Learn by Doing at CHEST 2018

Image: ldutko/Shutterstock

From October 6th to 10th 2018, San Antonio, Texas with its multi-cultural citizens, lip-smacking food and Spanish-French-Contemporary architecture welcomed thousands of attendees to the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians (aka CHEST). There were more than 400 sessions on offer this year, including a robust simulation program and postgraduate courses, with one common theme: Learning by Doing!

In his keynote speech, Dr. Richard S. Irwin, the Editor in Chief for Journal CHEST, described the various ways in which physicians should think about and deliver Patient-Focused Care reminding attendees that patients are emotionally invested in their physicians. He urged us to find a common ground with our patients. On Day 2, Mr. Scott Zimmer from Bridgeworks (@TheGenPeople) delivered a keynote speech on connecting across generations. His description of a typical text exchange between a boomer and a millennial was light-hearted but hit home. While talking about working with the boomers, he pointed out that “they may not give you a hug every time you do something right, but they notice when you go the extra mile, so keep working hard, and deliver on your commitments.” He stressed that most people, across all generations, prefer a leader or boss who is encouraging and advised us to reflect on our own leadership style.

CHEST 2018 program chair, Dr. David Schulman (@davidschulman) and program committee, true to their motto for the year of “Learning by Doing”, introduced an arcade-style learning activities aka GAMEs (Games Augmenting Medical Education) that tested players on clinical content with a mixed reality engagement model. At the Experience CHEST in the Exhibit Hall, the CHEST NetWorks presented 26 unique 15 — minute presentations that were popular with standing room only available. Hands-on activities such as Peer Pressure and Nodal Nemesis kept the conference-goers engaged with learning and the winners also received prizes.

The incoming program chair for CHEST 2019, Dr. William Kelly (@williamkellymd), surprised attendees with a chance to answer questions on a topic of their choice as they went about their day at the conference. The winners were awarded gift cards with the prospect to collaborate to secure the winnings! Safe to say, it generated a lot of excitement on the ground. It was also a good way for the conference and College leadership to interact with attendees. Check out the videos from Dr. Kelly’s “Man on the Street” adventures on the ACCP/CHEST YouTube channel. I would also encourage everyone to visit the Youtube channel since the College has posted full-length videos of more than 15 high-yield sessions to their channel. Easiest way to learn right from the comfort of our homes!

CHEST’s Social Media Work Group live-tweeted the high impact sessions and a collection of these Twitter threads can be found here. The live — tweets featured secondary hashtags as noted in the following table, allowing for curation of content and revisiting the same after completion of the conference.

There was a plethora of core and cutting-edge talks at #CHEST2018, and I would like to highlight the clearly increasing application of big data and machine learning to improve patient care in the critically ill. Drs. Matthew Churpek, Pratik Sinha (@progdoctalk) and Michael Sjoding (@msjoding) discussed their work on use of big data for predicting and early detection of sepsis and ARDS. Check out my live-tweet coverage of their session here. Dr. Chris Carroll (@ChrisCarrollMD) gave an informative talk on grant writing and I found these tips he shared very helpful: give yourself time, align your project with the funder’s mission, goals and strategies and articulate your case simply and clearly. Of note, he shared the timeline for the CHEST Foundation (@CHESTFoundation) grants, which is as follows:

Friday, February 1, 2019: Grant application cycle opens

April 8, 2019: Grant application cycle closes

June/July 2019: Notification letters sent out to grant recipients

As a trainee what impressed me most was the number of activities directed towards trainees at the Trainee Recharge Lounge. Truly, of the trainees, by the trainees, and for the trainees! The topics at the Trainee Lounge sessions spanned career path and financial planning to leadership involvement. The CHEST Foundation Reception hosted by Dr. Rozy Khan (@RozyKhanDO) and Dr. Hassan Bencheqroun (@DrBCalifornia) was a fantastic opportunity for trainees to meet with mentors and potential collaborators. The Emory University team emerged champions from a closely fought CHEST challenge, thanks to a risky bet for the final question by the Cleveland Clinic team, who otherwise were indomitable through rest of the competition!

It was an exciting conference, and I look forward to meeting friends, mentors, collaborators and research partners again in New Orleans from October 19th through 23rd, 2019!

Viren is Chief Fellow in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine / Elmhurst Hospital Center. His clinical interests lie in airway, pleural and mediastinal diseases. His research in medical education focuses on simluation, IPE and use of social media. COI: Viren is a member of CHEST’s Social Media Work Group and the Section Editor for Social Media for Journal CHEST. Find him on twitter at @virenkaul.

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