Onsite opportunities invite trainees to build lasting bonds with CHEST community

Megan Conroy, MD, MAEd, FCCP
Megan Conroy, MD, MAEd, FCCP

CHEST 2022 promises to be an unforgettable opportunity for trainees, especially those who began their chest medicine careers amid the isolation of a worldwide pandemic.

Enriching professional and personal experiences—and plenty of fun—await as the annual meeting reconvenes in person after years of virtual programming.

“While those were great learning opportunities, there’s something magical about the community that comes together at the in-person CHEST meeting,” said Trainee Work Group Co-Chair Megan Conroy, MD, MAEd, FCCP. “I came to CHEST as a first-year pulmonary and critical care fellow. I remember walking out of that meeting and thinking, ‘I found my home. These are the physicians I want to be like.’”

From dedicated networking events to hallway hellos, trainees will have numerous chances to begin building lasting relationships with a welcoming community of experts.

“Everyone at CHEST is extremely approachable and friendly,” said Trainee Work Group Co-Chair Stephen Doyle, DO, MBA. “If you see a CHEST leader, just go up to them, say hi, say this your first meeting. Take advantage of being able to network and develop this professional community outside of just your local institution.”

Stephen Doyle, DO, MBA
Stephen Doyle, DO, MBA

In addition to the many opportunities that are accessible for physicians of all levels, several elements of the meeting are organized specifically for trainees by trainees, Drs. Conroy and Doyle said.

The Trainee Lounge, sponsored by HCA Healthcare, will serve as a home base for students, residents, and fellows at the convention center. The room will offer a dedicated place to relax, refill, and recharge between sessions. Throughout the meeting, trainees can stop by to chat with peers or listen to presentations on CV preparation, publishing, finances, imposter syndrome, and more.

The Trainee Track in the overall meeting program will help early-career physicians pick out the sessions that are relevant to their interests and experiences. This curated list of sessions was created by trainee leaders in CHEST’s Trainee Work Group as a guide for peers who may be navigating a large conference schedule for the first time.

Trainees can also gain valuable insight into the annual meeting on social media through the hashtag #CHESTTrainees. Reminders, resources, and highlights will be shared on Twitter before and during CHEST 2022.

Mauricio Danckers, MD, FCCP

And although there’s lots of fun to be had throughout the meeting, trainees won’t want to miss the CHEST Challenge Championship, said Mauricio Danckers, MD, FCCP, chair of the CHEST Training and Transitions Committee.

The live event, sponsored by VIATRIS, is Tuesday, October 18, at 7:30 PM at the Omni Nashville Hotel. It is the culmination of a highly competitive process that began earlier in the year. Fellows from around the United States took part in a social media challenge and a timed qualifying quiz, and the three training programs that scored highest on the quiz earned a spot in the championship.

At CHEST 2022, the finalists’ three-member teams will face off in a Jeopardy-style quiz on pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine that also includes skills and simulation challenges, audience participation, and special guest appearances. An energetic crowd turns out each year to cheer on the fellows as they compete for monetary prizes and bragging rights. Following the competition, all are invited to celebrate at an after-party.

“They are really, truly like celebrities,” Dr. Danckers said. “The audience provides a lot of support; you can feel the warmth of the scientific community, and everybody enjoys seeing how the fellows are highlighted.”