Nearly 50 Young Leaders attended the CRT 2021 Virtual Young Leader Symposium on Saturday.
The discussion during the hourlong meeting centered on career paths, intellectual property and networking with senior colleagues. About half of the meeting was spent in small groups that discussed innovation, clinical research and peer-to-peer education.
A. Pieter Kappetein, MD, the vice president of clinical research and medical science at Medtronic, which sponsored the symposium, led the discussion.
Celina M. Yong, MD, MBA, MSc, of Stanford University, said the peer-to-peer group discussed how junior investigators like the Young Leaders often work with industry to develop innovative ideas and expand access for new technologies to all patients. Regarding peer-to-peer education, the group discussed how junior investigators might get more involved and, once given opportunities, delivering so that even more opportunities will become available. Finally, the group stressed the importance of diversity in leadership.
Expanding on that point, Kappetein said that while about 40% of female employees at Medtronic are in managerial positions, but the advisory boards have more room for improvement.
“When we come up with members for an advisory board, most members are still men,” he said. “And we also have to remind ourselves that the constitution of physicians are changing. There are more females in interventional cardiology, also even in cardiac surgery, and it’s important to get the voice from females as well.”
Ravi K. Sharma, MD, of the University of Louisville Medical School, said the innovations group discussed the importance of Young Leaders identifying their passion early in their careers, which can help determine what ideas will be their focus. Partnering with industry, as well as finding support from colleagues, is critical to help those ideas come to fruition. The next innovation, he added, does not necessarily have to be flashy technology or a head-turning device, but it can be improving the quality of care by modifying current practice.
Toby Rogers, MD, PhD, of MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, D.C., and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, spoke of his own experience with intellectual property and patents and said Young Leaders should consider how they can make their ideas for innovations become a reality.
“The key is collaboration, finding people who have similar thought processes and are in a similar role as you are and bouncing off ideas, finding solutions to it,” Sharma said in summarizing the intellectual-property discussion. “And in this regard, industry can be your key ally to assist you with that.”
Manuela Negoita, MD, Medtronic’s vice president of global clinical affairs, said the clinical research group discussed questions around intellectual property, contracting, how to invest in clinical research, and how physicians can be more involved in research.
CRT 2021 Virtual Course Chairman Ron Waksman, MD, closed the session by noting that when he and other leaders in the field were in the earlier stages of their careers, the key to their success is that, “We were always hungry. We were always trying to do more.”
“Some of us still are like that. We just cannot sit idle; we really want to do more,” he said. “You really have to have this passion and look (at) what is missing, what is the unmet need.”
Waksman advised that fellows and Young Leaders who have interesting cases should propose them for presentation at meetings like CRT. He added that they should join cardiology societies to grow their networks. Finally, they should find mentors to help push them and advance their careers, he said.
CRT 2021 Virtual takes place Fridays and Saturdays through April 24. On-demand content from the meeting is available here.