Published: March 26, 2021

Candidate Statements | Nominating Committee: Private Practice

Select one from the two candidates for Seat One and one from the two candidates for Seat Two for Nominating Committee: Private Practice.

Vote 01How to Cast Your Vote 

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Vote for One Candidate for Seat One and One Candidate for Seat Two

Questions Posed to the Candidates

  • How will you select candidates for Academy leadership that best represent our diverse membership? 
  • What experience do you have that will aid in selecting leaders that will advance the mission of the Academy?

Seat One

Andrew M. Coughlin, MDAndrew M. Coughlin, MDAndrew M. Coughlin, MD

While the Academy has made strides in creating diversity within our membership, we have seen some but limited success in obtaining diversity at the leadership level. As a member of the Nominating Committee, I will work hard to not only focus on diverse backgrounds, practice settings, and experience levels, but I will also aim to promote those who have put forth significant effort in elevating those around them. Leadership is best exemplified by supporting and promoting your peers. Teamwork and an “others first” mentality will be at the forefront of my decision making.

As Chair of the Engagement Task Force for the Young Physicians Section, past governor of the Nebraska Academy of Otolaryngology, and as a member of the Nominating Committee for the Metro Omaha Medical Society, I have a lot of experience in encouraging and mentoring strong candidates for positions of leadership. It is my hope that I will continue this work for the greater good of the Academy to make our entire community more impactful and representative of all otolaryngologists and the patients we serve. I very much appreciate this opportunity and promise to represent you all to the best of my ability. 

Darius Kohan, MDDarius Kohan, MDDarius Kohan, MD

During my 30-year career in private practice and academics, I had the privilege of collaborating with colleagues from all aspects of otolaryngology throughout the United States. Participating in numerous BOG and AAO-HNS Committees, I got to know and appreciate the outstanding dedication and leadership quality demonstrated by our members. In private practice, especially during the pandemic, I am familiar with all the challenges facing us and the opportunities available for improving the welfare of our patients and the well-being of the otolaryngologists attempting to optimize patient care. Participating in regional and national efforts to promote Academy goals, educate the next generation of otolaryngologists, and improve patient care, while collaborating with our peers in all fields of medicine, allowed me to personally become familiar with the large pool of talent available to the Academy. Their work ethic and dedication to benefit the welfare of our patients and achieving Academy goals was amply demonstrated. I intend to nominate the most deserving otolaryngologists to leadership positions based upon merit and ability to represent our evermore diverse membership. Leadership must reflect the needs of both private practitioners and academicians, the geography and demographics of our country, and the vision of the Academy for a brighter future.  

Seat Two

Russell B. Smith, MDRussell B. Smith, MDRussell B. Smith, MD

We are fortunate in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery to have a very diverse and engaged membership. We currently have a large number of these talented surgeons involved at many levels throughout our society. I would plan to recommend candidates for Academy leadership by recognizing these currently engaged members, many of whom I have worked with on a variety of education and program committees in my 20 years of involvement with AAO-HNS. I would also reach out to these members for recommendations of up-and-coming younger members who will be able to positively contribute to the ongoing success of our Academy.

Over my years of experience with residency and fellowship training programs, hospital governance, and medical practice development, I have been involved with selecting individuals to be part of a team to move forward the mission of an institution. Through these experiences, I feel that I understand that leadership requires a diverse team of individuals with uniquely different skills to be successful. I plan to use these experiences to recommend candidates with a wide variety of skills to fulfill the needs of the different leadership positions within our Academy. 

Angela K. Sturm, MDAngela K. Sturm, MDAngela K. Sturm, MD

As a member of the Nominating Committee, I would be excited to have a hand in choosing leaders who represent our membership professionally and personally. It is important to bring voices to the table with different perspectives. In the environment of reimbursement challenges, increasing overhead, changing protocols, increased expenses for the pandemic, and complex patients, the private practice physician’s representation is critical. As the owner of my own private practice, I understand those challenges. In addition, I am sensitive to how those physicians’ time spent away from their practice must be optimized to retain engagement. We also need to keep in mind the demographics of our membership currently and where we anticipate growing. As our membership is more diverse, we need leadership that reflects that and understands unique challenges that they may have. I have spent a large portion of my career working for diversity and inclusion, from giving lectures on the healthcare needs of gender minorities to furthering discussions about how to improve healthcare delivery for racial minorities. I appreciate the wisdom from those who know where we have been and gain inspiration from those who are our future.