiology Program will contribute to:
- Improve cardiovascular health outcomes across all patient populations.
- Enrich the clinical practice and training for the next generation of the cardiology workforce.
- Increase diversity in clinical and research teams to deliver excellent patient care and produce high-quality science.
- Balinda IG, Reza N. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging in Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Training. Methodist Debakey Cardiovasc J. 2022 Jun 3;18(3):67-77
- Tsugawa Y, Jena AB, Figueroa JF, Orav EJ, Blumenthal DM, Jha AK. Comparison of Hospital Mortality and Readmission Rates for Medicare Patients Treated by Male vs Female Physicians. JAMA Intern Med. 2017. Feb1;177(2):206-213.
- Schmittdiel JA, Traylor A, Uratsu CS, Mangione CM, Ferrara A, Subramanian U. The Association of Patient-Physician Gender Concordance with Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factor Control and Treatment in Diabetes. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2009. Dec;18(12):2065-70.
- Baumhäkel M, Müller U, Böhm M. Influence of gender of physicians and patients on guideline-recommended treatment of chronic heart failure in a cross-sectional study. Eur J Heart Fail. 2009. Mar;11(3):299-303.
- Santhosh L, Babik JM. Trends in Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Internal Medicine Subspecialty Fellowships From 2006 to 2018. JAMA Netw Open. 2020. Feb 5;3(2):e1920482.
- Mehta LS, Fisher K, Rzeszut AK, et al. Current Demographic Status of Cardiologists in the United States. JAMA Cardiol. 2019;4(10):1029-1033. doi: 10.1001/jamacardio.2019.3247
- Damp JB, Auseon AJ, Walsh MN, Theriot P, Tam MC, Weissman G. Landscape of U.S. Cardiovascular Training Programs. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2019. Jun 11;73(22):2892-2895.
- Stone AT, Carlson KM, Douglas PS, Morris KL, Walsh MN. Assessment of Subspecialty Choices of Men and Women in Internal Medicine From 1991 to 2016. JAMA Intern Med. 2020. Jan 1;180(1):140-141.
- AAMC.org. Washington, DC: Association of American Medical Colleges; c 2022. The Majority of U.S. Medical Students Are Women, New Data Show; 2021. Nov 9 [cited 2022 Apr 20]. Available from: https://www.aamc.org/news-insights/press-releases/majority-us-medical-students-are-women-new-data-show
- AAMC.org. Washington, DC: Association of American Medical Colleges; c 2022. Table B3. Number of Active Residents, by Type of Medical School, GME Specialty, and Sex. AAMC; 2018. [cited 2022 Apr 20]. Available from: https://www.aamc.org/data-reports/students-residents/interactive-data/report-residents/2021/table-b3-number-active-residents-type-medical-school-gme-specialty-and-sex
- AAMC.org [Internet]. Washington, DC: Association of American Medical Colleges; c 2022. Table B5. Number of Active MD Residents, by Race/Ethnicity (Alone or In Combination) and GME Specialty; 2018. [cited 2022 Apr 20]. Available from: https://www.aamc.org/data-reports/students-residents/interactive-data/report-residents/2021/table-b5-md-residents-race-ethnicity-and-specialty