Erick Alexanderson
President
the Mexican Cardiology Society (SMC)
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View from the Top

Networking Helps Tap Into Cardio Society

Wed, 09/07/2016 - 15:02

Q: What resulted in the creation of the Mexican Cardiology Society and how does it serve its members?

A: In 1924, Dr. Ignacio Chávez, an acute clinician and highly regarded professor of the School of Medicine of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), was asked to reorganize the department of cardiology at the General Hospital in Mexico City, the main teaching hospital in the country. Dr. Chávez then traveled to Europe to continue his specialist training in this field and upon his return convened a group of esteemed cardiologists with strong academic reputations to incorporate innovative European technologies. This group of doctors began holding scientific meetings, with guest speakers, which resulted in the creation of the first formal postgraduate course in cardiology in 1933, during the tenure of Dr. Chávez as Dean of UNAM’s Faculty of Medicine. The strong interest generated by these events resulted in the founding of the Mexican Society of Cardiology (SMC) in 1935, with the objective of promoting research, education and a science-based practice of cardiology.

SMC supports its partners and members by organizing high-quality academic events, granting scholarships that enable residents to study abroad as well as facilitating the participation of residents and cardiologists in international conferences such as those organized by the American College of Cardiology, the European Society of Cardiology and this year’s World Congress of Cardiology. The benefits of SMC membership primarily include partaking in academic events, access to SMC’s official publication Revista Archivos de Cardiología de México, receiving updated information through our social media and website, as well as being part of an important professional network.

Q: How is SMC linked with its international counterparts and what are the objectives of international cooperation?

A: SMC is one of the founding members of the Interamerican Cardiology Society, it is a member of the World Heart Federation (WHF) and is affiliated with the European Society of Cardiology and the American College of Cardiology. This year, SMC established collaboration agreements with different international cardiology societies such as the American Heart Association (AHA), the Egyptian Cardiology Society and the Argentine Cardiology Federation, among others. These agreements allow the members of our international partners to participate in our academic courses and our members in theirs, which opens the door for our membership to present at international conferences.

Q: How does SMC grow research in the cardiology field?

A: This year, SMC will create national registers for the collection of epidemiological data regarding the most frequent cardiovascular diseases in Mexico. We are aware of the urgent need to obtain our own data to be able to make decisions. This great step forward is starting during this administrative period and marks the beginning of a long-term data collection strategy. CardioAcademic is a Spanish language website where cardiologists can find updated information, clinical cases, blogs and useful clinical information for their patients. Internet and social media are without a doubt powerful weapons for medical information dispersal and have to be used to the maximum.

Q: What are the main challenges that women with cardiology conditions are facing and what are the objectives of the #GoForRedWomen initiative?

A: Cardiovascular disease is the main cause of death and disabilities for women, according to the WHO. In the past, women were often overlooked for treatment of cardiovascular diseases since it was believed that these predominantly affected males. As a result, women were not submitted to routine testing and when they were diagnosed, the cardiovascular disease was already too advanced and with a bad prognosis.

#GoForRedWomen aims to raise awareness among women about cardiovascular diseases, encouraging them to take care of their health with simple measures like medical check-ups, exercising and eating healthy. This year, SMC will sign an agreement with AHA to obtain the license for #GoForRedWomenin Mexico and work to promote and prevent female cardiovascular health.