Considerations of the pregnant cardiologist

Pregnancy during cardiology training: a call to action

By Saadia Aslam

In the UK, 28% of cardiology trainees and 13% of cardiology consultants are women. A recent article published in the “Heart” highlights the issues and concerns faced by the pregnant cardiologist such as: the impact of fertility treatment, pregnancy symptoms, radiation exposure during pregnancy, shift work, securing maternity leave and childcare. The pregnant cardiologist may feel isolated and unsupported due to the limited number of female cardiologists in the field. Furthermore, education of radiation exposure is consistent and resources are lacking. These factors can become potential barriers for women to enter cardiology or develop and maintain procedural skills.

In order to support pregnant cardiologists, Birkhoelzer et al suggested that they should be encouraged to attend medical appointments regardless of service provision commitments. Work duties and timings may have to adapted depending on the woman’s experience of pregnancy and also after pregnancy. The use of support resources should be encouraged.

Supporting resources
British Junior Cardiologists’ Association – Women in Cardiology
Women in Cardiology Section of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) in North America
Women as One – independent, non-profit organisation

Read full article in Heart Journal

Birkhoelzer SM, Gardner FJE, Ortega RF, Mehran R. Pregnancy during cardiology training: a call to action. Heart. 2021 Jan 11:heartjnl-2020-318211. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2020-318211. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33431423.