President's Message

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Patients as Teachers: ATS PAR Patient Voices

October 2016
David Gozal, MD, MBA

David Gozal, MD, MBA

The ATS partners with patients and their families in many ways.

We advocate together, lobbying Congress to regulate tobacco products and educating them on the harms of e-cigarettes. We raise awareness together, observing Lung Disease Week throughout the year, as well as updating our Patient Information Series Fact Sheets. We seek cures together, awarding research grants through the ATS Foundation Research Program. It is a fine and wonderful partnership, and we are really proud of what we have accomplished together and what we will further accomplish in the near future.

The reason we act together is that we cannot make nearly as much progress if we were to do each one of our activities on our own. We need the patients to teach us how to become better doctors, whether physicians or scientists. While the inclusion of the patient perspective is essential to our work, what makes these viewpoints come to life are the stories we hear in Patient Voices.

For five years now, the ATS has published Patient Voices booklets, in collaboration with our Public Advisory Roundtable. Through them, patients and families are brought to the forefront in a different way. We see patients as they live, not as they are sick and dying. We see them in the context of their communities, work, society, homes, and hobbies. They become part of us!

Until we are the patient, we cannot truly understand what it’s like to be in their shoes. But through active listening and empowering the patient to share their experiences, we can begin to comprehend.

I encourage you to view/download Patient Voices 5to reflect on these stories today.


The 2016 publication of Patient Voices highlights the stories of patients who have presented at past ATS International Conferences. In this fifth edition, you will hear stories of pulmonary disorders such as Alpha-1 antitrypsin disease, asthma, allergy, COPD, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), sarcoidosis, sepsis, and others.

Last Reviewed: September 2017