Great value at the Annual Meeting

May 2018 – Vol. 37, No. 4


Daniel L. Wohl, MD
BOG Member-at-Large

Spring is finally here, and most of us are grateful for warmer weather and relief from severe winter storms. There is a rhythm to our professional lives, and it is now time to begin thinking about the fall and our plans for the AAO-HNSF 2018 Annual Meeting & OTO Experience in Atlanta, Georgia, October 7-10. Last year’s Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois, was a resounding success, and one can easily imagine that one of the south’s most celebrated cities will provide an outstanding background for the profession’s largest education opportunity of the year.

This issue of the Bulletin provides multiple perspectives on #OTOMTG18. You will read that it is the premier academic forum; it has the most exhibitors; it has a large professional attendance; and it has more than 70 committee and work group meetings on site. All of this is true, but I’d like to add one other reason to attend.  Because of the constellation of qualities listed above, the Annual Meeting is the best opportunity—in one setting—to keep yourself up-to-date with almost anything that interests you in our field, along with the benefit of seeing your peers, colleagues, mentors, and training program alumni who are also in attendance.

The Annual Meeting is the place where real-time work is accomplished in committee meetings. It is the place where hands-on learning sessions can be tailored to a curriculum of your choice. It is the place where you can personally interact with numerous experts in all our subspecialties. It is the place where you are invited to attend the annual Board of Governors (BOG) open session and participate in discussions on how your Academy is representing your interests.

There is great value to attending the Annual Meeting when you take advantage of the substantive changes to the format and fee structure. Our leadership has recognized the challenges many of us have in choosing whether to attend. The strengths of all the academic programs and exhibitors are still there. It is simply easier now to choose what we want to hear and where we want to participate. The registration fee includes access to all academic forums. There is online access to recorded material through AcademyU®, including the Annual Meeting Expert Series videos. The Annual Meeting mobile app utility is expanded every year.

I hope you choose to attend this year, and if you do, I invite you to set aside time and come to the BOG General Assembly session.

On a personal note, I would like to express my gratitude to so many colleagues and friends who reached out last year to me and many others who live in Florida as Hurricane Irma came across the state and threatened our homes. I evacuated my family and drove to Chicago, IL, where the AAO-HNSF 2017 Annual Meeting & OTO Experience became my “safe harbor.” It was a tangible reminder that there is also great value in friendship and professional collegiality.