Dr. Glaucomflecken the Opening Speaker Today at the 2024 ATS Meeting | 2024 ATS


William Flanary, M.D.., has a huge social media following as Dr. Glaucomflecken, a character he created on Twitter when he was an ophthalmology resident in Iowa. More than 13,400 people have registered to attend the American Thoracic Society (ATS) International Conference, which is being held this weekend at the San Diego Convention Center.

More than 13,400 pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine health professionals have registered to attend the American Thoracic Society (ATS) 2024 International Conference in San Diego this weekend.

William Flanary, M.D., aka Dr. Glaucomflecken

William Flanary, M.D., aka Dr. Glaucomflecken

William Flanary, M.D., an ophthalmologist in Portland, Oregon, who has become famous for his satirical “Dr. Glaucomflocken” TikTok videos, is the speaker at the conference’s opening ceremony, scheduled to be held at the San Diego Convention Center.

The topics of the three keynote sessions are artificial intelligence in medicine, the history of mechanical ventilation and immigrant health.

The organizers of the meeting, which dates back to 1905, say it lives up to its billing as an international conference with 40% of the attendees coming from outside the United States.

The thoracic medicine addresses medical issues that affect the lungs and the chest. The anatomical boundary results in a meeting that covers a wide, eclectic array of topics, ranging from the health effects of air pollution to lung cancer screening to interstitial lung disease.

The topics of the themed poster sessions include implementing best practices intensive care unit, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbations, the epidemiology of COVID-19 in 2024 and “fungi chronicles.”

Every healthcare sector and medical specialty is grappling with artificial intelligence, and the pulmonologists, critical care specialists and other healthcare professionals attending the ATS meeting are no exception. Debra Boyer, M.D., M.H.P.E., chair of the ATS International Conference Committee and a pediatric pulmonologist specializing in lung transplantation at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, is introducing the keynote session on artificial intelligence (AI) Sunday morning. The speakers are Fatima Rodriguez, M.D., M.P.H., an associate professor of cardiovascular medicine at Stanford University, and Matthew DeCamp, MD. Ph.D., an associate professor in the Center of Bioethics and Humanities and in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Michael Howell, M.D., M.P.H., the chief clinical officer at Google, is moderating.

In an interview before the meeting, Boyer said AI will be the topic of other sessions, including using ChatGPT in research;using AI in radiological interpretation of certain disease, such as interstitial lung disease; and using machine learning pediatric pulmonology.

Hannah Wunsch, M..D., vice chair for research and director of outcomes research at the Department of Anesthesiology at Weill Cornell Medicine, is thefeatured speaker of the Monday morning keynote session. Wunsch will be talking about her 2023 book, “The Autumn Ghost: How the Battle Against a Polio Epidemic Revolutionized Modern Medicare.”

The immigrant heath keynote session on Tuesday has three featured speaker: Julie M. Linton, M.D., a professor of pediatrics at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine; Denisse Rojas Marquez, M.D., M.P.P., co-founder of Pre-Health Dreamers and an emergency medicine resident at Boston Medical Center; and Marc Schenker, a professor emeritus of public health and medicine at the UC Davis School of Medicine who is an expert on occupational and environmental disease and a public policy advocate on the health of immigrant populations.

Flanary, who has 2.3 million followers on TikTok, has a huge following in healthcare. He has been the commencement speaker at several medical school graduations, including University of Michigan’s last week. He pokes fun at physicians and how medicine is practiced in his short videos, which usually take the form of an imagined conversation between two people. But some of his sharpest barbs are directed at insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers and insurance practices such as prior authorization, out-of-pocket maximums and out-of-network billing. Flanary is prolific — he told the University of Michigan audience last week that he has produced more than 100 hours of social media content. He also hosts a podcast with his wife, Kristin Flanary, called, “Knock Knock, HI! with the Glaucomfleckens.”The Flanarys are also touring a live comedy show called, “Wife & Death with the Glaucomfleckens.”

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