Pulmonary Medicine’s Greatest Hits the Focus of CHEST 2022

For the first time in 3 years, the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) 2022 Annual Meeting will be live and in person in Nashville, Tennessee, home to great music, barbecue, and, from October 16 through 19, the chart-topping news in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine.

This year’s roundup will of course include the usual suspects: oral abstracts on the latest clinical and scientific advances, educational sessions to help attendees hone their skills, industry-sponsored symposia, live escape rooms ― wait, escape rooms??

More about that in a minute. First, let’s hear from this year’s meeting organizers to learn what’s in store.

CHEST Gets Personal

“We’re in person after a 3-year gap, and I think a lot of excitement is centered around making that in-person experience, which has always been amazing, even better and even more meaningful,” said CHEST 2022 program chair Subani Chandra, MD, FCCP, associate professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, in an interview with Medscape Medical News.

“I think this is going to be a unique year, with more energy than we’ve seen ever in the past, because on top of the typical educational program, there’s going to be a lot of excitement about being back in person,” agreed Aneesa Das, MD, FCCP, professor of internal medicine at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and vice-chair of the 2022 program committee.

In an interview, Das, a sleep medicine specialist, said she is especially looking forward to a new addition to the popular “Pardon the Interruption,” or “PTI,” sessions, which are based on the ESPN sports television talk show of the same name. The sessions feature three competitors who debate hot topics in a given subspecialty, earning themselves points for factual accuracy and wit. The presentations have to be concise and evidence based, and each session is followed by a moderated debriefing period to allow audience members and participants to review the subjects discussed.

The new PTI session on sleep medicine will focus on positive airway pressure (PAP) and non-PAP approaches to managing obstructive sleep apnea, and first-line therapy for restless legs syndrome. Other PTI sessions, one on each of the four meeting days, will focus on controversies in asthma, pulmonary vascular disease, and critical care.

Many Voices, One Goal

There will be special emphasis this year on inclusion of young clinicians and trainees, with oral and digital abstracts and poster presentations to support fresh voices and new ideas from a rich and diverse group of up-and-comers.

As the CHEST 2022 organizers state on the meeting website, “[o]ur program committee has taken care to ensure that our panels don’t represent only one point of view or perspective. Every educational session will feature presenters from a variety of backgrounds, including diversity of gender, race, credentialing, institutions, and years of experience in medicine. We celebrate the diversity of our members and the patients we treat. In our caring for others, we strive for equity and inclusion.”

Chandra said that this year’s meeting will also be enriched both by lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic and by experience gained hosting virtual meetings over the past 2 years.

New this year will be a series of practice-changing updates in pulmonary medicine and critical care created in collaboration with the journal Chest. These sessions are in addition to the literature reviews and “Best of CHEST Journal” sessions that attendees have enjoyed in previous years

For the new update sessions, “they have gathered leading researchers and clinicians and will review the latest, truly practice-changing, implementable developments in the field,” Chandra said.

Education, Fun, and Games

In more than 300 educational sessions, attendees can learn about the latest developments in intratumoral therapies for lung cancer, care for patients with COVID-19, including recommended protocols and surge planning for the next wave, and updates on CHEST guidelines on antithrombotic therapy for venous thromboembolic events, thromboprophylaxis in COVID-19, and lung cancer screening.

In addition to the more sedate PowerPoint-driven sessions, attendees will be invited to roll up their sleeves and take part in interactive sessions that will include simulation courses, including a new session on diagnosing and managing complications in the bronchoscopy suite, cardiopulmonary exercise testing, a one-on-one clinic in which attendees will be coached in direct laryngoscopy and “everything you need to know and things you are too afraid to ask about airway management, ventilation, and pulmonary clearance for patients with tracheostomy tubes.”

Oh yes, and those escape rooms we promised. This year there will be live escape rooms offering adventuresome attendees the chance to put their clinical knowledge and skills to use collecting clues and solving puzzles in two missions.

Here’s how the meeting’s website puts it:

“Journey to a distant future where a starship’s shuttle has crashed and the crew onboard needs you to save them in Starship Relics. Then, travel to a mountain town where a mystery needs to be solved and a spooky twist awaits in The Asthma Ascent.”

There’s also a “last person standing” challenge in a game called Peer Pressure, in which up to 30 players at a times are challenged with increasingly complex questions. Wrong answers cause players to be eliminated until only one claims victory.

Social Events

And of course, no CHEST meeting would be complete without special events, such as the CHEST Foundation 25th Anniversary Celebration, an all-attendee opening reception at the Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon, featuring line dancing, live music, and Nashville food favorites, including desserts with a Jack Daniel’s glaze.

Welcome to Nashville!

American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) 2022 Annual Meeting: October 16–19, Music City Center, Nashville, Tennessee.

Neil Osterweil, an award-winning medical journalist, is a long-standing and frequent contributor to Medscape.

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