UA Pulmonary Fellows Win Big at National CHEST Challenge Competition in LA

“I’ve always said our fellows are great,” said Dr. James Knepler, program director for the UA Pulmonary & Critical Care Fellowship. “This is one more thing that shows that true. All three of them showed poise and smarts. They were great representatives of Arizona.”

Three University of Arizona pulmonary fellows who qualified in June for the National CHEST Challenge medical knowledge competition at the American College of Chest Physicians’ CHEST 2016 conference came away with the top trophy on Tuesday, Oct. 25, in Los Angeles.

The game-show-style event had all the glamour of Hollywood with a fully lit stage, moderator a la Jeopardy’s Alex Trebek and three teams—two from Brooklyn, N.Y., and ours representing Banner – University Medical Center Tucson.

The winning question was “What is the diagnosis for a patient with a very challenging CAT scan?” The answer—amiodarone-induced pulmonary toxicity, or APT.

The final score: UA — $11,122, New York Methodist Hospital —$5,347 and Interfaith Medical Center — $0. As they say in the entertainment world, they killed it. Click here or on the Facebook LIVE! post image below (at right) to view a video of the event.

“All people were amazed how the team got the right answer, even the organizing committee and audience,” said Huthayfa Ateeli, MBBS, in his fifth program year (PGY5), speaking on behalf of his two teammates, Naser Mahmoud, MBBS (PGY6), Muna Omar, MBBS (PGY6).

The three are in the Pulmonary & Critical Care Fellowship in the UA Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine. The fellowship is led by James L. Knepler, MD, program director, associate chair of the division and medical director, Interventional Pulmonology, Banner – UMC Tucson.

“I’ve always said our fellows are great,” Dr. Knepler said. “This is one more thing that shows that true. All three of them showed poise and smarts. They were great representatives of Arizona.”  

Dr. Ateeli added, “I can’t describe how excited we are today. We are so proud to be the University of Arizona/Banner team.”

He noted the team participated in an online test in May, competing with all pulmonary and critical care programs in the United States. They were selected for the live competition during the CHEST 2016 conference as one of the highest three scoring programs.

Asked how their training at the University of Arizona positioned them for the victory, Dr. Ateeli said, it came down to “the inspiring environment with the endless support, love to teach, guide and help by all the program members starting with the program director, division chief, chair, all faculty members, program director and co-fellows.”

CHEST Challenge twitter post of UA team—Drs. Ateeli (2nd from left), Mahmoud and Omar—celebrating their win with fellowship program director Dr. Jim Knepler (2nd from right) and event hosts, including moderator Col. Lisa Moores, MD, of the Uniformed Services University. Prizes included a $5,000 check.

Also attending CHEST 2016 on behalf of the UA program was Afshin Sam, MD, an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine (PACCS), and a member of the UA Cancer Center’s Southwest Lung Cancer Program.

The PACCS division has four fellowship programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)—Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, Critical Care Medicine, Allergy & Immunology and Sleep Medicine.

These are among 15 ACGME-accredited fellowship programs within the UA Department of Medicine, which is the largest department in the UA College of Medicine – Tucson with more than 200 faculty physicians, 130 residents in training in internal medicine and dermatology, and 70 fellows in advanced traing in all of its subspecialities.

"Pulmonary Fellows Earn UA Program a Top-Three Spot in National CHEST Challenge" | Posted: June 17, 2016

Release Date: 
10/26/2016 - 4:45pm