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FITs Unite in Baltimore for Education and Networking
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FITs Unite in Baltimore for Education and Networking
By Monica Bhagat, MD, Senior FIT Representative to the Board of Regents

A new College year is upon us as we look back at our ACAAI Annual Scientific Meeting in Baltimore last November. Just as this city is home to the Ravens, it became home to over 1,800 allergists-immunologists and other attending physicians.

The FIT Symposium kicked off with two spectacular talks. Tao Le, MD, MHS, FACAAI, captured our attention as he spoke about appropriate strategies to utilize when hunting for the right job. He emphasized the importance of contract negotiation and answered questions from senior fellows who are currently in the interview process. Linda Cox, MD, FACAAI, spoke about immunotherapy and what the data tells us about novel sublingual immunotherapy, or SLIT. Dr. Cox encouraged all of us to go to the literature and to understand the evidence behind this novel therapy, since its approval by the FDA is forthcoming.

This year we had a record showing of 280 fellows, including 11 from Mexico, at our annual FIT General Meeting. Elections were exciting as vice-chair candidates spoke about their visions for the ACAAI FIT Committee, and as the fellows voted for six new regional representatives out of a record number of candidates!

I am happy to welcome Andrew Nickels, MD, to the Board of Regents as your new Vice-Chair for 2013-2014! He is a first-year fellow at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and brings a unique perspective to the Board’s table, as a former graduate of the Maclean Center for Medical Ethics, University of Chicago.

I would also like to welcome our six new regional representatives to the FIT Committee team! They are Niti Agarwal, MD, New York and Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia; Tara Shankar, MD, University of Pittsburgh; Lorraine Anderson, MD, VA Greater Los Angeles Health System; Reenal Patel, MD, UMDNJ New Jersey Medical School; Erin Kempe, DO, Ohio State University Hospital; and Hannah Walford, MD, University of California, San Diego.

The FIT Bowl was spectacular this year. Merin Kuruvilla, MD, and Sharon Deol, MD, won the ACAAI Fit Bowl championship for the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, in the heated competition between 36 teams around the country. The Second Place award went to Karla Adams, MD, and Priscilla Wong, MD, Wilford Hall Medical Center’s Team 1.

The FIT annual meeting programs are among the many ways fellows may become involved with the ACAAI. It is important for us, the fellows, to truly unite now, as we prepare to become the world leaders in allergy and immunology. One day we could be organizing the entire ACAAI meeting…so why not dream big now, and engage yourself with the ACAAI?

Feel free to contact me with any concerns or questions:

Top four FIT Bowl teams from left: Drs. Priscilla Wong and Karla Adams, Wilford Hall Medical Center’s Team 1 – Second Place; Amir Shahlaee and Poneh Davoodi, Medical College of Georgia; Sharon Deol and Merin Kuruvilla, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center – Champions; and William Anderson III and Matthew Germinaro, University of Colorado Denver Program, Adult, Team 1.

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