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James K Polk, ISHLT and What to do in Washington, DC

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Pam Combs, PhD, RN
Seton Medical Center
Austin, TX, USA

Here are some tips to do while in Washington D.C. ISHLT Annual Conference by following the tenure of James Knox Polk, America's least known presidents of all time.

Attend as many sessions/events to learn and meet many people:
James Knox Polk was the eleventh United States President from 1845 to 1849. He was born on 1795 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Polk achieved nearly everything he stated he wanted to in his platform; however, some critics consider Polk as "the one who missed great opportunities." I highly encourage you to not be like Polk, but read the annual conference agenda and attend as many of the events as you can to not miss any opportunity to learn and meet those that are just as passionate as you are about your field.

Ask how you can get involved in ISHLT:
When Polk was 18 years old and unable to read or write, but he made up for lost time when at 20 years old he had passed the prerequisites to enter the University of North Carolina where he graduated and was considered an all-around scholar. Like Polk, I encourage you to get involved an area that is your passion. Polk pursued his passion of learning and with that being said, you should get involved in ISHLT to not only learn but offer your knowledge and experience.

Meet Experts face-to-face:
Polk was a "dark horse" candidate when he ran for President and won in 1844. He was not well known when he came into office, and literature suggests that he was somewhat "reserved." Our ISHLT experts and speakers are members who open themselves to questions and thoughts. It is not uncommon for "newer" members to introduce themselves to the experts and interact. Please take this great opportunity to meet those who continue to pioneer the path of heart and lung transplant.

Learn in a new Space:
Under Polk, the United States grew by more than a million square miles, adding territory that now makes up the states of Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California, Oregon, Idaho, Washington, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, and Colorado. Washington D.C. is a living history book full of powerful moments and memorable experiences. When you're not in sessions we hope that you will be able to explore America's educational and entertaining venues, world-class museums and monuments, unique neighborhoods, top-rated restaurants, gorgeous parks and gardens, and endless performing arts choices. ■

Disclosure Statement: The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose.


  1. Taken from the internet site http://www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/james-polk on 1/15/2015.
  2. Taken from the internet site http://www.biography.com/people/james-polk-9443616 on 1/16/2015.

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