UK and US cardiology training: similar problems and solutions?

By Dr Jonathan Shurlock

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) has released a position statement on career flexibility in cardiology. Unsurprisingly the statement discusses similar issues as to those highlighted by the British Junior Cardiologists Association earlier this year.

The paper focuses on workplace flexibility as a form of autonomy over scheduled working hours and place of work to allow balance between work and life demands. While the number of hours worked is not the central focus, the ACC discusses the importance of being able to explore pathways to pursue other interests. One suggested avenue is supporting a transition to part-time work while retaining parity for oncall obligations.

Greater flexibility in the workplace would encourage inclusivity at all stages of cardiology training as individuals have different priorities at each stage of training. For instance, early career trainees may focus on a “healthy clinical learning environment” and well-being, whilst late-career cardiologists may focus on extending productive working years with a reduced intensity than their early training.

However, rigid on-call schedules, volume-based procedural requirements and reduction in leave allowance were the main barriers limiting workplace flexibility.

A buy-in to the concept of flexible working will be paramount for the organisation’s ability to attract and retain a talented workforce. Given that similar issues and solutions have been proposed in the UK, it is evident that cardiology training internationally is undergoing a change.

See full ACC position paper here: