CHESTLearning & EventsCHEST Annual MeetingCHEST Annual Meetings: An Experience Unlike Any Other...

CHEST Annual Meetings: An Experience Unlike Any Other…

By: Laura DiMasi
July 19, 2022

As CHEST 2022 Chair, Subani Chandra, MD, FCCP, said in a recent blog post, there is something special about your first CHEST Annual Meeting. It’s an experience unlike any other, and it’s something that we’ve only had pieces of for the last 2 years in an online setting.

To embrace the nostalgia, members of the CHEST 2022 Scientific Program Committee share what they remember from their first CHEST meetings and the advice they have for first-time attendees.

Dr. Das (left) with Dr. Collop Dr. Das (left) with Dr. Collop
Vice-Chair of CHEST 2022, Aneesa Das, MD, FCCP, said that the CHEST meeting is unique because you never know who you might meet. In 2005, she attended her first CHEST meeting as a fellow in Montreal, Canada, and presented an oral presentation in a session moderated by Nancy Collop, MD, Master FCCP, as the judging faculty member. “I was in awe of her poise and knowledge as a woman in medicine,” Dr. Das said.

“I then did not attend CHEST for several years until 2012 when CHEST was in Atlanta, where I was then asked to be a faculty member in a session along with Dr. Collop,” Dr. Das continued. “After our session, we had lunch and have collaborated numerous times since. CHEST is special because of the culture of mentorship and sponsorship that just comes naturally. If it's your first time, make sure to go to the Network Open Forums and introduce yourself to leadership! You never know who may end up being a close friend!”

Doreen J. Addrizzo-Harris with family
Doreen J. Addrizzo-Harris, MD, FCCP, CHEST President-Elect, says that three words to describe her first CHEST meeting would be “energizing,” “breathtaking,” and “eye-opening”!

Dr. Addrizzo-Harris encourages first-time attendees to socialize, network, and have fun.

Caption: President-Elect Doreen Addrizzo-Harris, MD, FCCP, welcomes her family including her husband, Loren J Harris, MD, FCCP, to support the CHEST Foundation at the Donor Lounge during the CHEST 2019 meeting in New Orleans.

Dr. Pisani becomes an FCCP at CHEST Annual Meeting in San Diego Dr. Pisani becomes an FCCP at CHEST Annual Meeting in San Diego
Vice-Chair of the CHEST Foundation Women & Pulmonary Work Group, Margaret A. Pisani, MD, MPH, FCCP, said that the CHEST meeting is unique because the people are special. During her first meeting, the senior faculty were so welcoming and invested in her having a great meeting and were genuinely interested in her success when she was a fellow and junior faculty.

Dr. Pisani advises first-time attendees to “make sure you speak to people—introduce yourself to those with similar interests and attend the mixers and social events.”

Dr. Rickman and colleagues compete in the first-ever CHEST Challenge at CHEST 2002 in San Diego
Vice-Chair of the CHEST Live Learning Subcommittee, Otis B. Rickman, DO, attended his first CHEST meeting in 2002 in San Diego, which was the first year of CHEST Challenge.

He competed with his pulmonary and critical care medicine (PCCM) colleagues on behalf of the Mayo Clinic, and their winning plaque is still hanging in the PCCM Hall of Fame at Mayo.

Caption: Dr. Rickman and colleagues compete in the first-ever CHEST Challenge at CHEST 2002 in San Diego

Dr. Danckers attending his sixth CHEST meeting in 2016 Dr. Danckers attending his sixth CHEST meeting in 2016
Chair of the CHEST Training and Transitions Committee, Mauricio Danckers, MD, FCCP, said that once you come to one CHEST Annual Meeting, you never want to miss another one. He suggested making it part of your academic year and enjoying an opportunity to unwind while continuing to grow professionally.

“During my first meeting in Hawaii, I barely knew people in the field of pulmonary and critical care, but by the second meeting in Atlanta, I had grown my network and connected with colleagues from a relaxing evening after a great day of learning,” Dr. Danckers said.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience a CHEST Annual Meeting—whether it’s your first or your 15th. Register to join the chest medicine community in Nashville.

More CHEST memories

David Schulman, MD, MPH, FCCP
“My first CHEST meeting as faculty was in 2004 in Seattle. I got invited to go to a faculty development course with about 40 other folks, and the speakers were this cavalcade of stars, including Nancy Collop, MD, FCCP; Lisa Moores, MD, FCCP; Brian Carlin, MD; Richard Irwin, MD, Master FCCP; [and] Mark Rosen, MD, FCCP. All the attendees were around small tables, and these big names would come around and chat with us in these small groups, and I remember thinking how different this experience was from any other meeting I had previously attended. It wasn't just that we had access to these leaders, it was how they treated colleagues. And they freely offered practical advice about how to succeed, not just at CHEST but at our home institutions as well. That feeling stuck with me, and it’s something that I've tried to engender in attendees since I've had the privilege of being part of CHEST leadership.”

Alexander S. Niven, MD, FCCP
“I attended my first CHEST meeting in Chicago as a second-year fellow in 1999. I presented a case report of an uncommon type of pulmonary sequestration and didn't sleep much the night before—partly because presenting a congenital lung case scared me out of my mind and partly because I was sharing a hotel room with two other fellows who were both heroic snorers.

I remember being struck by how welcoming and supportive the moderator and expert were during my session and how interested and engaged the audience was with my presentation and topic—even though I was only a fellow. I also remember being impressed with the sense of community that I saw wherever I went during that meeting—I saw people reconnecting, catching up, arguing about controversial topics, and discussing areas of common interest—and I wanted to be part of that circle. That's why I kept coming back.

The night after my presentation, there was a large, sponsored event at the House of Blues. There was a bit of a retro movement that was popular at the time (martinis, swing dancing, cigar bars), so to celebrate, I brought a cigar and lit it up—only to have about 800 pulmonologists immediately turn around and stare at me. It was an awkward moment. I threw the cigar away.”

Matthew Miles, MD, FCCP
“My first CHEST meeting was Hawaii in 2011, when I was a second-year fellow selected for the 18th Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellows' course. What a memorable trip! My wife traveled with me, and we crisscrossed Oahu in a rental car, taking full advantage of the chance to explore that beautiful place. I was slightly disappointed to learn that CHEST wasn't in Honolulu every year...

My favorite memory of that trip, however, was a midafternoon shuttle bus seat next to Richard Light. I'm sure I stammered like a groupie, but it was such a privilege to meet one of the legends of pulmonary medicine and find out that he was a ‘regular guy’! This experience helped me feel that I was truly becoming part of the pulmonary/critical care community and that CHEST was where I would find my tribe.”