The Unique Strengths and Leadership of Women in Cardiology in the Context of Team-Centered Medical Care, Academic Medicine, and Biomedical Science

  • Nisha I. ParikhEmail author
  • Rita Redberg
Women + Heart Disease (E Jackson, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Women and Heart Disease


Over the past few decades, increasing the number of women in cardiology has been a strategic goal of both the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology. There is an increasing emphasis placed on the role of teamwork within clinical cardiology and in cardiology focused healthcare policy including patient-centered medical homes. Concurrently, studies from organizational and industrial psychology researchers have demonstrated the unique strengths of having women on strategic teams on both the collective intelligence and success of these teams. Social sensitivity likely mediates the association between greater female participation on teams and team success. Despite these observations, women also disproportionately exhibit professional altruism which itself is linked positively with team success but either neutrally or negatively with personal or professional success among women. We believe that these new lines of science will strengthen the case for including and promoting women’s careers in cardiology for overall team success. However, measures to ensure that women not only enhance collective team success but also their own personal success should be both studied and promoted in the future. We believe this to be the key to the future advancement of women in both cardiology and medicine.


Women Leadership Organizational structure Promotion Academic medicine Cardiology 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by the author.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

  1. 1.
    Heim P, Golant SK. Hardball for women: Winning at the game of business. New York: Plume;1992.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Woolley A, Malone TW, Chabris CF. Why some teams are smarter than others. New York Times[Internet]. 16 Jan. 2015 [cited 1 February 2015] Sunday Review sec. Available from:
  3. 3.
    Grant A and Sandberg S. Madam C.E.O., Get Me a Coffee. New York Times[Internet].6 Feb. 2015 [cited 8 February 2015]; Sunday Review sec. Web. Available from:
  4. 4.
    Bunnell CA, Gross AH, Weingart SN, Kalfin MJ, Partridge A, Lane S, et al. High performance teamwork training and systems redesign in outpatient oncology. BMJ Qual Safety. 2013;22:405–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Southwick F, Lewis M, Treloar D, Cherabuddi K, Radhakrishnan N, Leverence R, et al. Applying athletic principles to medical rounds to improve teaching and patient care. Acad Med: J Assoc Am Med Colleges. 2014;89:1018–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Taylor EF, Machta RM, Meyers DS, Genevro J, Peikes DN. Enhancing the primary care team to provide redesigned care: the roles of practice facilitators and care managers. Ann Fam Med. 2013;11:80–3.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Norine Walsh M, Bove AA, Cross RR, Ferdinand KC, Forman DE, Freeman AM, et al. Accf 2012 health policy statement on patient-centered care in cardiovascular medicine: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation Clinical Quality Committee. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2012;59:2125–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Stokols D, Hall KL, Taylor BK, Moser RP. The science of team science: overview of the field and introduction to the supplement. Am J Prev Med. 2008;35:S77–89.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Gray B. Enhancing transdisciplinary research through collaborative leadership. Am J Prev Med. 2008;35:S124–132.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 8.••
    Woolley AW, Chabris CF, Pentland A, Hashmi N, Malone TW. Evidence for a collective intelligence factor in the performance of human groups. Science (New York, NY). 2010;330:686–8. Landmark study which first described collective intelligence and demonstrated that both social sensitivity and higher proportion of women on teams increased collective intelligence.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Engel D, Woolley AW, Jing LX, Chabris CF, Malone TW. Reading the mind in the eyes or reading between the lines? Theory of mind predicts collective intelligence equally well online and face-to-face. PLoS One. 2014;9, e115212.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Carr PL, Gunn CM, Kaplan SA, Raj A, Freund KM. Inadequate progress for women in academic medicine: Findings from the national faculty study. J Women's Health (2002). 2015;24(3):190–9Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Podsakoff NP, Whiting SW, Podsakoff PM, Blume BD. Individual- and organizational-level consequences of organizational citizenship behaviors: a meta-analysis. J Appl Psychol. 2009;94:122–41.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Heilman ME, Chen JJ. Same behavior, different consequences: reactions to men’s and women’s altruistic citizenship behavior. J Appl Psychol. 2005;90:431–41.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Bolino MC, Turnley WH. The personal costs of citizenship behavior: the relationship between individual initiative and role overload, job stress, and work-family conflict. J Appl Psychol. 2005;90:740–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Rodgers GP, Conti JB, Feinstein JA, Griffin BP, Kennett JD, Shah S, et al. Acc 2009 survey results and recommendations: addressing the cardiology workforce crisisa report of the acc board of trustees workforce task force. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2009;54:1195–208.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 15.•
    Sanghavi M. Women in cardiology: introspection into the under-representation. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2014;7:188–90. A thought provoking editorial including personal insights regarding the underrepresentation of women in cardiology.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Cardiology, Department of MedicineUniversity of San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA

Personalised recommendations