Women in Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology

History of WICTA

In 2018 at the SCA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona approximately 50 women (and a few men) met and voted to form Women in Cardiothoracic Anesthesia (WICTA) as the first Special Interest Group within the SCA. This decision to organize grew out of several years of discussions and exploratory meetings lead by senior women leaders in cardiothoracic anesthesiology, whose trailblazing efforts have paved the path for generations of women in our field.

The mission of the group is to foster career development and personal growth for women in cardiothoracic anesthesia, who have historically faced significant disparities in advancement, promotion, leadership, authorship, speakership, and financial compensation when compared to men in cardiothoracic anesthesia. Women still make up only approximately 30% of adult cardiothoracic anesthesiology fellows, with the percentage of women in practice as cardiothoracic anesthesiologists only at about 20%. As such, women have faced numerous professional challenges in cardiothoracic anesthesia. WICTA was founded to build the skills for women to advance, as well as to provide a voice for women in the leadership of the SCA. Since its founding, WICTA has created several mentoring programs on public speaking, manuscript writing, and clinical research, held professional development and fellow webinars, increased the presence of women as committee members and chairs within the SCA, and greatly enhanced the number and visibility of women speakers at SCA annual meetings and society programming.

As the first Special Interest Group we hope WICTA will not only enhance the diversity of our society but also serve as an example for how to enhance engagement of other groups of physicians in our field with the SCA.