Nostalgic reflections and hopeful predictions

October 2018 – Vol. 38, No. 9

This presidential year has been remarkable for me on many levels, and I am enormously grateful to have had this unique opportunity. I have worked with so many creative individuals, passionate about medicine and the field of otolaryngology, all demonstrating commitment and a deeply seated work ethic.

Gavin Setzen, MD
AAO-HNS/F President

I would like to thank James C. Denneny III, MD, for his inspiring leadership and collaboration in working together with me; the remarkably talented and dedicated Academy staff; the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors; and the Boards of Directors of the AAO-HNS/F.

It should be specifically noted, with gratitude and admiration, that the entire AAO-HNS/F staff at 1650 Diagonal Road works tirelessly on behalf of our members and the patients we serve. Their work product is nothing short of remarkable. I am continuously struck by their level of commitment and dedication in “getting the job done” no matter how vast the project might seem, or how unattainable the goal might appear. They always deliver high-quality results that continue to propel our Academy to greater heights.

Add to this the remarkable sense of dedication, passion, and commitment from well over 1,000 volunteer members involved in a multitude of different committee, task force, education, and other Academy and Foundation activities, generating a vast array of data-driven scientific and other education materials and Reg-entSM, while delivering on practice management, coding, advocacy-related issues, and so much more.

There are several enduring activities that will continue well into the future, favorably impacting and elevating our specialty. Our new patient website, ENThealth, positions the AAO-HNS/F as THE trusted source for patient-centered otolaryngology-head and neck surgery information. OTOSource, the most current otolaryngology-head and neck surgery curriculum reflecting the changing practice of modern medicine, provides residents, program directors, faculty, and practicing otolaryngologists a standard study guide with teaching tools to assist with board certification, recertification, and lifelong learning. In addition, I convened a task force to review the Board of Governors and Component Societies in order to enhance collaboration and optimize resource utilization in furthering the strategic goals of the Academy. This will also inform the work of the Future of Otolaryngology Task Force, addressing key elements including resident recruitment, workforce issues, changes in education and practice of otolaryngology, advanced practice providers (APPs), and technology, among many other important areas of focus. Diversity and global otolaryngology initiatives will continue to strengthen, energized by the palpable enthusiasm and progress experienced at the AAO-HNSF 2018 Annual Meeting & OTO Experience in Atlanta, Georgia.

The list goes on, but my final comment relates to Reg-ent, the Academy’s clinical data registry, that will provide members from all practice settings tools to fully participate in the successor payment and practice models, along with clinical research, allowing us to define and measure quality for our specialty, plus other related benefits.

I have learned many lessons on a daily basis from my teachers, mentors, fellow otolaryngologists, other medical colleagues, administrators, allied health providers, family, friends, Sal, the cafeteria chef in the hospital where I have worked for the past 20 years (tuna melt, par excellence), and especially patients, who have helped me mature, made me pause and reflect to better understand the human condition, while continuously striving to be a better person, friend, husband and father, all the while working to be the best otolaryngologist possible.

The myriad challenges in medicine will no doubt continue to mount, and the Academy no doubt will continue to focus the recently concluded strategic plan on activities and initiatives that will make the practice of otolaryngology less complicated, more fulfilling, and more rewarding to continuously strengthen the joy from our collective ability to provide the best otolaryngology care to our patients.

Thank you to Gregory W. Randolph, MD, Immediate Past President, for your leadership, friendship and mentorship. I am thrilled to pass on the gavel to my friend Albert L. Merati, MD, who I know will excel in this role…onward and forward, Al!

My final tribute and thank you goes to my incredible wife and soulmate, Karen, and my two wonderful sons, Lee and Sean, without whom none of this would have been possible, nor would I be half the person I am today. I love you and am eternally grateful that you are in my life.

The Academy, its leadership, and staff are here to serve you. We have your back. WE ARE ONE!