Community awaits trainees at annual meeting

CHEST 2023 will bring together many of the brightest minds in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine (PCCM).

Also in attendance? Their current professors, supervisors, and program directors.

“A lot of associations have that sort of ‘wait your turn’ mentality. CHEST is different. We think fellows and trainees can contribute now, not in 5 or 10 years,” said Darrin Townsend, CHEST Manager of Volunteer Operations.

This year’s annual meeting will reflect that belief with numerous opportunities to connect the rising stars of PCCM to a wider, welcoming community that supports their personal and professional growth. Sessions and events throughout the program will touch on the issues that are important to trainees and the rapidly changing landscape of their lives.

Subani Chandra, MD, FCCP
Subani Chandra, MD, FCCP

“The whole meeting is built being very aware that a large fraction of the attendees are trainees and that they’re there for learning and networking,” said Subani Chandra, MD, FCCP, Chair of the CHEST Training and Transitions Committee.

Some of the most relevant sessions for trainees will be labeled as part of the Trainee Track in the CHEST 2023 program and app. That extra level of curation can be a good way for new attendees to narrow down their options, Dr. Chandra said.

Between sessions each day, the Trainee Lounge at the convention center will serve as a home away from home, offering trainees a place to relax, refuel, and recharge. The dedicated space also acts as a hub for services like resume review, as well as even more programming. This year, presenters will share perspectives on time management, imposter syndrome, and more.

“We’ve found that there are just topics that don’t get covered within your normal training program,” Townsend said, noting that topics are selected for trainees by their peers in CHEST’s Trainee Work Group.

Trainees who want to get involved with similar CHEST committees or CHEST Networks can attend one of several scheduled meet and greets in the Trainee Lounge, or they can strike up a casual conversation with any of the CHEST leaders who might wander through. Everyone’s approachable and genuinely curious about each other’s interests, so “say you want to help out, and we’ll find a place for you to help out,” Townsend said.

The community that forms among trainees at the meeting can also extend beyond the walls of the convention center, Dr. Chandra said. Talking over complimentary coffee, tea, or snacks may inspire a future collaboration. A quick chat may lay the groundwork for participating in the immersive PCCM fellows course prior to next year’s annual meeting. And what better way to celebrate with a new group of friends than to attend the CHEST Challenge Championship on Tuesday, October 10, and play along with the fellows on stage.

“The experience as a trainee is way better than you imagine it in your mind,” Dr. Chandra said. “You will learn a lot, you will have fun doing it, and you will come back energized and excited to use the things that you learn.”

The Trainee Lounge is sponsored by Insmed.