New ATS President Seeks to Raise Profile of Respiratory Diseases

At this year's international conference in San Francisco, Dr. Monica Kraft said more public awareness of COPD and sleep disorders is needed, and the workforce shortage in pulmonary and critical care is a concern.

The 2012-2013 president of the American Thoracic Society, Dr. Monica Kraft, says one of her goals for her terms as the society's top officer is to increase public awareness of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and sleep disorders. In the same interview published in the ATS Daily Bulletin for May 22, a newspaper reporting activities at the ATS 2012 International Conference taking place in San Francisco, Kraft said the workforce shortage in pulmonary and critical care is a concern.

"Certainly, we want to work to increase recognition of respiratory disease – globally, nationally, and locally," she said in reply to a question asking how ATS can better help patients. "The public doesn't recognize that COPD is now the third-leading killer worldwide, that asthma can be a very serious disease, or that certain types of interstitial lung disease carry a high mortality. There also needs to be more understanding of sleep disorders, which affect the function of many organ systems, and the issue of workforce shortage in pulmonary care," she continued.

She said the society should work with medical schools to ensure more graduates go into internal medicine and pediatric residency programs, and from there into fellowships in pulmonary medicine and critical care.

The ATS Daily Bulletin is published by Ascend Integrated Media, LLC for ATS.

The conference takes place May 18-23. It included events where experts on sleep apnea, COPD, and other lung ailments talked with patients about interventions and treatment options.

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