2020 BOG Candidates

August 2020 – Vol. 39, No. 7

Boris Chernobilsky, MD

Candidate for Chair-Elect

1. What is the greatest challenge our specialty is currently facing and how would you advocate for action through member engagement?

Competing forces of increased regulation, data entry, quality metrics, population growth, and patient demand for high-quality, individualized care have taken a significant toll on physician wellness.

The greatest challenge and common thread of uncertainty, which had been smoldering beneath the surface in monthly changes in law or policy, has been brought starkly front and center with the COVID-19 pandemic.  Members have been stressed physically and emotionally with practices facing existential challenges.

Members have risen to these challenges admirably through ENTConnect, their societies, the BOG, and our Academy by sharing advice, programs, and tools. Encouragement of dialogue, transparency through BOG, and the concurrent solid response by our Academy builds much-needed trust in a landscape of uncertainty.  I will strive to maintain the excellent level of accessibility and engagement between the membership and the Academy through the BOG. Capitalizing on this momentum will improve the wellness of our practices, our members, and ultimately, our patients.

2. What initiatives would you recommend strengthening the relationship and engagement opportunities between AAO-HNS state, local, and specialty BOG societies?

Communication is paramount. Active listening, leading to effective action, is crucial to success. As part of the leadership of the Governance and Society Engagement Committee for the past three years, I worked to provide our membership what they asked: an interactive map with every BOG society’s information (including officer and administrator contacts), the ability to email Academy members in their state, and a yearly roundtable forum to discuss common challenges and share best practices.

The times we are living in have had the unintended consequence of unparalleled availability of inexpensive, high-quality video communication technology. I intend to support initiatives that leverage this technology to enhance the BOG’s already robust network to communicate the many excellent projects the Academy performs for our members. We will also be able to achieve our grassroots mission, empowering our entire diverse membership to be seen and heard regardless of distance or resources.

 

Troy D. Woodard, MD

Candidate for Chair-Elect

1. What is the greatest challenge our specialty is currently facing and how would you advocate for action through member engagement?

While challenges like physician burnout and decreasing reimbursement plague our specialty, today’s most prevalent concern is how to safely return to practice in the new COVID-19 era. This pandemic has hit our specialty like a ton of bricks. Most practices (academic and private) unexpectedly came to a screeching halt. Not only do we have to navigate uncharted waters, but we also must remain focused on maintaining quality patient care while simultaneously keeping ourselves, our medical teams, and our families safe. By representing the grassroots physician, the BOG has a vital role that can only be accomplished through effective communication and dissemination of timely and relevant information among the membership. I am proud to have contributed to the development of BOG-sponsored roundtables and town halls through the Socioeconomic & Grassroots Committee focused on ENT practice in the COVID-19 era. This initiative will facilitate bi-directional flow of information between the Academy and the ENT community.

2. What initiatives would you recommend strengthening the relationship and engagement opportunities between AAO-HNS state, local, and specialty BOG societies?

There are several initiatives that will strengthen engagement opportunities between the BOG and state/local/subspecialty societies. As the BOG Member-at-Large, I currently lead the Regional Representatives Program and act as a liaison between the BOG and local societies. We disseminate valuable information and concerns in a bi-directional manner between the Academy and local societies and physicians. This information sharing enhances opportunities to learn from one another and work together on many issues that affect our specialty. Two other initiatives that would stimulate action and promote engagement in the BOG include developing a mentoring program designed to tap into the existing knowledge, skills, and experience of active BOG leaders and transfer these qualities to younger or less experienced physician members. Additionally, we should regularly highlight AAO-HNS members that have made a significant difference in advocacy or patient care in their communities. This recognition would demonstrate appreciation and inspire others to get involved.

 

David S. Boisoneau, MD

Candidate for Member-at-Large

1. What is the greatest challenge our specialty is currently facing and how would you advocate for action through member engagement?

I feel that our greatest challenge, and it’s not unique to our specialty, is physician burnout and remaining fully dedicated to medicine. There are multiple daily, even hourly factors that contribute to this overall feeling of physicians losing contact with their patients and even themselves. The medical environment in the U.S. is brutal right now between increasing regulations, physicians being tethered to their electronic health records, and payers bringing productivity to a halt with prior authorizations and other requirements. The pandemic over these past few months has brought out these issues for everyone to see. Large hospital systems and corporate medical practices continue to expand in an effort to combat these problems but unfortunately do nothing to enhance physician autonomy or wellness. I applaud recent efforts by the BOG to address this, including panel discussions at the Leadership Forum and increased grassroots outreach to all members. Changing whole cultures and organizations may be impossible, so let’s focus on the individual physician mindset!

2. What initiatives would you recommend strengthening the relationship and engagement opportunities between AAO-HNS state, local, and specialty BOG societies?

This is an easy question to answer because the entire core mission of the BOG literally is to strengthen relationship and engagement opportunities. Multiple initiatives already exist and are becoming robust every year.  The Regional Representative Program, which I was an original member of, is a perfect example of an initiative that grew out of a need to engage all representative societies on a regional basis. It continues to flourish and expand, especially with the inclusion of a Specialty Society Representative. I currently serve as Chair of the BOG Legislative Affairs Committee, and we are strengthening our social media presence and using advanced communication strategies to quickly amplify important legislative efforts to all AAO-HNS members. These are only two examples of the many efforts the BOG has made in fully engaging all societies. I look forward to working with a great team to continue these productive relationships.