Laren D. Tan, MD, FCCP
Chief, Department of Medicine Center for Innovation and Promotions; Associate Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency; Director, Loma Linda University Comprehensive Program for Obstructive Airway Diseases; Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Hyperbaric, Allergy and Sleep Medicine; Department of Internal Medicine, Loma Linda University School of Medicine
Poster Session Moderator
CHEST Practice Operations NetWork Steering Committee Member
Residence and hometown:
Loma Linda, CA
This is the first time the CHEST Annual Meeting has taken place in New Orleans since 1997. What were you doing in that year?
Attending the CHEST Annual Meeting this year is extremely nostalgic for me since the very first national/international annual meeting I attended was CHEST in 1997 in New Orleans. At that time, I was a third-year medical student and was invited to do an oral presentation on my research evaluating lung function in previous smokers undergoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy. I distinctly remember being awestruck by the session presenters’ knowledge, and till this day, I’m still humbled by the quality sessions and high-caliber speakers at CHEST.
If you could arrange a one-on-one mentor session with one presenter, who would it be and why?
If I could arrange a one-on-one mentor session with one presenter this year, it would be with the soon-to-be Past President of CHEST Dr. Clayton Cowl. Dr. Cowl’s life work in nonallergic environmental effects in asthmatics, research and publication in work-related asthma and hyperbaric oxygen mirrors my career passion in improving the lives of those suffering from obstructive airway diseases, such as asthma, and also strikes a chord with my current role as director of hyperbaric medicine at my institution. One topic I would love to be able to explore with him would be his thoughts about air pollution, its effect on asthma control, and what to tell the next generation for how to improve lung health.
How did you get your start in the pulmonology field?
I’ve always gravitated towards pulmonary while rotating through the medical ICU. While learning about medicine during medical school and residency, I found the complexity of breathing always underappreciated. This was what sparked me wanting to know more about the various diseases that affect the ability for someone to breathe and why breathlessness occurs.
What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?
I love to run, invest in personal growth through reading, instituting prayer series at my institution (ie, praying for the critically ill, praying for the medical learner), and seeking ways to innovate and explore marketing strategies to promote the great things that physicians do.
What do you enjoy most about the CHEST Annual Meeting?
The thing I enjoy most about the CHEST Annual Meeting is catching up with colleagues and friends from across the nation and also internationally. Every year is another opportunity to meet someone with similar interests, in addition to the possibility of discovering and venturing into another interest. Other reasons why I enjoy attending the CHEST Annual Meeting are the clinical and research updates. They have been consistently pragmatic for those practicing in private practice, as well as academia; this has impacted me personally as it has improved my approach and care of patients.
What is your favorite thing about New Orleans and your favorite Cajun or Creole dish?
I am looking forward to an early morning run near the French Quarter and perhaps the Riverwalk by the Mississippi River. I plan to do the run because I absolutely love hush puppies and look forward to consuming my share while in New Orleans.