American Society of Geriatric Otolaryngology report

September 2019 – Vol. 38, No. 8

Ozlem Tulunay-Ugur, MD, President

The American Society of Geriatric Otolaryngology (ASGO) was founded in 2007 by a group of otolaryngologists who recognized the needs of the fast-growing older population. The care of geriatric patients requires knowledge not only of the disorders they are likely to acquire, but also of the critical differences in management. Older patients present with a host of medical problems uncommon in younger adults; equally important, their care is more complicated due to cognitive impairment, polypharmacy, sarcopenia and frailty, social concerns such as depression, lack of caregivers or increased burden to caregivers, and other factors. It is estimated that approximately one-third of the patients seen by general otolaryngologists are age 65 years or older. Consequently, we must prepare the next generation of otolaryngologists with the knowledge and compassion required to meet the many medical and social needs of this growing population.

Education has been the primary mission of ASGO since its founding, with diverse topics covered during the annual meetings that have coincided with the winter Triological Society meeting for the past four years. During the years prior to 2016, the meeting had been held in conjunction with COSM. Our current goal is to increase partnership with other societies in order to disseminate knowledge through the subspecialty societies. This year has been exciting for ASGO due to outstanding collaborations with the American Laryngological Association and the American Broncho-Esophagological Association during COSM. Both societies have spared time in their busy programs for collaborative panels discussing voice and swallowing problems of the older patient.

Diverse topics have been covered during the annual meetings by renowned experts, from palliative care needs of the older population to otologic advances and research. The 2019 meeting included a well-received panel on the pearls of happy retirement. The panel members represented some of the most accomplished members of the otolaryngology world.

Multiple members of ASGO have received the Jernigan Grant from the American Geriatric Society (AGS). This grant aims to advance geriatric care in surgical specialties through well-rounded resident training. Recipients such as G. Carl Shipp, MD, and Kourosh Parham, MD, PhD, have continued their collaboration with AGS and attend its annual meetings. As part of ASGO’s education mission, ASGO, in collaboration with the ENT Journal, also helps publish Geriatric Clinics.

Our upcoming meeting, which will focus on sleep disorders in the older population,  will take place with The Triological Winter Meeting in January 2020.