Finding our center: The journey begins

October 2019 – Vol. 38, No. 9

As I considered and reflected upon what to write in this first column of my presidency, I was reminded of a quote by Deepak K. Chopra: “You must find the place inside yourself where nothing is impossible,” as well as the concept of finding your center before embarking on each endeavor.

Duane J. Taylor, MD AAO-HNS/F President

I feel fortunate for the many people who (although they are no longer living) influenced, motivated, and inspired me for this opportunity. This includes my parents, my residency Chair, Dr. Gus Gill, and historical figure William Harry Barnes, MD, the first African American who was board certified in our specialty. I also am appreciative of the many Academy leaders and  W.H. Barnes Society members who have encouraged me and recognized my service to  AAO-HNS/F over the years and served as role models, advisors, teachers, and friends.

“My hope is to meet and interact with as many members as possible during the year to learn what we are doing well and where we can improve.”

My year in preparation for this role has been both exciting and informative as I have learned a great deal from Drs. Merati, Setzen, and Denneny. More than anything, I have been moved by their shared dedication, commitment, and passion to serve our members and to move our organization forward. I also realize how hard all of our staff at headquarters work and am so appreciative that I will be working with and learning from them  as well.

I look forward this year to 1) Being an active listener and having an ongoing awareness of current concerns of our membership, 2) Paying attention to the impact relevant issues are having on our practice of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery and patients, and finally, 3) Having the intention to make a difference through  my leadership.

My hope is to meet and interact with as many members as possible during the year to learn what we are doing well and where we can improve. Engagement and inclusion of all our membership will be important and essential. I plan to be supportive of the relationships, communication, and collaborative efforts created with our residents, young physicians, women in otolaryngology, sister societies, Board of Governors, and committees.

We will continue during my tenure to emphasize the importance of our membership staying healthy so that we can comfortably balance interactions with our patients, colleagues, and family. I also want to see us continue the efforts by Dr. Merati of introducing and highlighting our specialty to students as a career as well as our continued international outreach. Our Foundation meetings as a global nexus for education in the specialty will continue to be part of the fabric of the AAO-HNSF.

I see every member of our Academy not only having the tools to play a role in the advocacy aspect of our organization, but participating with an email, phone call, or visit to a legislator. Finally, I would like to see our Academy continue and expand the role of assisting patients in taking an active part in their healthcare. A large part of that process has already been initiated with our interactive patient website ENThealth.org.

I look forward to you joining me on this journey. We all have a voice, an opportunity, and a chance to find our center as we move our Academy forward—together.