Inaugural State OTO Society Roundtable recap

May 2017 - Vol. 36, No. 04

The inaugural State OTO Society Roundtable was held on March 10 in conjunction with the AAO-HNS/F 2017 Leadership Forum and BOG Spring Meeting. 40 physicians and seven executive directors/society administrators attended, representing 32 state and local otolaryngology societies.

The Roundtable, moderated by Spencer C. Payne, MD, chair of the Board of Governors (BOG) Governance & Society Engagement Committee, Robert T. Sataloff, MD, DMA, of the Philadelphia Laryngological Society, and Jeffrey P. Simons, MD, of the Pennsylvania Academy of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, fostered productive conversations. While each society came to the table looking for solutions to different problems, a spirit of collegial collaboration enabled a robust discussion. Smaller societies looking for advice on growing their ranks brainstormed with members of larger societies and representatives who faced similar recruitment issues not long ago. Additionally, larger societies demonstrated the importance of legislative engagement and frequent communication to help ensure “value” for dues-paying society members.

State Society executive directors and administrators were a vital part of the conversation, bringing issues such as retention of residents and membership outreach to the forefront. Executives and administrators further contributed to the member “value” discussion, suggesting activity summaries before dues are collected and taking turns hosting meetings with neighboring societies.

BOG Chair Stacey L. Ishman, MD, MPH, joined the Roundtable, contributing her perspective from involvement with the Cincinnati Society of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. In addition, Academy staff provided attendees with information on AAO-HNS resources, ranging from a virtual meeting platform to legislative letters of support or opposition, many of which are available at and

Looking forward to next year, a “State of your Society” form will be circulated prior to the meeting requesting important demographics from each group (number of members, number of meetings, amount of dues, etc.). This will allow for more time during the meeting for collaborative conversations. The discussion was also helpful in providing the BOG Governance & Society Engagement Committee with direction for new initiatives, particularly actions that may help counter member apathy—a common concern among the societies in attendance.

Thank you to everyone who attended this inaugural event and helped to make it a success.

State OTO Society Roundtable attendees.