ATS 2012: A mix of unparalleled learning

Science, especially how it may benefit patients, is what attracts thousands of healthcare professionals to the ATS International Conference each year. Because science and health are among the most rapidly changing fields of knowledge in the world today, every ATS International Conference is new. This year’s International Conference, May 18-23, 2012, in San Francisco, will quench your thirst for what’s new in the field.

With more than 500 sessions, 800 speakers, and 5,800 scientific abstracts and clinical case reports, ATS 2012 offers attendees a broad spectrum of topics for you to learn about developments in many fields or concentrate on a specific area. With new topics, perspectives, learning formats and networking opportunities, the ATS International Conference offers unparalleled learning opportunities.

Some things about the conference, such as its size, breadth, and commitment to networking and education, have not changed. Yet, a number of new features are designed to enhance your experience. Here are some of the highlights of ATS 2012:

Quality improvement, front and center 
While quality improvement (QI) has been part of the International Conference since the Society began, more QI projects will be presented at ATS 2012 than ever. More than 100 projects will be presented during two poster discussions sessions and a thematic poster session. Topics include discharge bundles for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients, provider acceptance of medication warnings, early antibiotic administration and critically ill patients.

Research & Science Exchange
Clinical trials are essential for advancing pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. While many trials are presented at the ATS International Conference, more are in progress or just getting started. Learn about these trials at the Research & Science Exchange, which is located at the Exhibit Hall entrance.

Wi-Fi Coffee Cafés
Few things are more helpful to eager International Conference attendees than a cup of coffee and a place to check their e-mail or search the Web. Enjoy both for free in select areas of the Exhibit Hall.

Drug discovery and development
The ATS’s Drug/Device Discovery and Development Committee will present a symposium on the development of new medicines and technologies to help patients. In “The Changing World of Drug Discovery and Development,” symposium speakers from industry and academia also will discuss the landscape, issues, and sources of innovation for drug discovery and development. They also will examine patient access with regard to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, acute lung injury/sepsis and mucus-altering medicines.

Symposia with the editors of JAMA and the NEJM
During these new symposia—one dedicated to pulmonary medicine and the other to critical care—the editors of the Journal of the American Medical Association and the New England Journal of Medicine will moderate discussions with authors who will discuss their research. The editors, themselves, will provide insight into why they felt the articles were significant and selected to run in their journals

Science and Innovation Center
New to the ATS International Conference, the Science and Innovation Center in the Exhibit Hall is a forum for scientists and researchers to network with each other, learn about research-related resources, and consult informally with designated experts about study designs.

Three assemblies—Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, Respiratory Structure and Function, and Allergy, Immunology and Inflammation—will offer a list highlighting their 2012 Conference symposia, coupons with discounts for webcasts of their symposia, their postgraduate courses presented at ATS 2010 and 2011 conferences, and their assembly materials. Also look for the Members In Transition and Training Grant Resource Guide and the Career Talk CD. Representatives from the National Institutes of Health and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute will be available to discuss funding resources and provide materials.
Global Community 
Half of the more than 13,000 International Conference attendees come from 100 different countries. With that in mind, ATS created the Global Community in the Exhibit Hall. The Global Community is the place where thoracic and respiratory societies from around the world can exchange information and ideas about programming and activities.Hands-on courses
Learn by doing in several hands-on courses. The “ATS Bronchoscopy Course” includes hands-on breakouts in the use of an airway anatomy model with a bronchoscopy simulator, transbronchial needle aspiration (TBNA) with simulator, endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) TBNA with simulator, EBUS TBNA with models and management of hemoptysis. During the “Endobronchial Ultrasound Workshop,” attendees will hear a 30-minute lecture on the state of the art of EBUS-TBNA and then participate in 60 minutes of hands-on training. “Intensive Care Unit Monitoring” will review common and novel methods of ICU monitoring of the cardiopulmonary systems, as well as some fundamentals of monitoring theory. Gain skills in vascular and body ultrasound image acquisition and in ultrasound-guided vascular pleural procedures in “Incorporating Ultrasound and Echocardiography Into Intensive Care Unit Practice.” The Clinicians Center and the Center for Fellows and Junior Professionals also offer hands-on opportunities.