Get Tips on Excelling Early in Your Career

The first few years after completing a cardiothoracic surgery residency can be challenging. Newly established surgeons must figure out how to build up a clinical practice, manage a wide variety of competing responsibilities, launch their research careers, and more.

Career Navigation and Development: Hot Topics to Enhance Your First 7 Years of Practice


7:15 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

Room 31AB

A new session on Monday aims to help by reviewing challenges and solutions for cardiothoracic surgeons in their first 7 years of practice.

“This is often a critical time in one’s career, and it can be difficult to access information on navigating challenges outside of the operating room,” said Vinay Badhwar, MD, Chair of the Workforce on Career Development.

Vinay Badhwar, MD

Vinay Badhwar, MD

One such challenge is determining how to negotiate that first contract. Most surgeons don’t receive any instruction on this aspect of practice in their training, and it can be an intimidating process. The session will highlight the general ground rules for negotiations and provide talking points.

Speakers also will explain how to balance clinical and research responsibilities, connect with colleagues and patients on social media, and establish a strong mentor-mentee relationship.

“Mentorship is at the very core of career development, no matter your level,” Dr. Badhwar said. “Learning how to find the right mentor, engage a mentor to get the most out of the interaction, and follow through on the advice are essential to optimizing the relationship.”

The session will feature ample time for a lively group discussion forum on hot-button issues facing early career surgeons, including dealing with a difficult job, what to do when you’re in over your head, and developing a niche.

“The faculty will aim to address all burning questions, no matter how simple or complex,” Dr. Badhwar added. 

Take Advantage of Practice Resources on
Want more information on navigating the early years of practice? Visit for detailed answers to frequently asked questions and several blog posts on finding a first job, teaching as an early career surgeon, and other important topics.