CHESTLearning & EventsCHEST Annual MeetingBack Together: Experience the Magic of Attending CHEST 2022 in Person

Back Together: Experience the Magic of Attending CHEST 2022 in Person

By: Laura DiMasi
April 18, 2022

CHEST 2022 Chair Subani Chandra, MD, FCCP

After 2 years of virtual meetings, the chest medicine community will come together again in Nashville for CHEST 2022, October 16-19. We caught up with CHEST 2022 Chair Subani Chandra, MD, FCCP, to discuss why an in-person meeting is so impactful, and her vision for CHEST attendees.

Why will CHEST 2022 be different from other CHEST meetings?

There are so many reasons this meeting will be highly anticipated and incredibly memorable. Not only do we have a stellar lineup of content, but this will be the first in-person CHEST meeting in years. Never in the history of CHEST has a meeting taken place virtually—let alone 2 years in a row.

We know that a lot of CHEST members attend their first CHEST Annual Meeting during fellowship, which, as we know, lasts 3 years. The last in-person meeting was in 2019, which means that there are a LOT of fellows who have yet to attend a meeting in person.

What are the benefits of an in-person meeting?

There are a lot of comforts that come from attending a conference online—you have your office, your couch, the ability to multitask—and there is no travel required. At the same time, there is an immersion that is able to happen when you attend an event in person.

It used to be so habitual to attend conferences, but now we’re accustomed to attending events online, and we’re missing out on something that I think we all used to take for granted, to some extent.

Working in lung health, we’ve all been through a pretty rough patch these past couple of years, and I think the notion of taking some time away from clinical practice, coming to Nashville, and immersing yourself in learning, networking, and catching up with the latest in the field is tempting. There’s a certain magic about attending CHEST, about seeing the giants of chest medicine—being in the same room as them and able to strike up a conversation. It’s incredible.

Can you talk more about this immersion you just spoke to? Why is that so critical?

When you attend a meeting in person, it forces you to focus your whole self in a way that isn’t easily achieved online. When you’re in person, you can put your other hats on the shelf for a few days, commit to your education and your career, and reignite your passion for medicine. I think of it like a cool down at the end of a workout—it’s not required, but if you take that extra time to invest in yourself, you will be better off for having done it.

What can attendees expect from CHEST 2022 in Nashville?

Because we’re in Nashville, we will do a lot to embrace the fun culture of the area, but this year’s meeting will also have a strong theme of welcoming attendees back—welcoming them home. We recognize what everyone in this field has been through, and we want to provide an opportunity to recharge.

We want to not only meet the educational needs and requirements of a CHEST Annual Meeting but also the mental health needs of attendees. I want everyone leaving Nashville to feel recharged. Not just full of new medical ideas to implement but also feeling freshly reminded of why we do what we do.

What is your hope for CHEST 2022 attendees?

I have a lot of hopes for this meeting. I think a good way to convey those hopes is to say that I want everyone who attends to feel like they grew while attending CHEST. Growth happens in so many different forms, and the potential for growth at a CHEST meeting is limitless, whether it’s academically, emotionally, mentally, or something else entirely. At the end of the experience, you’re leaving a better version of yourself.

I also want attendees to have a lot of fun. CHEST is primarily focused on providing educational opportunities, but we also have a lot of fun together. I’m looking forward to having a great time with my CHEST family and expanding that family to include some amazing people I’ve yet to meet.