CHEST Annual Meeting
CHEST Annual Meeting
October 18, 2019
2 min read

CHEST 2019: Innovation in education

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Clayton Cowl
Clayton Cowl

This year’s CHEST Annual Meeting, which is being held from Saturday to Wednesday in New Orleans, will feature presentations of new research, discussions from keynote speakers on important topics in health care and opportunities for learning through hands-on simulations and gamification.

With more than 2,072 abstracts and case reports submitted for review, the annual meeting will have late-breaking sessions on research in pulmonary fibrosis, bronchoscopy, COPD and more; an update from the CDC respiratory health director on the outbreak of lung injuries associated with electronic cigarette use, or vaping; and a discussion with the lead for Google Health on health care technology. The New England Journal of Medicine has also timed publication of a study with presentation of the data at the annual meeting.

However, some of the most exciting aspects of the meeting arise from CHEST’s focus on less traditional modes of learning, according to Clayton Cowl, MD, MS, from the division of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and president of the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST).

“Our focus is education for the practicing physician, be it in pulmonary, critical care or sleep medicine,” he told Healio Pulmonology. “We have more than five semitrailers full of equipment for our hands-on training, and we’ll have more than 75 simulation sessions at this year’s meeting.”

Cowl also noted that there is plenty of enthusiasm around the novel approaches to learning, which extend beyond simulation and include “serious gaming” so that the educational experience is more entertainment than work.

“New Orleans is known as ‘The Big Easy,’ and this year, we are going bigger in terms of educational sessions, simulation, and innovative (fun) content delivery, all while making learning and travel easier with many initiatives, including a wellness zone and available child care,” William Kelly, MD, from Uniformed Services University and Walter Reed Hospital and scientific program chair for the meeting, wrote in an email to Healio Pulmonology. “All week, in the exhibit hall, there are arcade-style computer-based games (covering COPD, pulmonary nodules, sleep) and live, multiplayer games. Virtual patient tours and other interactive exhibits will abound. We are even piloting a pulmonary knowledge escape room. There may even be some surprise ‘ambush education’ happening in the convention center hallways.”

“We’re trying to make learning pertinent, relevant and fun because biometric research shows that when data are presented in that type of way, it’s more ‘sticky.’ People tend to remember those experiences and will retain information better when they have an experiential pathway to learning. The main emphasis of CHEST is on education, and we’re always trying new things in the education space,” Cowl said.


Another new feature this year is the FISH (Furthering Information and Science for Health) Bowl contest in which candidates pitch ideas for innovation in the world of clinical respiratory medicine and education. During the FISH Bowl session, which Cowl described as a cross between the TV reality shows Shark Tank and American Idol, the selected finalists will present to a panel of judges and the audience, both of whom will vote.

“In an era where more and more medical and scientific meetings are reaching parity, CHEST has really tried to be different. We try to have fun, keep people engaged and introduce new approaches to learning,” Cowl told Healio Pulmonology.

Healio Pulmonology will be reporting live from the meeting. Stay tuned for news, video perspectives and more.