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A Remarkable Time for the American Association for Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology

Sterman, Daniel MD

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Journal of Bronchology & Interventional Pulmonology: October 2012 - Volume 19 - Issue 4 - p 265-267
doi: 10.1097/LBR.0b013e318272bd38
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This is a remarkable time for the American Association for Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology.

Building upon recent advances fostered by Past Presidents and members of the Board of Directors, the AABIP has embarked upon several new ventures that will allow our organization to take a giant leap (to paraphrase the late Neil Armstrong) forward in the years to come:

  • The first of these ventures occurred over a year ago, when, in collaboration with the Association of Interventional Pulmonary Program Directors, the selection process for Interventional Pulmonology fellowships was coordinated through the National Residency Matching Program. Utilization of the NRMP for the IP fellowship match has allowed for greater fairness and transparency of the selection process, and placed our fellowship programs on a level alongside other advanced fellowships within Internal Medicine subspecialties, such as electrophysiology and interventional cardiology. The AABIP has continued to encourage increased educational standardization and intellectual rigor in IP fellowship programs, and developed and implemented the first Interventional Pulmonary in-service examination this past June. All fellows in active IP fellowships listed on the AABIP Web site participated in the examination, as well as several IP faculty members. A manuscript, on the basis of the experience and results from this initial IP in-service exam, has been submitted and is pending publication.
  • This past June 27 to 28, the first annual AABIP Introduction to Interventional Pulmonology Course was held in Baltimore, MD, hosted by Drs David Feller-Kopman and Lonny Yarmus from Johns Hopkins Hospital. In attendance were 15 incoming Interventional Pulmonary fellows from programs across the United States and Canada, and both junior and senior IP faculty as instructors. The course was designed both to educate the incoming fellows and to provide a forum for nurturing future collaboration. The morning session was focused on didactics, with topics including advanced diagnostic and therapeutic bronchoscopy, tunneled pleural catheters and thoracoscopy, and tracheostomy. The afternoon session involved hands-on training utilizing bronchoscopic models, high-fidelity simulators, ex vivo animal models, and human cadavers. Early reviews from participants were highly favorable, and we are greatly indebted to the efforts of the Hopkins’ IP team, and look forward to next year’s second annual IP “Boot Camp.” One of the unique features of this year’s course was the administration of the IP in-service examination to all incoming fellows before the start of the didactic session. This will allow IP fellowship directors to have an understanding about the fund of knowledge of incoming fellows in relevant medical topics, and will allow for future adjustments in IP curricula to fill in the gaps in the requisite knowledge base.
  • All of our new IP fellows in the United States and Canada have now completed their first 2 months of training, no doubt dealing with long hours, heavy workloads, and astronomical learning curves, and benefitting tremendously from the teaching of their faculty mentors. For those actively involved in IP training process, we have developed an AABIP Fellows/Mentors Facebook Group to further foster communication and to collaboration among IP trainees related to various aspects of their training as the academic year progresses ( We encourage the posting of pictures, difficult cases, and short blogs/essays relating to the IP training experience.
  • In addition, there are a number of upcoming educational opportunities from the AABIP, in particular, the annual AABIP postgraduate course, which will be held on Saturday, October 20th during the ACCP/Chest International Conference in Atlanta, GA. This year’s course will be focused on “Interventional Pulmonology in the ICU,” and will be codirected by Drs Wes Shepherd from Virginia Commonwealth University and Ali Musani from National Jewish Health. Wes and Ali have assembled an exciting series of didactic lectures and hands-on sessions devoted to the increasing role of the Interventional Pulmonologist in the intensive care unit, with topics ranging from the management of massive hemoptysis to the use of ultrasonography. During the AABIP course, we will be presenting the second annual Geoffrey McLennan Memorial Award and Lecture, with this year’s recipient being Dr David Feller-Kopman from Johns Hopkins. As with past AABIP courses, we expect this year’s session to be superb in content and instruction, and well attended, with the closing Wine and Cheese Party as the culmination of the day’s proceedings.
  • On the evening of October 20th, following the AABIP course will be the first annual Scientific Symposium of the AABIP, codirected by Drs Scott Ferguson from the University of Wisconsin and Gaetane Michaud from Yale University. This will be an exciting and fun event (with excellent dinner provided) at which we will both highlight and develop research initiatives from both our junior and senior memberships, and facilitate research mentorships and collaborations that will facilitate a springboard for your careers in Academic Interventional Pulmonology. More details from the upcoming Scientific Symposium will be distributed by Scott and Gaetane in the next several weeks.
  • Under the astute editorial leadership of Drs Atul Mehta and David Feller-Kopman, the AABIP continues to publish the sole journal uniquely dedicated to the field of Interventional Pulmonology: the Journal of Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology. The Editorial Board of the JOBIP encourages all those working in the field to provide submissions of original research articles and case series pertaining to Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology. We are enthusiastic that within the next several months, the JOBIP will finally achieve listing in the Index Medicus, a success which will be in large part because of the diligent work of the editors-in-chief over the past several years in significantly improving the quality and nature of the journal content.
  • In the past several months, the AABIP has also initiated an active participation with the Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society (PATS), which has recently been relaunched by the ATS as an international, online journal for clinicians engaged in patient care. Beginning in 2013, PATS will provide up-to-date and authoritative coverage of adult and pediatric pulmonary and respiratory sleep medicine and adult medical critical care. The scope of the journal encompasses content that is directly applicable to clinical practice, continuing education of clinical specialists, and the advancement of public health. As an indicator of the dedication of the ATS to the growing field of Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology, PATS has designated 1 of its 7 Deputy Editor positions to a member of the Board of Directors of the AABIP. I have agreed to serve as the inaugural Deputy Editor of PATS for Bronchology, Thoracic Oncology, and Interventional Pulmonology. In the future, the Deputy Editor designate will be the immediate past President of the AABIP.
  • Finally, and perhaps most excitingly, the AABIP is finalizing plans to implement a Certification Examination in Interventional Pulmonology to be offered for the first time in September 2013. Further details will be released shortly, but candidates for the examination will include both individuals completing AABIP-listed fellowships in Interventional Pulmonology, as well as clinicians who are actively practicing in Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology. Those individuals who are eligible to sit for this didactic examination and who achieve a passing score will be honored as “Diplomates of the AABIP” at next year’s AABIP course during the ACCP International Congress. I am deeply grateful to Drs Hans Lee of Virginia Commonwealth University and Lonny Yarmus of Johns Hopkins for all their ongoing efforts to make this Certification Examination in Interventional Pulmonology a reality.

These truly are transformative times for all of us working in and developing the field of Interventional Pulmonology. None of the changes would be possible without the incredible foundation provided by the pioneers in the field who started this organization almost 20 years ago. It will be tremendously exciting to see the strides that will be made in Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonary in the next 20 years.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.