Embracing Humanity

How CHEST recognizes and destigmatizes the emotional side of medicine

By Laura DiMasi, Senior Specialist, Communications and Public Relations, CHEST
June 14, 2024 | SPRING 2024 ISSUE

CHEST recognizes and celebrates that clinicians are more than their roles. They may be incredibly accomplished physicians, nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, and more, but every individual embodies a unique humanity—and are stronger clinicians because of it.

The journal CHEST and the humanities

In July 2020, the peer-reviewed scientific publication, the journal CHEST®, added a new submission topic. “A new series in [the journal] CHEST on the humanities in chest medicine proposes to explore these concepts from the perspective of liberal arts disciplines, such as philosophy, ethics, religion, history, and fine art, which best express the rich history and backgrounds of health care providers and their patients and families,” wrote Fabien Maldonado, MD, FCCP, CHEST Journal Editorial Board member and Chair of the section on Humanities in CHEST Medicine.

The Humanities section provides perspective and insight into distinct and sometimes contradictory worldviews, supporting a holistic and patient-centered approach to delivering pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. Health care experts, bioethicists, philosophers, fine art scholars, patient advocacy representatives, and storytellers, among others, contribute content on a broad range of topics, from the ethics of medical research to end-of-life issues.

The most emotionally evocative pieces fall into the Exhalations category, and, to date, 24 of these articles from a variety of authors have appeared in print.

Bringing your whole self to CHEST

Introduced at CHEST 2022 in Nashville, CHEST After Hours was unlike anything traditionally included in scientific meetings. Humanities authors stood before a captivated audience and transformed their written words into emotionally compelling, personal stories that embraced empathy and invited reflection.

“The idea behind CHEST After Hours is for us to acknowledge as clinicians, through stories, some of the vulnerable places that we often don’t discuss,” said Gabriel T. Bosslet, MD, FCCP, CHEST 2024 Scientific Program Committee Chair and the originator of CHEST After Hours. “The CHEST Annual Meeting is always full of terrific scientific symposia, but this is an opportunity for us to spend a little time focusing on our experiences as people, whether they’re in those scientific spaces or not, which has value for creating cohesiveness among those in our CHEST community.”

To understand the nature of these stories, begin by reading the journal articles associated with the presentations:

A Kind of Faith, Rana L. Awdish, MD, FCCP
Making Anger Count, Gabriel T. Bosslet, MD, FCCP
Playing Not to Lose, Kara L. Dupuy-McCauley, MD, FCCP

Well received in Nashville and at CHEST 2023 in Honolulu, CHEST After Hours is now a highlight of the CHEST Annual Meeting for attendees. In Boston this October, CHEST is partnering with The Nocturnists Satellites, an initiative by the award-winning medical storytelling program The Nocturnists, to produce and record the live storytelling event. Participants do not need to have had an article in the journal to apply to be a storyteller this year.

Learn more about CHEST After Hours »
Read Exhalations articles in the journal CHEST »

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