CHESTAboutHistory of the Organization

History of the Organization

CHEST History

In 1935, Murray Kornfeld was a young man recuperating from tuberculosis when he conceived of CHEST’s mission: education, medical and lay, in tuberculosis and diseases of the chest.

He envisioned a society of professionals with the knowledge and zeal to teach thoracic medicine to each other and their peers, and to create a journal devoted to diseases of the chest. To achieve that goal, Murray Kornfeld crisscrossed America and the world with his wife, sharing knowledge gleaned from his sanatorium days with thousands, one community at a time, and sold advertising to support his fledgling monthly journal.

Today, we are proud that the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) has transformed Murray Kornfeld’s dream into reality, building on his rich legacy of education, while continuing to publish the journal, now simply known as CHEST.

First Education Event

The first education event for the new society was held August 9 to 10, 1935, in Albuquerque, NM, and attracted 38 registrants. Problems dealing with sanatoriums in the United States were discussed, and the keynote presenter, from London, England, presented the social and economic problems of tuberculosis in the United Kingdom. By 1937, the society had grown to become the American College of Chest Physicians, holding annual meetings as part of its an educational focus, which by 1945 expanded to include postgraduate courses offered throughout the year.


From the first meeting in 1935 to today, the CHEST Annual Meeting now attracts about 5,000 chest medicine professionals from around the world for clinical education in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. The event, held each October, offers an innovative and diverse program that leverages state-of-the-art technology, case-based interactive discussions with topic experts, and a variety of hands-on and simulation-based learning activities for the entire chest medicine team.

Additional year-round clinical education is offered in a variety of locations worldwide, from live learning sessions at the Innovation, Simulation, and Training Center located at CHEST Global Headquarters in Glenview, IL, to CHEST World Congress events held in locations like Madrid, Spain, and Shanghai, China. Meanwhile, the journal CHEST continues to grow in prestige, with an Impact Factor that ranks fifth among critical care medicine and sixth among respiratory systems journals. With more than 20,000 subscribers and 300,000-plus monthly online views, CHEST has an international reach, including editions published in regions ranging from Italy to China.

Learn more about the latest activities of CHEST by reading our Advancement and Impact Report.