ANNUAL MEETING: CALL FOR SCIENCE | Reflections: Inspiration at #OTOMTG21 Lays Groundwork for #OTOMTG22 Call for Science!
Daniel C. Chelius, Jr., MD
AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting Program Coordinator
In a meeting filled with inspiration at every turn—a deep dive into personal wellness with Neha Sangwan, MD, during the Opening Ceremony; cutting-edge technology demonstrated many times over in the OTO Experience; moving reflections on the future of our field from otolaryngology legends in the inaugural Hall of Distinction induction ceremony; paradigm-defining deliberations over key controversies in the Great Debates series; thousands of reunions and cautious embraces in the halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center; and a joyful celebration at the Presidents’ Reception in Xbox Plaza—some of the most powerful and inspiring moments for me came in unexpected places.
While walking through the convention center with one of my mentors on two separate occasions, I watched her step away from business to intervene for an attendee in crisis. It was a touching example of servant leadership and compassion and poignantly demonstrated the importance of attention to community.
Early Wednesday morning, October 6, I had the honor of moderating a comprehensive otolaryngology Scientific Oral Presentation with Nicholas A. Beckmann, DO. Despite the early hour on the last day of the meeting, we were treated to four superb presentations: global health and the outcomes impact of a limited otolaryngology workforce in parts of the Africa by University of California, San Francisco, PGY-4 Gaelen B. Stanford-Moore, MD; patient safety and vaping by Kaiser Permanente Medical Group - Northern California PGY-3 Peter M. Debbaneh, MD; equity in metrics for otolaryngology residency applications by Vanderbilt University PGY-1 Christina Dorismond, MD; and the role of telemedicine in postoperative care by Trinity College junior Gillian Murdock and her mentors at Carolina Ear Nose & Throat - Sinus and Allergy Center, PA. As I listened to the very well-delivered and thought-provoking presentations from these young members of our community, I had to think that the discourse would have made our meeting founder, Hal Foster, MD, very proud to see his vision continued 125 years later.
Later that day at the LA airport, my partners from Baylor and I had the lucky chance to visit with an MS-4 student from a medical school without an otolaryngology program. He described the exceptional mentorship he received on the research project that brought him to our meeting. He recounted what an affirming experience it was to see our community, our collective experience, and our technology intersecting in Los Angeles. He was flying home energized and more confident and excited about his decision to pursue our field.
These were only a few of the many moments in Los Angeles that reminded me of what an incredible privilege it is to be able to participate in what is effectively the world’s largest annual otolaryngology retreat. But just as has always been the case, it only happens because we accept the invitation to join the discussion. The Call for Science for our 2022 Annual Meeting & OTO Experience in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, opened in December. I join the Program Committee and Board of Directors in welcoming our community to this next chapter and inviting all voices to contribute to the future of our field.
How to Create a Successful Expert Lecture or Panel Presentation
Marilene B. Wang, MD, Annual Meeting Program Committee Member
The AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting offers an unparalleled opportunity for otolaryngologists from around the world to teach and learn from each other. The Annual Meeting Program Committee strives to formulate a program that covers the most relevant and timely topics in our specialty.
When planning a submission, it is helpful to look at the gap analysis on the Call for Science website. These are topics identified by the Academy that will be given priority when planning for future education content. An initial idea for a topic may benefit from modification according to this gap analysis. It is also a good idea to browse content from previous meetings, available within OTO Logic. This will help identify potential areas of deficiency, which can create opportunities to develop new content. Avoid submitting duplicate topics; however, if you can think of a different angle or approach, it may be a worthwhile submission.
Many successful Panel Presentations come from the Academy’s committees. If you are on a committee, try to brainstorm with other members; also reach across to collaborate with other committees to develop topics. The possibilities multiply when you can work with other committees, and the likelihood of acceptance for a Panel Presentation increases as well.
Consider factors of diversity when planning for presenters or panelists. An experienced faculty member may consider inviting a former resident or fellow to join on an Expert Lecture or Panel Presentation, and a younger speaker may seek to join forces with more experienced faculty. Breadth of perspective, including diversity across ethnicities, gender, career levels, and practice types is greatly valued. AAO-HNSF encourages submissions that promote gender diversity and include members of underrepresented communities, as well as topics relevant to diversity, equity, inclusion, and cultural competence.
Look for topics that are relevant for patient care, including controversies in management, new surgical techniques, technological advancements, practice management, ethics, and wellness. Outline the objectives clearly and organize/limit the topics to fit into the allotted time slot. If the presentation is a recurring one from previous years, be sure to update it appropriately.
Proofread the presentation carefully for correct grammar, spelling, and style. It is also important to carefully formulate the title for the presentation. An eye-catching, attention-grabbing title is appealing to both the program reviewers and the attendees who often have to choose between multiple presentations of similar topics.
Finally, the background statement offers the chance to make an argument as to why this presentation topic is relevant and worthy of inclusion in the meeting. Here is where you can “sell” the topic and presenters. Include any past successes (packed room at previous Annual Meeting), expertise of the speakers (inventor of technique), timeliness/urgency (COVID-19 sequelae), and diversity of the panel.
How to Create a Great Scientific Abstract
Michele M. Carr, DDS, MD, PhD, Annual Meeting Program Committee Member
The AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting is generated by the membership. Are you interested in submitting an abstract for a Scientific Oral or Poster Presentation? To maximize your chances that it will be accepted, here’s what you need to know.
A good submission starts with a creative original research question that is executed carefully. Creating a good research project is beyond the scope of this article, but if that’s the information you need, get advice locally. Work with a mentor. Once you have a project, you need to address ethical issues and obtain Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval if necessary. Make sure that the research you submit is of interest to clinical otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeons who make up the majority of Annual Meeting attendees. Create your research team early—include necessary subject area experts and at least one trainee so you can help build our future. Make sure at least one member of the team is going to be available to present at the meeting; the presenter must attend.
As authorship is anonymized, the abstract is the only information the committee uses to judge your submission. First, pick a descriptive title. A naïve reader must get an accurate idea of what your research is about if you want to attract an audience.
The abstract structure includes four sections: Introduction, Method, Results, and Conclusion:
• The Introduction states why you did the project and a clear purpose or objective.
• The Method contains the key parts of your methodology. State the kind of study you did—is it a retrospective analysis, cohort study, randomized controlled trial, or systematic review? Include key inclusion criteria if they are important. Include key variables and key outcomes. This is not the place for an exhaustive methodology discussion.
• The Results section is where the bulk of your words sit. Describe your study population with relevant statistics, for example, gender, age, and race. Include key findings with actual data—means, medians, 95% confidence intervals, odds ratios, p values—however you describe your data. A lot of your data will not be included in the abstract, just what is most important to your thesis. Do not submit a study you haven’t done yet.
• In the Conclusion, state the overarching lesson you learned from your study. Make sure the conclusion is clear and follows the data, and don’t overstate it. Do not restate your findings in your conclusion.
The guidelines will tell you the maximum word count allowable for the abstract. You can save space by using numerals for numbers and taking out the spaces around operation symbols, for example, p = .02 versus p = .02 and < 1 cm versus < 1 cm. Use acronyms. For example, if the term “post-tonsillectomy hemorrhage” appears several times in your abstract, use the acronym “PTH” subsequent to the term’s first use. Place “PTH” in parentheses after the full term: post-tonsillectomy hemorrhage (PTH). Remember that you cannot include citations, references, figures, or tables in these abstracts.
Once you’re done, check for typos, correct the spelling, and apply basic grammar rules. Then circulate it to all involved authors and make sure everyone agrees that the submission is acceptable to appear alongside their names. Your abstract will be published if it is accepted for presentation.
The Submission Process
Once you have your abstract, decide on a category based on who you think your target audience will be. You want someone to come listen to your talk or look at your poster, and each attendee concentrates on their categories of interest. Open the online submission form and make sure you understand what is needed. In the author section, make sure that people who are leaving your program before the Annual Meeting have provided an email address that will still work at that time. The other important aspect of authorship is identifying individuals in underrepresented categories of the Academy. If you are not completely confident of these categories, communicate with your coauthors and allow them to categorize themselves. This information is important for AAO-HNSF accountability; we need to represent all members.
You will need to choose whether you want to submit for a Scientific Oral Presentation or a Poster Presentation. Earning a spot on the schedule to speak is highly competitive. An Oral Presentation requires the submission of a full manuscript to the AAO-HNSF journal, Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (OTO Journal) by a specified deadline dependent on the first author’s last name. A Poster gives the team the opportunity to present to walk-by attendees at a specific session during the meeting. Your team will need to cover the cost of producing a Poster. For either Oral or Poster Presentations, your work is embargoed until the date and time in which it is presented during the meeting, which means that you cannot present it elsewhere until then. While Oral Presentations must be submitted as a manuscript for publication in OTO Journal, Poster Presentations may not be submitted to another journal unless rejected for publication in OTO Journal.
Presenting at the Annual Meeting is a privilege and an honor for otolaryngologists and aspiring otolaryngologists. We want to hear your good ideas, and we welcome your submissions for Philadelphia in 2022!