Fellows Present Challenging Cases Before Experts

In two sessions today, fellows and junior faculty will present unique cases before experts in their respective fields. The first will be the “Fellows Case Conference” from 8:45 to 10:45 a.m., which will be followed by “Great Cases: Clinical, Radiologic, and Pathologic Correlations by Master Physicians” from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Both will be in 20 B-C (Upper Level) San Diego Convention Center.



In the morning session, which is sponsored by the ATS Training Committee and the Members in Transition and Training Committee, fellows will present unique cases that offer new insights into disease pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment, and a panel of clinical experts, will comment on their findings. Jennifer McCallister, MD, chair of the session and the Training Committee, notes that planners selected 10 cases from the 587 case reports based on quality of writing, the wide representation of diagnoses within several disciplines in pulmonary critical care medicine, and how well they would garner input from the panel.

“Our goal was to bring interesting cases that would bring a high yield of learning for our audience while taking advantage of the expertise of our panel members,” says Dr. McCallister, associate professor of clinical internal medicine and associate director of the Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Program, Ohio State University, Columbus.

A radiologist, two pulmonary clinicians, and two pathologists comprise the panel. The cases will be presented as unknowns, and the expert panelists then will offer their respective differential diagnoses until finally the fellows reveal the confirming diagnoses.

“Our expert clinicians have been doing this for several years, and it can be very animated,” Dr. McCallister says. “I commend their expertise and willingness to come before a large audience and share their thought processes with the trainees and attendees. That’s where the education happens.”

In the afternoon session, sponsored by the ATS Council Representatives, fellows will present nine cases as unknowns to a panel of master clinician discussants with expertise in pediatric and adult pulmonology, radiology, and pathology.


Samya Nasr

“We reviewed 691 submissions, and from those we sought cases that would bring interesting discussions and learning,” says ATS Council Representatives Chair Samya Nasr, MD, CPI, who is co-chair of the session with Linda Nici, MD, chief of the pulmonary and critical care section at Providence (R.I.) Veterans Affairs Medical Center and a clinical professor of medicine at Brown University.

The program gives young professionals exposure to giving presentations on the history, physical exam, diagnosis, treatment, and management, and brings dynamic interactions among experts and fellows, Dr. Nasr notes. Prior to the program, fellows received guidance on their presentations, she adds.

“The beauty of it is that the experts don’t know what the cases are, so they come up with their own differentials by reading the short summaries that were prepared for the session. At the end, they are told a diagnosis, and they find out if they were on the right track,” says Dr. Nasr, professor of pediatrics and director of the Cystic Fibrosis Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and coordinator of the State of Michigan Cystic Fibrosis Newborn Screening Program. “It can get very lively and exciting.”