Pulmonary and Critical Care fellows win CHEST Challenge

2023 CHEST Challenge

2023 CHEST Challenge
Khalid Ahmed, MBBS; Maria Azhar, MD, MBBS; and Saad Farooq, MD

McGovern Medical School Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine fellows won the CHEST Challenge Championship at CHEST 2023, the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, in Honolulu.

The McGovern team consisted of Khalid Ahmed, MBBS; Maria Azhar, MD, MBBS; and Saad Farooq, MD. Fellows from the University of Oklahoma finished in second place, and the team from the University of Southern California placed third.

“The game was very close, with all the teams in it until the end, so there was significant relief once it was over, and we had one,” Farooq said.

The fellows earned their spots on the stage, along with free accommodations for CHEST 2023 and access to CHEST Board Review educational products, during a highly competitive qualifying quiz earlier in the year. At the end of the night, each of the finalist teams had secured an additional prize for their training program – $5,000 for first place, $3,000 for second, and $1,000 for third.

The 22nd annual championship began with a special intro video, a light-hearted montage of the fellows, their colleagues and program directors, and members of the CHEST Training and Transitions Committee. The video was interspersed with music and visuals reminiscent of the 1960s TV show Hawaii Five-O in honor of the meeting’s location in Honolulu.

“The atmosphere was full of encouragement, with positive reassurances and unrelentless support from everyone,” Azhar said.

The championship consisted of a mix of written trivia, diagnostic image review, and video. First round categories included “Rise of the Machines,” focusing on medical devices; “HA,” the Hawaiian word for breath, with medical facts related to Hawai’i; “Weezer,” for obstructive lung diseases; “Karakinos,” the original Greek etymology for cancer; and “No Silver Lining,” for pleural diseases. In the second round, the fellows picked from “Lungs to the Rescue,” on respiratory failure; “Epochalypse,” on sleep medicine; “Workin’ 9 to 5,” on occupational lung injuries and diseases; “Rheum with a View,” on rheumatology; and “Nervous About Infections,” on microbial infections of the nervous system.

Live challenges hidden throughout the board offered additional opportunities for fellows to showcase their creativity, quick thinking, and teamworking. In one mini-game, the McGovern team was required to rapidly identify radiographic images in less than 90 seconds.

The American College of Chest Physicians is the leading professional association in innovative chest medicine. The organization advances the best health outcomes for patients with lung disease through education, advocacy, research, and philanthropy. CHEST is the professional home for more than 22,000 pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine professionals seeking clinical education and connection to the worldwide chest medicine community.