BOG highlights opioid epidemic

September 2019 – Vol. 38, No. 8

Samantha Anne, MD, BOG Secretary

I learned about the role the Board of Governors (BOG) serves to our Academy in my initial years as an Academy member, but it wasn’t until I went to my first BOG committee meeting that I learned what it really does. The BOG serves as our direct route to communicate with the AAO-HNS Board of Directors and to advocate and educate on our behalf on issues that are most concerning to our practices, both private and academic.

Currently, one of the most pressing issues in our practice is the epidemic of opioid overdose and overuse. In an attempt to ensure safe prescribing practices and raise awareness, we chose our BOG Hot Topics panel at the AAO-HNSF 2019 Annual Meeting & OTO Experience to focus on opioid use, overuse, and abuse.

At the AAO-HNS/F Leadership Forum and & BOG Spring Meeting, David S. Boisoneau, MD, led a panel on the opioid crisis with Todd E. Falcone, MD, and Ryan J. Li, MD. The panel discussed the current state of the opioid crisis in the United States, highlighting that even a limited exposure to postop opioids carries a six percent or greater chance of long-term use. There is significant regional variation in opioid prescribing among otolaryngologists, with the greatest use in the midwestern states and among otolaryngologists trained prior to the mid-1990s. Recent research and practice experience demonstrate that most otolaryngology procedures have minimal or even zero opioid requirements for adequate pain control, and institutional efforts to significantly reduce opioid prescriptions post-surgery are proving to be successful.

Join us at the BOG hot topics Panel Presentation, “Opioid Use, Overuse, and Abuse,” at 1:15 p.m. on Monday, September 16, at the Annual Meeting to continue this discussion. Panelists include Julia Shi, MD, a board-certified physician in addiction medicine, Karen A. Hawley, MD, an otolaryngologist and activist who has endured a personal loss to the opioid epidemic, and Dr. Li, a head and neck surgeon actively introducing prescription protocols at the institutional level with documented improvements in prescription patterns.

All BOG committee meetings and sessions will be held on Saturday, September 14, starting with the Regional Representatives Meeting, followed by committee meetings, leading up to the BOG General Assembly at 4:30 pm. We urge the state societies to send their Governor (or Alternate Governor) to vote. The day will end with the BOG Reception from 5:30 – 6:30 pm, an evening filled with great networking opportunities, wonderful camaraderie, and food. Finally, another BOG Panel Presentation, “Developing Professional Expertise: Plan, Publish, and Present,” held at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, September 15, includes panelists Stacey L. Ishman, MD, MPH, Jay F. Piccirillo, MD, and Mark K. Wax, MD. They will discuss practical aspects of identifying and developing a career niche, technical aspects of presenting nationally, and practical tips on how to develop a research portfolio.

We hope to see you in New Orleans, and we encourage you to attend and become involved in your BOG!