Interventional pulmonology (IP) has grown exponentially over the last 2 decades. IP tools and techniques have revolutionized many aspects of medicine, including the diagnosis and staging of lung cancer, the management of chronic pleural effusions, the approach to complicated airway obstruction by benign and malignant diseases, and the management of chronic and recurrent diseases such as tracheal stenosis and tracheobronchomalacia. IP physicians are now an integral part of multidisciplinary thoracic tumor boards, complex airway programs, lung cancer screening programs, and pulmonary nodule services. Interventional pulmonologists have proven themselves to be a very nimble and agile group in embracing new technologies and becoming the leaders in their use. Some examples of new technologies include bronchoscopic lung volume reduction, bronchial thermoplasty, and cryobiopsy of lungs.
The American Association for Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology (AABIP) has played a critical role in advancing the training of new IP physicians. Interventional pulmonologists now receive dedicated and rigorous fellowship training, a stringent certification examination, and continuing education in novel technologies, positioning them to lead the technological revolution in chest medicine. In the last decade, IP has grown tremendously on an organizational and an academic level as a specialty. When I was an IP fellow in 2002, there were only 5 IP training programs in the United States. Currently, there are more than 38 IP fellowship programs across the country, and more are being created annually.
AABIP has served bronchoscopists and interventional pulmonologists in the United States for more than 25 years. AABIP has achieved tremendous milestones, including the development of IP fellowship accreditation, board certification in the field of IP, an index for the Journal of Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology (JOBIP), an annual postgraduate symposium, research seminars, and a research award. AABIP offers numerous benefits to members that include access to research seminars, local chapter and academic activities, webinars, newsletters, and educational apps.
As the leading organization and the primary representative of bronchoscopists and interventional pulmonologists in the United States, AABIP intends to nurture its membership by expanding its services and maintaining its policy of inclusivity. AABIP will continue to grow its offerings by adding new educational and training activities in the form of local preceptorship programs, national steering committees, and meetings. AABIP will continue to engage with both its members and non-members in order to understand their needs. AABIP will stay nimble and united in its support of bronchoscopists, pleurologists, and thoracic proceduralists around the country.
AABIP will continue to support JOBIP by finding the most qualified individuals to assume the roles of chief editor and associate editor as our current experts in these positions complete their tenures in December of 2017. More importantly, AABIP will need its members to put their best work forward for publications in JOBIP. Enhancing collaborations with AABIP’s international counterparts and with industry will be an ongoing effort in the coming years. Finally, AABIP will continue to be the voice of its members by providing them with a unified platform and dedicated leadership.