Why should nonphysicians attend CHEST 2017?
Outside our internal medicine curriculum, there is no formal pulmonary training or post-masters fellowship in pulmonary medicine for Advanced Practice Providers (APPs). Because of this, APPs are left to their own devices to fill educational gaps. To perform at the level expected by the physicians I work for, journal reviews and memorizing guidelines were not going to be enough. Since there is no formal pulmonary APP society, there were no peers to reach out to either. Off to conferences I went.
At first, I found the CHEST Annual Meeting daunting. After all, it’s run by the American College of Chest “Physicians,” not Nurse Practitioners. I spent most of the first day with my nametag turned around worried I’d be found out as a nonphysician attendee who snuck in. And then the unthinkable happened, I ran into another unicorn—another APP seeking the same information, only her nametag was turned the right way. The best advice she gave was to attend the Interprofessional NetWork meeting. This was ground zero of the conference as far as I was concerned. There, I found myself surrounded by RTs, RNs, NPs, PAs, and yes, even physicians.
Over the years, as I’ve gotten further involved with CHEST NetWorks, I have found from top to bottom CHEST striving to incorporate APPs and advance our education. From including us in the FCCP program, reducing conference pricing for APPs, and focusing this year’s conference theme around being team focused, CHEST is creating a home for APPs.