Annual Meeting features ‘firsts’ and favorites in San Diego
Expanded from the print edition

November 2016 - Vol. 35, No. 10
In an Opening Ceremony moment, AAO-HNS/F President Sujana Chandrasekhar, MD, (left) received a Past President’s gavel and pin from new President Gregory Randolph, MD.

In an Opening Ceremony moment, AAO-HNS/F President Sujana Chandrasekhar, MD, (left) received a Past President’s gavel and pin from new President Gregory Randolph, MD.

In September, the premier global and networking event for the otolaryngologist-head and neck surgery community came to San Diego, CA. Almost 6,000 physicians and medical professionals attended the 120th AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO, contributing to a total registration of more than 8,600.

This year’s Annual Meeting featured many “firsts:” a new format for the Opening Ceremony, the first International Symposium, the introduction of the OTO Experience, the launch of the International Advisory Board, the first Legends in Otolaryngology Lecture, a community outreach event, and fitness events.

The Opening Ceremony set the tone for the entire meeting, with inspirational talks from AAO-HNS/F President Sujana S. Chandrasekhar, MD, and keynote speaker and former astronaut Mae C. Jemison, MD. Several videos demonstrated the meeting’s theme, “Value 4U. You Care for Patients. We Care for YOU.” Dr. Chandrasekhar extended a special welcome to the International Guests of Honor from Brazil, India, Nicaragua, and Singapore in each country’s native language. Dr. Jemison, an engineer, physician, and educator, who flew aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-47, encouraged the crowd to reach for the extraordinary.

The first-ever International Symposium provided a global perspective of challenges, treatments, and techniques through more than 20 education sessions and six posters presented by colleagues from around the world.

Keynote speaker and former astronaut Mae C. Jemison, MD

Keynote speaker and former astronaut Mae C. Jemison, MD

In the exhibit hall, the OTO EXPO transformed into an experiential learning journey like no other. The OTO Experience combined products, services, networking, and supplemental education all in one place. Attendees could see and touch the most innovative surgical equipment and then take part in hands-on and simulation activities to improve their skills, followed by chatting with the specialty’s top experts over lunch. The new OTO Experience is more than an expo—it’s a one-of-a-kind experience.

The new International Advisory Board (IAB) provides international otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeons with more meaningful representation in AAO-HNSF governance. Johan Fagan, MD, Cape Town, South Africa, is the inaugural chair, and Sady Selaimen da Costa, MD, Porto Alegre, Brazil, is vice chair.

The new Legends in Otolaryngology Lecture recognizes an otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon who has made significant contributions to the specialty. In this inaugural lecture attended by almost 500 attendees, M. Eugene Tardy, Jr., MD, spoke on medical aspects of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

On the Saturday before the start of the Annual Meeting, two otolaryngologists, three audiologists, and six audiology doctoral students participated in a hearing screening for children at the San Diego Neighborhood House Association’s (NHA) Webster Head Start location in San Diego. It was the first of what is expected to become an annual event for the community in the Annual Meeting’s host city.

Two new events allowed attendees to work a bit of fitness into their schedules. With the OTOs on the Run 5K and Sunrise Yoga sponsored by the Women in Otolaryngology Section, the Annual Meeting offered health, wellness, sportsmanship, and camaraderie.

Always a favorite event at the meeting, the John Conley, MD Lecture on Medical Ethics occupied an expanded time slot this year as a stand-alone session. This lecture attracted nearly 500 attendees and featured a panel of experts, including Susan D. McCammon, MD; Kevin McMains, MD; and Howard W. Francis, MD; and was moderated by G. Richard Holt, MD, MPH.

On the final day of the Annual Meeting, Gregory W. Randolph, MD, became the new president of the AAO-HNS/F.

The AAO-HNSF 2017 Annual Meeting & OTO Experience℠ will be held in Chicago, IL, September 10-13, 2017, and will welcome International Guests of Honor from China, France, Mexico, and South Korea. Mark your calendars for another chance to attend the premier global event for the specialty and stay tuned for more details to come soon.