Spotlight on ATS Committees
Brian Carlin, MD
Brian Carlin, MD, chair of the ATS Training Committee, talks about what he and his fellow members are doing to advance the Society’s mission of improving the quality of life of patients with lung diseases, critical illnesses, and sleep disorders.
Q. What is the genesis of your committee? When was it established? And what is its charge?
A. The committee was formed to address the needs of those members who are in training or who have recently graduated from a training program. Our charge is to provide strategic guidance to the ATS on issues related to training in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. Recently, we have been given the responsibility to oversee the initiatives for the Society’s Career Development Task Force. This recent addition will enable the committee to help better develop the careers of our trainees.
Q. Would you say your committee’s focus has changed in the last several years?
A. Our focus has expanded over the last several years to include both those physicians who are currently enrolled in training programs, as well as those junior members of the ATS who have recently graduated and are now in academic and clinical practice.
Q. What would you count as your major accomplishments to date?
A. For the last decade, under the direction of Dr. Robert Kempainen, the committee has been responsible for developing and updating the “ATS Reading List,” which includes those up-to-date references that span the spectrum of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep disorders. Many in these fields rely on the list to stay up to date on the current research. Training programs in particular use it as a basis to support general curricula.
In addition, the committee has been responsible for the Fellows Case Report Symposium that is held during the annual ATS International Conference. During this educational session, fellows present unknown cases to a panel of experts from clinical, radiological, and pathological specialties and then discuss how they would approach diagnosis and treatment. Although this session was developed for members in training, it is widely attended by those members who are in academic and clinical practice.
We have also developed a recognition program for exemplary fellowship training programs that will be launched at the ATS 2012 International Conference. This initiative will recognize those training programs that have gone “above and beyond” guidelines to improve the training of fellows.
Q. As someone who has been heavily involved in the Association of Program Directors of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine (APCCMPD) over the years, how is the perspective you bring to the table unique as committee chair?
A. My involvement with the APCCMPD as a past president has helped me (and thus the committee) to develop educational programs for ATS trainees that are based upon sound educational principles, as well as upon the American Council of Graduate Medical Education’s current guidelines.
Q. Is the make-up of your committee representative of the Society’s membership at large or does it represent a “subset” of ATS members?
A. The committee represents all of the ATS’s membership categories, as all of us have been in a training program at some point during our careers. Members of our committee include those involved in both academic and clinical practice, as well as the various subspecialities of those types of practices (e.g., pulmonary, allergy, pediatrics, research, critical care, and sleep medicine).While the programs that have been developed by the committee center on trainees, most of these programs can be used by other members of the ATS (for example, the ATS reading list).
Q. What other projects are in the works?
A. We are trying to improve the overall training of our fellows and help program directors provide quality educational programs for their trainees. We are developing a “Virtual Training Program Directors Center,” which will help each program director provide up-to-date and improved educational programs for his/her fellows.
We are also going to be working with other committees and assemblies to help develop sound educational programs for fellows in a variety of areas, including the development of educational programs for smoking cessation and pulmonary rehabilitation.
Q. Do you see many opportunities for collaboration with other ATS committees?
A. We have regularly collaborated with several ATS committees on specific projects. For example, we have been working with the Education and the Members In Transition and Training Committees to develop common strategies to promote excellence in training. As part of our efforts to advise the Board of Directors about training workforce issues, we welcome the feedback of all the Society’s committees.
Past accomplishments aside, I feel there is a tremendous opportunity for our committee to work with other ATS committees, as well as the Society’s 13 assemblies, especially in developing educational programs for trainees.
All members of the ATS can benefit from the types of programs that the Training Committee has already launched and will continue to develop. Continuing education is essential for all members of the ATS and this committee can help to develop sound educational programs that provide value to all.
Meet the Members of the ATS Training Committee
Brian W. Carlin, MD (chair)
Rajesh Bhagat, MD
Laura E. Crotty Alexander, MD
Carolyn M. D’Ambrosio, MD, MS
Henry E. Fessler, MD
Hussein D. Foda, MD, MBChB
Nicholas S. Hill, MD (non-voting)
Vishesh K. Kapur, MD
Danai Khemasuwan, MD
Sucharita R. Kher, MD
Monica Kraft, MD (non-voting)
Maryl Kreider, MD
Patricia A. Kritek, MD
Lauren G. Lynch
Jennifer W. McCallister, MD
Richard D. Minshall, PhD
Sharmilee M. Nyenhuis, MD
Gregory S. Sawicki, MD
Arthur W. Sung, MD
Dean E. Schraufnagel, MD (ex-officio, non-voting)