An LDP Story

How ASNC’s Leadership Development Program Opens Doors 
to New Opportunities
A Conversation with LDP Program Chair Lawrence Phillips, MD, FASNC

It was 2009. Lawrence Phillips, MD, FASNC, had just started in a junior faculty position when he was accepted into ASNC’s Leadership Development Program (LDP). He had no idea what an eye-opening and career-building experience was before him. Nor did he realize he was beginning a journey that would bring him full circle.

Now the medical director of outpatient clinical cardiology, director of the nuclear cardiology laboratory, and associate director of the cardiovascular disease fellowship program at NYU Langone Health, Dr. Phillips has been appointed chair of ASNC-LDP. He shared his thoughts about the program’s impressive track record of turning out leaders and who should apply for a spot in 2020. Here are excerpts from our conversation: 
From left to right: Dr. Phillips met Dan Berman, MD, MASNC, and Leslee Shaw, MD, MASNC, 
through ASNC-LDP. 
They helped to open doors for him professionally and have become lifelong friends. 

What were some of your experiences in the LDP program? 
In nuclear cardiology, many of the journal articles that we study in training were written by people who are ASNC members. And so, there I was in 2009, participating in the ASNC-LDP and learning about organizational leadership fromthese luminaries in my field. As part of the program, I attended meetings and worked on committees with these very people—and they soon became mypersonal mentors. That has been the biggest highlight of the program for me. 
For example, when I was in training, I had of course read papers written by Dan Berman, MD, MASNC, and Leslee Shaw, PhD, MASNC.When I met them through the LDP, I was a bit star-struck at first. But the program made it possible for me get to know them in professional and social environments. That exposure led to close working and personal relationships with both of them that continue to this day. The doors they helped to open for me can be traced back to the ASNC-LDP. 

How does the program work? 
There are three pillars: 
  1. Mentorship – Each LDP participant is connected with a mentor who can offer both career and research guidance. 
  2. Understanding ASNC – It is invaluable to learn how our medical society works. Participants are invited to serve on an ASNC committee, get involved in planning educational initiatives, and actually see ASNC’s inner workings. 
  3. Leadership skills training – Participants attend a number of didactic webinars where leaders in the field teach important skills—for example, delivering effective presentations, interacting with the media, behind-the-scenes insights on CME, and how advocacy really works locally and in Washington. 
For me, it was very helpful to see how educational programs evolve from an idea to fruition. I’d been to scientific meetings, but I did not fully know the extent of the tireless planning. The LDP let me play a small role in planning a national conference.   

Who are the best candidates for ASNC’s LDP? 
The people who will excel the most have finished their training, intend to carve out time in their career for nuclear cardiology, and are looking to gain the skills to be a leader in the field. When you look at the roster of LDP participants since the program’s inception in 2003, it’s impressive how many of them went on to serve on the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee, and even became president of ASNC. The majority of the people in ASNC’s leadership today participated in the LDP in the past. 

The program has an impressive track record for success. 
It does—and it’s because the program is a partnership between ASNC and the LDP participants. The applicants put themselves out there; they’re excited about becoming more involved and experiencing all kinds of opportunities that contribute to their career growth. For ASNC, it’s about fulfilling the organization’s deep commitment to fostering new leaders. The leadership puts time and resources into nurturing future leaders who, as they grow in their careers, will want to put time and attention into ASNC. 

Thinking about the 2020 program, which features would you emphasize to today’s applicants? 
First, the three pillars. These components were crafted to help you grow your leadership style and skills in different ways. 
Second, if you’re applying, know that ASNC is dedicated to the program and to your success. The people who have been overseeing the program are the national leaders of ASNC. They are committed to this program, no matter what. As an example—Prem Soman’s position as LDP chair overlapped with his tenure as ASNC president. He continued personally leading this program even during his presidency. That says a lot about him and about his dedication to the program’s success. He’s brought it to such a high level. I feel honored to be selected to chair the program after him.  
The third important point is that this year’s focus is going to be on really strengthening the mentor-mentee relationship, working to ensure that the collaborations work and that everyone knows how to operationalize them.

How does the application process work? 
To apply for the 2020 program, you need to be an ASNC member and be genuinely interested in working on ASNC initiatives. U.S. applicants need to be within five years of completing their last training program; international applicants can be within 10 years. You must submit your completed application to ASNC by Feb. 28. The committee will review all of the applications and select individuals to participate in the three-year program, which will start this spring and continue through 2022. 

And then the fun begins. I can’t stress enough what a terrific opportunity it was for me to participate in ASNC’s Leadership Development Program when I was early in my career. And now, it’s an honor to chair the program and be part of making it a great experience for tomorrow’s leaders in nuclear cardiology. I’ve come full circle.   

From left to right: Dr. Phillips met Dan Berman, MD, MASNC, and Leslee Shaw, MD, MASNC, through ASNC-LDP. They helped to open doors for him professionally and have become lifelong friends. ASNC Past President Jennifer Mieres, MD, MASNC, was a mentor to Dr. Phillips in fellowship and early career. Dr. Phillips feels honored to follow in the footsteps of Prem Soman, MD, PhD, MASNC, immediate past chair of the ASNC-LDP program and an ASNC past president. In this photo, Dr. Phillips and Dr. Soman appear with nuclear cardiology faculty from NYU.