Published: August 30, 2021

Annual Meeting Reflections

Nausheen Jamal, MD, Chair of the Young Physicians Section, and Cecelia Damask, MD, Annual Meeting Program Committee Member, share their thoughts on the importance of the AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO Experience

04 Am Reflections Jamal Prof Photo"One of my favorite parts of our specialty is the people—I absolutely adore my otolaryngology colleagues. Every year, I look forward to seeing friends from all subspecialties and from all around the country at the Annual Meeting. Not seeing everyone last year in person was tough, on top of an already tough year. That is why I absolutely cannot wait to see everyone next month in Los Angeles, when we can celebrate together and learn from each other. Looking forward to the best meeting of the year!"

— Nausheen Jamal, MD, Chair, Young Physicians Section

04 Am Reflections Damask Headshot“When I was younger, my favorite time of the year was the fall and the beginning of a school year. I loved shopping for and setting up my school supplies. The excitement of gathering new notebooks, highlighters, and pens, and imagining how and what I’d be learning was palpable. Some students like to shop for new school clothes, but I always preferred shopping for my new books, special pens, and markers. While doing so, I thought about my teachers and friends and what success would look like for that upcoming year. It was truly a magical time of the year—perhaps not Hogwarts magical, but it had its own panache that I couldn’t resist. 

Now as an adult and a practicing comprehensive otolaryngologist, that excitement hasn’t changed too much. Nothing better than opening a new notebook with a special pen, reviewing the learning objectives provided in the program for each education session, and starting to visualize that first live lecture at the AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting in Los Angeles after a year and half in isolation and quarantine. 

I am looking forward to live, in-person learning after never-ending Zoom calls and webinars. I can’t wait to interact with faculty and ask questions to an expert in person. It seems like our learning was in overdrive this past year and half trying to understand the novel coronavirus. But so much more has happened this year in the world of otolaryngology. I am looking forward to the new debate format at this year’s Annual Meeting; particularly the Great Debate, “Biologics for Nasal Polyps: Is This the End of Sinus Surgery?” between Anju Peters, MD, and James Palmer, MD, about where biologics fit into the treatment paradigm for chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis.

This fall, I again find myself thinking about my friends and colleagues, the faculty at the 125th Annual Meeting, and all of the new things that I will learn, and I again am drawn to a magic that I just can’t resist. I hope that you will join me at #OTOMTG21 in Los Angeles.” 

— Cecelia Damask, MD, Annual Meeting Program Committee Member

More from September 2021 – Vol. 40, No. 8