AAO-HNSF International Visiting Scholarship Report (2018)

July 2019 - Vol. 38, No. 6

Syed Salman Hashmi, MBBS

It’s an extreme pleasure and great honor for me to write this post scholarship report. In fact, it was a dream to write this report from the day I first discovered the possibility of this scholarship four years back. I never expected to be selected for such a prestigious program. This is a favor from AAO-HNS that I can never forget, and I endeavor to return this trust in the form of sharing the knowledge and skills learned at the Annual Meeting in my homeland, thus enhancing the specialty in my country.

(left to right) J. Pablo Stolovitzky, MD, AAO-HNSF Coordinator for International Affairs, and Syed Salman Hashmi, MBBS, at the AAO-HNSF 2018 Annual Meeting & OTO Experience

My time in United States started with the AAO-HNSF 2018 Annual Meeting & OTO Experience in Atlanta, Georgia. It was a wonderful academic experience. All four days were full of knowledge and wisdom from the world’s leading figures of the field. As all sessions seemed very important, it was hard for me to choose which ones to attend. One of the highlights of the meeting was the network-building. I was quite successful in that by meeting as many surgeons as I could from U.S. and other parts of the world. The meeting ended successfully, leaving a lot of memories and wishes to attend the future meetings.

The next day I flew to New York to start my clinical attachment at NYU under J. Thomas Roland, MD. The next 14 days were outstanding as I got exposure to wonderful otologic and neurotologic surgeries. I was really touched by the warmth and hospitality of Dr. Roland and his team. In our first meeting, he gave me his office keys and allowed me to use his office whenever I wanted. He was always involved in our teaching. I attended all his OR sessions, which included otologic and lateral skull base surgeries. The most exciting parts for me were the lateral skull base surgeries with the neurosurgical team. It was fascinating to observe multiple acoustic neuroma surgeries in this two-week period. This repetition aided me a lot in understanding the complex principles of the lateral skull base surgeries. It was my first experience with this kind of surgery. I was also able to observe Daniel Jethanamest, MD, and Sean O. McMenomey, MD, in their OR sessions. They were all very kind and generous in teaching.

The other important part of the attachment was a supervised temporal bone dissection in Dr. Roland’s temporal bone dissection laboratory. I was able to dissect two bones under his supervision. I tried to apply the principles of the skull base surgery on the temporal bones that I was observing in the OR. This helped me tremendously in increasing my understanding of the subject. I am extremely grateful to Dr. Roland for all of his kindness and generosity.

Apart from these, I also took part in the resident’s learning sessions, morning lectures, and grand rounds that took place during my stay. During my stay, there were a few more observers from India and Algeria. It was nice to network with them as well. I also want to especially pay my heartiest gratitude to Brian D. Nicholas, MD, the neurotology fellow at NYU for his extreme support and guidance during my stay. He was always available to assist me. With a heavy heart, I had to conclude my attachment at NYU after two weeks of marvelous learning experiences.

Lastly, I want to again pay my heartiest gratitude to the AAO-HNSF and specially to the Outreach Committee for giving me this unmatchable opportunity. I want to specifically acknowledge the kind efforts of Nadir Ahmed (Division Head, Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, Cooper University Hospital, NJ) who guided me toward this wonderful opportunity and connected me with the Academy. Many thanks to Rebecca Dobbins, AAO-HNSF Director of Global Affairs, without whose support and guidance I would not have reached the point of writing this post scholarship report. I ensure that with the help of Almighty, I will try my best to improve patient care according to international standards in my practice and also spread my knowledge with my colleagues.

Thanking you very much and all the very best to the AAO-HNS/F in all of its future endeavors, particularly the International Visiting Scholarship program.