You don't need to be signed in to read BMJ Blogs, but you can register here to receive updates about other BMJ products and services via our site.

Archive for May, 2014


18 May, 14 | by tomfardon

10,105 runners and walkers lined up this morning for the Navy Bridge Run. Fantastic event, great course, albeit tough.

Results are here – a reasonable 46th position for me, and 3rd Lady…

Off to conference proper now.


18 May, 14 | by tomfardon

It turns out that roaming charges in the States are ridiculous. £8 a MB means only a few tweets, FB updates, and attempts at writing up a blog post leas to an astronomical phone bill…

The ATS starts proper tomorrow. San Diego is it’s usual mix of great places to eat, deceptive heat, and a big aircraft carrier in the bay. The program looks interesting, and so long as I get free wifi somewhere (roaming charges being prohibitive), there should be a stream of tweets and FB updates to keep everyone up to speed.

Before that, though, is the Navy Bridge Run/Walk. I cycled the 20km out to the registration point this afternoon – one application of factor 30 seemingly not enough to prevent 1st degree burns on my arms… The race starts at 08:00, so hopefully the sun won’t be at full strength as we run over the Coronado bridge – usually it’s closed to pedestrians.

The most intriguing session tomorrow has to be “Great Cases: Clinical, Radiologic, and Pathologic Correlations by Master Physicians”. The descriptions of the cases include: the case of the vanishing lungs; connecting the dots; breathing through Swiss cheese; a very unfortunate player; hear me roar. I have to go, really.

Although “There’s nothing latent about latent TB” has a certain ring to it.

Time to put my arms in some more cold water, and venture out to an evening symposium.

Stay Classy San Diego

12 May, 14 | by tomfardon

In 4 days I’ll be flying out to San Diego to the American Thoracic Society Conference. I’ve not been to the ATS since 2006. I’ve not been to American since then either. The ATS used to be the big meeting. It used to be THE meeting to go to, to be seen at, and to learn at. But the tide seems to have turned – the ATS continues to get smaller and smaller, compact and bijou, perhaps, but certainly smaller. The ERS, however, gets bigger, and bigger: it was too big to get around in Barcelona, certainly too big for @ThoraxBMJ to find a reliable wi-fi signal to keep posting updates.

I’m intrigued to find out what the ATS has become. I’m told by others that the meeting has a more basic science focus, but it also continues to include more intensive care medicine, as well as respiratory medicine, such is the remit of the US pulmonologist. The ATS charges for poster submissions, which leads to an interesting mix of posters – I’ll keep an open mind!

Should we still be going to conferences in wildly different time zones? To get to San Diego I have to drive 60 miles to Edinburgh Airport, fly to Birmingham (Leadership Conference), train to London, fly to LA, car to San Diego. If there’s 10,000 people at this conference, how many air miles are earned, or used? @DundeePublicHealth told me the other day that the carbon footprint of Addenbrookes Hospital is the same as Kings Lynn. What’s the carbon footprint of the ATS, including getting there, in the new SI unit, The Addenbrookes Day?

There’s the usual evening symposia going on – I’m even chairing one of them. I know there’s going to be news about new licences for old drugs, phase 2 data on new drugs, and some ‘promising data’ on new indications for old drugs. There’ll be competition for my bum on a seat throughout the week, I’m sure. Asthma and COPD seem to tee’d up to dominate the symposia – I’m hoping there’ll be a little more on the infection side, but I’m not holding my breath.

“Conferences are more about networking” people say. I hope to meet up with some old friends and colleagues, and the Thorax Editorial Board will be a feast of statistics batted between colleagues, and a highlight of the week.

The ATS, though, is all about the Annual 5K race, held at daft o’clock on Sunday morning, so it’s not too hot when we all set off. If memory serves the course in 2006 was around the marina behind the conference centre, and I was a laughable mess having just cycled from LA to San Diego two days previously. This year I doubt I’ll trouble the podium, but look out on Strava for my run data…

<Edit – it turns out there's a 4 mile run this year, the 28th Annual Navy Bridge Run>

4 days to go – look on Facebook and Twitter for updates live from the conference. There’s no official hashtag that I can find on the site, so I’ll stick with #ATS2014 if you want to keep up with things – I’ll try to encourage others to use the same.

And once we’re all back from the ATS, we’ll be thinking about the Summer BTS, which surely must have a smaller Addenbrookes number?

Latest from Thorax

Latest from Thorax