April 3, 2024

President’s Letter from Bill Steinbach – Importance of PAS to PIDS

Dr. Bill Steinbach
Dr. Bill Steinbach

We work in a field that is consult-heavy. One where we have pediatric colleagues from other specialties who ask us to see their patients and we deliver our advice – which they may or may not take. Raise your hand if this exact consult sounds familiar: Hem/Onc physician calls and says this 4-year-old s/p stem cell transplant child has concerns for pulmonary infection. When you see the child and uncover and amend the numerous incorrect things you were initially told over the phone, among multiple things you recommend a bronchoscopy. 

Their response is the child is “way too well” to need a bronchoscopy. They ignore your diagnostic advice and commence with 4 different classes of anti-infectives. A week rolls by and they call again to inform you the child is sicker. You see the child again, agree with the significant disease progression, and among multiple things you recommend a bronchoscopy. Their response is the child is “way too sick” for a bronchoscopy. You get the idea.

Which is why a meeting like PAS, a gathering place to mingle and network with our pediatric colleagues from across those specialties we consult, is special. PAS is our opportunity to educate them (and to help ourselves) in a more relaxed atmosphere. This may be the setting to discuss diagnostics, treatments, or the reappearance of a scourge we had believed eliminated (US measles cases for 2024 have already surpassed all of 2023). We also get to learn from them about what issues they are facing and perhaps map out how the entire hospital and department can work better together to the benefit of our patients.

I hope you are able to take advantage of the meeting, there is a significant pediatric ID track this year. For those of you joining us in Toronto, be sure to register for our reception on Saturday, May 4. For the past couple years, PIDS has hosted a reception at PAS. Not to knock the ones Buddy hosted in Denver and DC, but this one will be extra special. In addition to being Star Wars Day, that also happens to be my birthday. So, if you are there, you can buy me a birthday drink (it’ll be easy on your wallet, PIDS is picking up the bill for food and beverages).

PAS is, of course, the second leg in our annual tri-conference race. That means there will be a new batch of meetID students dipping a toe into our specialty and first experiencing the PIDS community. I could go on about the importance of this program but instead I’ll quote from February’s PIDS Foundation Feature subject, Mohamad Shieb, “I joined IDWeek and meetID as someone who was potentially interested in pediatric infectious diseases and left as someone committed to apply to pediatric ID.” Our PAS meetID students will be at the reception. Be sure to find them and get to know them.

I hope to see you in Toronto. And May the Fourth (My Birthday) Be With You.

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