SRF connects members with top tiers of otolaryngology leadership

March 2019 – Vol. 38, No. 2

Section Spotlight

The Section for Residents and Fellows- in-Training (SRF) is the gateway to the Academy for all aspiring otolaryngologists at the beginning of their career. Every resident and fellow in an accredited program in the United States is automatically a member of the SRF and is represented by the group.

So, what does the SRF do? The SRF serves as the touchpoint connecting all residents and fellows to the Academy leadership, such as the Board of Governors and Board of Directors. We also have representatives to the American Board of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, which administers the in-service and national board exams, the American College of Surgeons, the American Medical Association, the Society of University Otolaryngologists, and ENT PAC, the Academy’s political action committee that helps advocate for our specialty at the national level on Capitol Hill. Every resident and fellow, regardless of previous involvement with the SRF, is encouraged to apply for one of these delegate positions to these organizations, which each contain a wide gamut of resources for medical education, patient advocacy, policy and activism, humanitarian work, and research grants.

Involvement with the SRF allows members to experience the advocacy, education efforts, and governance aspects of the Academy. The SRF provides access to leadership, travel, and research grants for residents throughout the year. The SRF also submits seminar proposals for the scientific sessions held at the AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO Experience each year. There is a leadership grant that awards residents money for travel assistance to to the AAO-HSNF Annual Meeting & OTO Experience in the fall and to the AAO-HNS/F Leadership Forum & BOG Meeting in Alexandria, VA, in the spring. For those interested in legislative advocacy, there is a specific Eisenberg Health Policy Leadership Grant awarded to residents interested in meeting with Members of Congress on Capitol Hill with the Academy leadership every spring. The Humanitarian Efforts Grants support residents pursuing international humanitarian projects, and the Centralized Otolaryngology Research Efforts (CORE) research grant to support resident and fellow research. Trainees can also apply to be a reviewer for the CORE grant study section and can join the Resident Reviewer Development Program to train to be able to do a high-quality journal review. They may then apply that skill as a reviewer of the Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery and/or OTO Open journals.

The SRF also provides valuable feedback to committees overseeing the vast array of education resources available to the Academy. As a resident member of the SRF, there is an opportunity to become involved in writing the clinical practice guidelines developed by the Foundation and to join the Guideline Development Group as a resident member. We also provide feedback to AcademyU®, which administers the Home Study Course and the AcademyQ® question bank, as well as to OTOSourceSM ( and Comprehensive Otolaryngologic Curriculum Learning through Interactive Approach (COCLIA) (, two comprehensive online curricula replete with videos, anatomy atlases, surgical guides, and topic-based presentations for learning. We help these resources develop additional resources that are relevant to trainees at all levels.

The SRF administers Mentor Connect, an opportunity to seek out mentors at other institutions and has developed several international outreach programs connecting residents and fellows to trainees abroad, specifically through the Member Match Program at the Academy.

Finally, the SRF administers the annual AAO-HNS survey that goes out to all residents and fellows in the country each spring. It helps us track important trends in issues relevant to trainees, and it specifically tackles important questions about trends in resident learning methods, burnout and wellness, formal education in emotional intelligence, and availability of mentors. The answers to this survey fuel our advocacy efforts within the Academy, bringing these issues to the forefront of the discussion on how best to protect and effectively train future surgeons.

With all these opportunities to get involved, the best way to learn more is to contact us at You can also visit our website at