Foundation Education: The Future is Now

September 2020 – Vol. 39, No. 8

Jeffrey P. Simons, MD, AAO-HNSF Coordinator for Education

Jeffrey P. Simons, MD

As I reflect on my first year as the AAO-HNSF Coordinator for Education, I am humbled by the steadfast commitment and accomplishments by the members of the Education Committee, Steering Committee, and our education committees across the specialty. While this year presented many unforeseen challenges given the complexity of the COVID-19 pandemic, our plans to implement an ambitious program set forth by the Future of Education Task Force have not been hindered. I would like to thank Tirza Lofgreen, CHES, Director, Professional Education & Digital Learning, who successfully led organizational efforts to modernize our content development process and digital transformation efforts and align the talents of her team to support the mission of Foundation education.

In this issue of the Bulletin, I am proud to share how we are working to propel our education agenda forward for the next five to 10 years and aspire to become even more indispensable to the otolaryngology community.

I would like to highlight some of our most impactful accomplishments this year:

  • Unveiled OTO Logic, a successor to AcademyU® to reflect the Foundation’s growing network of digital products. There has been a 614% surge in enrollments in online courses over the past year.
  • Launched FLEX, our new flagship education product developed to replace the Home Study Course that was retired in August after more than three decades. More than 130 Foundation education faculty participated in curriculum development training.
  • Developed seven new eCourses and four new Patient Management Perspective courses.
  • Collaborated with Esther X. Vivas, MD, Chair of the Pan-American Committee to translate three more courses into Spanish, bringing the total to six available.
  • Supported resident education in the time of COVID-19 by providing nearly 800 residents free access to the AcademyU Home Study Course+ Catalog with 200 free courses.
  • Involved Education Committee leaders and members in the production of the timely COVID-19 podcast series. Topics included the rapid adaptation of telemedicine and related issues due to the coronavirus pandemic, ENT residents volunteering at Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens, NY, and the effects of the pandemic on resident education and how approaches may change moving forward.
  • Continued ABOHNS initiatives to support CERTLinkTM and rebuild the Self-Assessment Models (SAMS) to offer CME that counts for MOC as a newly launched AAO-HNSF series titled, “Otolaryngology Patient Scenarios.”
  • Created a new column, “From the Education Committees” in the Bulletin to expand clinical education with topics thus far on upper airway stimulation, skin prick testing for environmental allergens, cancer immunotherapy, and telemedicine.
  • Reinvented AcademyQTM to become OTO QuestSM Knowledge Assessment, with nearly 1,200 case-based questions with rationales is now fully integrated into OTO Logic, our learning management system.
  • Emphasized the importance of simulation in otolaryngology education. For example, we are hosting a Virtual SIM Tank on Monday, September 14 as part of the AAO-HNSF 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting & OTO Experience. The top three abstract submissions will present their simulation projects to a panel of expert judges.
  • Increased the utilization of OTO Source©, the comprehensive online otolaryngology curriculum. After being launched last year, OTO Source is actively being used by residents, program directors, faculty, and practicing otolaryngologists as a standard study guide.

CME/MOC: A Simplified, Unified Process


The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME®) and the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (ABOHNS) have collaborated to expand opportunities for ABOHNS Board-Certified Physicians to receive Continuing Certification (formerly known as Maintenance of Certification or MOC) credit for your participation in the high-quality accredited continuing medical education (CME) activities. The Academy will submit your completion information to ACCME® that will then report this to ABOHNS on your diplomate record. Update your “CertTraining” tab at