Published: May 14, 2024

Discourse in the Halls: The Pulse of the Annual Meeting Education Experience

By adding your voice to the dialogue at this year’s meeting, you are giving a substantial gift to your fellow attendees, the Academy, and the global otolaryngology community.

Daniel C. Chelius, Jr., MD, AAO-HNSF Coordinator, Annual Meeting Program

Am24 Chelius 1500x845 ThumbnailWe have just announced the program acceptances for this fall’s AAO-HNSF 2024 Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO in Miami Beach, Florida. This is one of my favorite times of the year because we get to invite so many scientific presenters and education faculty members to take part in the excitement that has encompassed our work on the Annual Meeting Program Committee for months. I always look forward to conversations with speakers from around the world, discussing how we can make their particular presentations work best within the footprint of the Annual Meeting. However, with sending out acceptances comes the reality that we must also defer many abstracts, both scientific and didactic. I do not take this duty lightly as we know that many of these abstracts represent extensive work and late nights and are often the embodiment of our members’ passion to advance a specific aspect of our field. We are fortunate to have a hyper-engaged membership and a wonderful platform for the active conversation occurring in our field. And yet, we only have so much time and space at the Annual Meeting—rejections are a necessity.

1896 ProgramHarkening back to the first Academy meeting in 1896 in Kansas City, we know that each attendee brought a short scientific paper for iscussion. It was a small meeting. What made it a real meeting and started our century-old conversation within this Academy was not the papers themselves, but the active dialogue and discourse from all of the attendees. We know that each paper was assigned a respondent, and we read and learn in our Academy history about the active discourse in those hallways. And so, especially for those attending our meeting this fall who are not part of the formal program, I implore you to recognize that you are giving a substantial gift to the Annual Meeting experience, the Academy, and the global otolaryngology community through your participation in these invaluable conversations as well as the sacrifice of your time. We on the Program Committee are so grateful for that gift.

As I finish up my final year as Coordinator, I am going to miss the opportunity to get to know so many submitters in these days after the announcements. It’s been a real privilege of this position to personally learn about and participate in the focused dialogue about the frontiers of our field and the passions of our membership. I look forward every year to adding mentorship and learning opportunities for students, trainees, and younger attendings whose abstracts did not make this year’s meeting—to chat with them about their science, their writing, and strategies to hopefully make their next submissions more successful. I have been humbled to work with experienced faculty in deciding when it is time to retire or pass on a beloved didactic offering. I can speak confidently for the entire Program Committee that we take this responsibility very seriously.

And so, whether or not you are presenting on the faculty or scientific roster this fall, please join us in Miami Beach. Please come to the microphone to challenge and sharpen the science presented. Please attend the section meetings to understand how you can advance the goals and progress of your sections over the coming year and where your volunteer support is so greatly needed. Please attend the committee meetings, whether or not you are a committee member. There is far too much work to be done for us to rely only on the committee membership to do it. Please engage in the OTO EXPO to help our industry partners better understand how they can help us help our patients. Please come to the Opening Ceremony to be inspired by our representative leadership and to hear about the most important strategic aims of our Academy in the coming year. Please take time to rekindle friendships, to welcome our youngest and newest members, and to recognize the tremendous impact any of us can have in these brief moments of mentorship in the halls of the Annual Meeting.

We can’t wait to see you in Miami!


More from June 2024 – Vol. 43, No. 6