International Symposium brings the world to you

August 2016 - Vol. 35, No. 7

3892Four-day meeting gathers experts from around the globe

By James E. Saunders, MD, AAO-HNS/F
Coordinator for International Affairs

Ever wish that you could travel the world without leaving the country? Ever wonder what it’s like to practice otolaryngology–head and neck surgery outside of the United States? Interested in a fresh perspective on a complicated problem in your practice? This year, the Annual Meeting has just the thing for you.

Based on the recommendations and hard work of the International Task Force led by AAO-HNS/F Past-President Gayle E. Woodson, MD, the Academy will unveil the new International Symposium at the San Diego meeting. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear from the world’s leading experts on a wide variety of clinical topics, ranging from state-of-the-art technology, such as robotic surgery or endoscopic ear surgery, to innovative approaches to common problems, or more regionally specific topics like the otolaryngologic manifestations of tuberculosis or tropical diseases.

Having traveled around the world, I am constantly impressed by the amazing expertise of our colleagues from outside of the United States. Besides the inherent intelligence and creativity that I have witnessed in these colleagues, there are other factors that contribute to their unique expertise. The healthcare systems in other countries often lead to a single surgeon or center amassing a huge number of cases and expertise in a particular pathology. Otolaryngologists in other countries may have access to technology that is not yet available in the U.S. or have to employ creative and efficient strategies if the latest technology is not available. Different coverage of medical services may also open the door to unique expertise and approaches to a problem. Finally, there may specific disease entities or population characteristics from which we can all learn.

It was with this realization in mind that the Foundation developed the International Symposium. The symposium will span four days of the Annual Meeting in a designated room in the convention center. All of the presentations have undergone a highly competitive review process and are believed to represent the very best the world has to offer. We will begin on Sunday with two sessions to be presented in Spanish and simulcast to satellite meetings in many of our International Corresponding Societies throughout Latin America.

The Sunday morning session will be followed by “Global Otolaryngology 2016: Your Academy around the world,” our opportunity to honor and learn from the goodwill ambassadors from our International Guests of Honor. Our president, Sujana S. Chandrasekhar, MD, will personally welcome speakers from Brazil, Nicaragua, Singapore, and India to speak on the state of otolaryngology in their countries.

I am personally very excited about the new International Symposium and feel that it will be a tremendous addition to the great education events at our Annual Meeting. I hope to see you all there. Together we can take a little trip around the world and still have dinner in the Gaslamp Quarter. It doesn’t get much better than that!