CHEST 2018 Speaker Spotlight: M. Patricia George, MD

M. Patricia George, MD
M. Patricia George, MD

SESSION: Interdisciplinary Approach: Pulmonary Vascular Disease and Interstitial Lung Disease on Tuesday

Please summarize your sessions in a tweet: Join us on Tuesday as we debate PH associated with ILD: To treat or not to treat. #ACCPChest #CHEST2018 #pulmonaryhypertension #IPF

How did you develop a passion for pulmonology/sleep medicine/critical care? Like many people, I think it has to do with patient experiences, and I had several along the way. Prior to medical school, I really loved immunology and worked in a lab for two years as a research technician. I was pretty convinced I would go into transplant medicine or surgery. When I was a medical student in the ICU, I took care of a very sick lung transplant patient with cystic fibrosis. This helped me continue my interest in pulmonary and critical care medicine, and in lung transplantation.

After my residency, I went into pulmonary and critical care and went to the University of Pittsburgh to get the most experience I could in lung transplant medicine. At Pitt I had amazing mentors, including Sean Studer and Mike Mathier, and Dr. Studer acted as a liaison transplant doctor to the PH clinic to facilitate lung transplant evaluations, so we would go there for one clinic per month. From there, I became interested in pulmonary hypertension and was sent to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association international meeting, where I met this amazing community of PH patients, physicians, and researchers, and I was hooked. I became a pulmonary transplant pulmonologist and PH physician.

What’s your best method for preparing for your presentation? Read a lot, talk about it with my colleagues, and chew on it for a long time.

Who has had the biggest impact on your professional life and why? That’s a tough question, because I have been really fortunate to know a lot of people who have encouraged me along the way to follow my passion and unique career path. I experienced passion for research under the mentorship of Dr. Alison Morris and Dr. Karen Norris. Dr. Sean Studer and Mike Mathier introduced me to the world of pulmonary hypertension. I worked side-by-side with Dr. Hunter Champion, who is an incredible physician and set the example of the kind of physician I strive to be. And together we formed a nonprofit called Team PHenomenal Hope, which is an endurance team that races for and helps the lives of PH Patients. Dr. Hap Farber has been a great friend who continues to motivate me to push and do what I think will best help PH patients, including making time to race for the community with our nonprofit. Finally my current chief, Irina Petrache, has literally given me a “dream job” opportunity to build a program with the goal of making a lasting contribution in the field of WHO Group 3 pulmonary hypertension (PH in chronic lung disease).

What do you hope to see while you’re visiting San Antonio? I won’t have too much extra time, but I’d definitely like to see the Alamo and the River Walk.

Your most indispensible tool in San Antonio: For CHEST: My iPad and iPhone.

For San Antonio: My Brompton folding bike.

Most memorable career moment: Giving the Keynote Speech at PHA PHPN Symposium in 2015. Speaking at the eighth National Meeting on Pulmonary Hypertension for the Associação Brasileira de Amigos e Familiares de Portadores de Hipertensão Pulmonar in São Paulo, Brazil. Racing in the Race Across America with the Pulmonary Hypertension Association and Team PHenomenal Hope.

Number of steps you think you’ll take at CHEST 2018: 30,000