Inspired to Learn

By Jess Mandel, MD
International Conference Committee Chair

On behalf of the American Thoracic Society International Conference Committee, welcome to Dallas and ATS 2019!

Jess Mandel

Jess Mandel

Since 1904, when the forerunner to the ATS held its first conference, the touchstone of this event has been the realization that progress in science and health is best achieved by sharing information. At ATS 2019, you’ll find the leaders in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine leading sessions and sharing their views. You’ll also find tomorrow’s leaders—some who haven’t yet finished their training—presenting their research. 

What ties them—and every one of us—together is a shared passion for this field and the belief that we can all learn from each other. Think, for instance, what those of us who trained in the last century can learn from early career professionals about integrating technology into our practices. Think how much more we learn from having participants from around the world. Solutions to world health problems depend on bringing perspectives from both resource-rich and resource-limited countries together.

Advances in our field also require learning from colleagues outside of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. This is why many of the sessions at ATS 2019 will include presenters from outside our field of medicine and, sometimes, from outside medicine itself. 

The scope of the International Conference is inspiring but makes summarizing impossible. Nonetheless, I would like to offer a few highlights:

Big Data, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data sharing are likely to change pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine and are topics that will be discussed at several sessions, including our keynote addresses.   

The New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association will again present the latest groundbreaking research in respiratory and critical care medicine during two sessions today featuring the study authors and journals’ editors. 

The Basic Science Core topic, “Cell Fate Determination in Lung Health and Disease,” will highlight a promising, and growing, area of research during symposia throughout the conference.

Experts will lead Year-in-Review sessions every day for adult and pediatric specialists, reviewing practice-changing studies and discussing clinical questions that remain unanswered.

An ATS Clinical Practice Guidelines session on Tuesday afternoon will give participants a chance to understand the strengths and limitations of the ATS’s latest guidelines, as well as ask questions of guidelines developers. 

Wherever you go during the conference, I’m confident that you’ll find a collegial environment that inspires you to learn and to become an active participant in the important changes that will bring hope to pulmonary, critical care, and sleep patients around the world.