Bronchoscopy, ultrasound, PAH and respiratory disease in children among topics of PG courses at ATS 2012

ATS 2012 will offer 28 Postgraduate Courses on a wide variety of topics, ranging from pulmonary adaptive immunity and intensive care unit monitoring to case-based pulmonary function test interpretation and cardiopulmonary exercise testing.

A number of these courses will feature small-group breakout sessions, creating opportunities for sustained interaction with leading clinicians and researchers.  Three pediatric courses are among this year’s many choices.

“The Postgraduate Courses, like all of the sessions that will take place at ATS 2012, represent a broad range of educational opportunities led by top experts,” said James M. Beck, MD, chair of the Society’s Education Committee and associate professor of internal medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. “We are very pleased to offer such a rich variety of courses this year, running the gamut from basic science to hands-on clinical training, and to have such a distinguished group of clinicians, scientists and educators leading the programs.”

The ATS 2012 Postgraduate Courses will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, May 18, and Saturday, May 19

ATS Bronchoscopy Course
The ATS diagnostic bronchoscopy course (PG29), sponsored by the Training Committee and developed in collaboration with the Education Committee, will be taught by a world-renowned faculty. This course features hands-on training, which will include instruction on use of an airway anatomy model with a bronchoscopy simulator, transbronchial needle aspiration (TBNA) with a simulator, endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) TBNA with a simulator, EBUS TBNA with models, and management of hemoptysis.

“Attendees will garner evidence-based knowledge on the performance of diagnostic bronchoscopy from leading experts in the field,” said course co-chair Arthur Sung, MD, director of bronchoscopy and interventional pulmonology, Beth Israel Medical Center, New York. “In addition to educating participants on the techniques and principles of bronchoscopy, this course will support the standardization of bronchoscopy performed by pulmonary physicians.”

Didactic content includes segments on the indications and contraindications for bronchoscopy, airway anatomy and pathologies, core diagnostic techniques, an update on lung cancer staging guidelines, the evaluation and introduction into practice of new technology and an overview of credentialing and business considerations.

Ultrasound and Echocardiography in ICU
Ultrasonography and echocardiography are increasingly being used by practitioners other than radiologists or cardiologists in the care of critically ill patients, and training in these techniques is not uniform. One hands-on course (PG6) will provide dedicated training on ICU-specific ultrasonography and echocardiography.

“Participants will learn the indications, techniques and limitations of critical care ultrasonography and echocardiography and gain skills in both vascular and body ultrasound image acquisition and ultrasound-guided vascular and pleural procedures,” said course co-chair Daniel De Backer, MD, PhD, professor, Erasme University Hospital, Brussels, Belgium.

Topics will include applications for abdominal ultrasound and lung and pleural ultrasound, vascular ultrasound and image-guided access, venous thrombosis, coding issues and indications and applications for echocardiography in the ICU. Faculty members will also discuss the use of echocardiography to assess volume status, measurement of cardiac output, pericardial and right ventricular disease, evaluation of systolic function and ultrasound for the assessment of shock.

Leadership Workshop
Offered for the second year in a row, the Leadership Workshop (PG14/PG28) is designed to help participants develop the skills to advance their careers and improve their work environments. Topics include time management, productivity, negotiating skills, conflict resolution techniques and consensus building. Now a two-day program, this interactive workshop will also address culture and gender issues in the workplace and how to deal with challenging individuals.

“We transitioned to a two-day format to increase time spent on core activities such as time management strategies and added a session focusing on approaches to working with providers from different generations,” said co-chair Patricia Kritek, MD, EdM, associate professor, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle.

“Clinical and academic medicine are team sports filled with brilliant people, and with these individuals come big egos and a variety of communication and learning styles,” said Alexander Benson, MD, instructor, University of Colorado, Denver, who participated in last year’s workshop. “A leader must understand their own leadership style first and then develop strategies to get the best out of other team members. This course helps individuals accomplish both of these tasks and leaves the learner with a toolbox full of problem-solving and leadership skills.”

Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
PG22 will provide an update on the latest basic and clinical research in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Among the topics will be cellular dysfunction in PAH, genetic determinants, current phenotypes, diagnosis of PAH, treatment targets, treatment options, quality of life in PAH patients and conflicts of interest in PAH research and clinical practice.

“Participants will learn about new basic science, genetic and clinical discoveries in PAH that may translate into the development of novel therapies,” said co-chair Steven M. Kawut, MD, MS, associate professor of medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia. “Our review of the diagnostic evaluation, data supporting approved and experimental treatments, and accurate phenotyping of these patients will help guide patient care and optimize outcomes.”

Pediatric Courses
The ATS will also offer three pediatric courses this year, including two complementary sessions on the pathophysiology of pediatric respiratory disease, one emphasizing the underlying physiology and the other focusing on cellular mechanisms, as well as a course on sleep-disordered breathing in children.

“The courses range in scope from fundamental science to clinical care,” said Howard B. Panitch, MD, chair of the Society’s Assembly on Pediatrics and professor of pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, which will sponsor all three courses.

Cellular Foundation of Pediatric Respiratory Disease
One course (PG9) will focus on the cellular foundation of pediatric respiratory disease, providing attendees with fundamental concepts of lung cell biology in a disease-based format. The program will also explore key principles such as lung growth and development, cellular structure of the respiratory system, lung injury and repair and lung immunity and inflammation through discussion of patient cases.

“Faculty members will describe the genetic, molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying pediatric respiratory diseases, ranging from the premature baby to the critically ill child and the adolescent with cystic fibrosis,” explained course co-chair Marc B. Hershenson, MD, professor of pediatric pulmonology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. “Participants will learn how cellular mechanisms influence pulmonary physiology and the clinical presentations of pediatric respiratory disease, as well as explore developmental differences in the response to lung injury and repair.”

Physiologic Basis of Pediatric Respiratory Disease
A second pediatric course (PG21) will focus on the physiologic basis of pediatric respiratory disease, using clinical cases to illustrate physiologic approaches to clinical care and disease management. An interactive format will be used, with participants using touch pads to respond to questions from the speakers.