November 10-15

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ACR Convergence 2023

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Home // FIT Program to address early career considerations, including contracts and finding a niche

FIT Program to address early career considerations, including contracts and finding a niche


3 minutes

The Fellows-in-Training (FIT) Program on Thursday, November 10, at ACR Convergence 2022 is dedicated to helping rheumatology professionals navigate the early stages of their careers—at home and in the workplace.

Justin Levinson, MD, MBA

“We all know there is no single career path in rheumatology, but building your career can be daunting. From the question of academics versus private, clinical or research niche, ideal geography, contracts, and expectations, the transition from trainee to career rheumatologist can be stressful,” said FIT Subcommittee Chair Justin Levinson, MD, MBA. “This year’s FIT programming has multiple sessions dedicated to those in their early careers of rheumatology.”

The FIT Program will take place in Terrace Ballroom IV at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and will be livestreamed and available on demand.

“ACR Convergence has incredibly broad coverage in terms of research and various career aspects. The FIT Program is designed with the FITs in mind. We try to bring topics that are particularly relevant to fellows together in one place,” said Rachel Wallwork, MD, FIT Subcommittee member and representative to the Annual Meeting Planning Committee. “This year we have topics such as contract negotiation, financial planning, and how to establish a career niche. Those are at the forefront of a lot of FIT minds.”

Rachel Wallwork, MD

The afternoon program is as follows.

  • Welcome: 12–12:05 p.m. ET
  • Career Panel: 12:05–1:05 p.m. ET
  • Contract Negotiations: 1:05–2:05 p.m. ET
  • How to Establish a Career Niche: 2:05–2:50 p.m. ET
  • Work/Life Balance: 2:50–3:35 p.m. ET
  • Roundtables: 3:40–5:25 p.m. ET
  • Closing Remarks: 5:25–5:30 p.m. ET
  • Reception: 5:45–6:45 p.m. ET

“Beyond the content itself, it’s also a space where fellows can get together and meet one another from various institutions,” Dr. Wallwork said. “It’s really exciting to get to do that in a physical space this year.”

ACR Convergence and the FIT Program were last held in person in 2019.

The Career Panel will include speakers representing private practice, research, and general academia.

“We try to keep it as broad as possible in hopes that people can find a mentor and can learn about all of the different aspects of where their career can take them,” Dr. Wallwork said.

Some of the panelists and other presenters from throughout the program will be featured in the Roundtables toward the end of the day for in-person attendees. More than two dozen themed tables will feature a speaker with expertise in that area.

“Attendees can ask questions of experts in small group settings, with topics ranging from contract reviews from a local lawyer to pulmonary hypertension from a pulmonologist’s perspective,” Dr. Levinson said. Additional areas of focus include how to get involved with the ACR, clinical challenges, and academic considerations.

The Roundtables are also a prime networking opportunity where FITs with similar interests can connect with one another.

After the hybrid program, an in-person FIT Reception, 5:45–6:45 p.m. ET, will take place in Terrace Ballroom I.

“The reception is really designed for people to meet each other,” Dr. Wallwork said.

She also recommends FITs attend the Review Course, also offered in a hybrid format, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. ET Friday, November 11, in Exhibit Hall A and livestreamed.

“For the virtual participants, they won’t want to miss the online Early Career Community Hub sessions on the first three nights of ACR Convergence, which utilize small group Q and A with experts in job hunting, career niche, and using social media for your practice,” Dr. Levinson said.


If you weren’t able to attend a session in person during ACR Convergence 2023, you haven’t missed out. All registered meeting participants receive on-demand access to scientific sessions through October 31, 2024.