What? No more course tickets?

May 2017 - Vol. 36, No. 04

Sanjay R.
Parikh, MD
BOG Chair-Elect

Sanjay R. Parikh, MD, BOG Chair-Elect

When I was a resident, I remember going to my first AAO-HNSF  Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA, with my co-residents. We registered in advance by phone, purchased tickets to some courses, and stayed in the least expensive Foundation- sanctioned hotel.  I remember dressing in a shirt and tie, taking a 15-minute shuttle, and walking onto the football field called the OTO EXPOSM before heading to courses. I was awestruck with the educational opportunities for knowledge and technology. I stood in the resident line every day waiting for extra tickets to courses that might become available.

When the meeting was over, I knew I had chosen the right specialty, but I felt I had missed an opportunity—my co-residents had obtained tickets to courses that I had missed.

Well, some time has passed since I was a resident. I have a practice, a supportive family, and threads of gray hair kicking in. But, the AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting remains my favorite educational meeting, and the format, content, and educational paradigm have changed over the last couple of years.

Opening session at the AAO-HNSF 2016 Annual Meeting, which was held in San Diego.

  • Course tickets gone: Last year, the Academy experimented thankfully with removing all tickets from the registration process. For the first time, attendees could book their educational content online with no additional Instruction Course fees. Also, the Academy changed the daily content so that Miniseminars and Instruction Courses are available throughout each day. You can now pick panels or didactic lectures based on the style of learning that best suits you. No more tickets.
  • Updated meeting app: Another revolutionary change in the meeting has been the development of a meeting app. The app seems to advance every year with new options to make navigating the meeting as easy as possible. By adding instruction courses, Miniseminars, meetings, events, and, of course, Board of Governors functions, into my personalized schedule, the app tells me where to be so I can get the most out of my time during the meeting.
  • Post-meeting online education: Another change our Academy has implemented  is that much of the meeting is recorded professionally and available on, so you may watch an Instruction Course and Miniseminar that you missed. This year the Academy is offering something special for full conference attendees— included in registration is online access through AcademyU of all recorded Instruction Courses and Miniseminars.

When I go to the AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting this year, I’ll probably still put on a shirt and tie, take the shuttle to the meeting, and meet up with friends I’ve trained with. I look forward to learning about the latest technology and advancements in our specialty. I may not be standing in line for course tickets anymore, but I’ll still be awestruck.