Travel the globe at our Annual Meeting

April 2017 - Vol. 36, No. 3

Gregory W. Randolph, MD AAO-HNS/F President

The American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery is truly the global academy of otolaryngology, and there has never been a better, more exciting time to get involved in the panoply of the Academy’s Annual Meeting international activities.

  • Befriend a member of the Chinese delegation.
  • Initiate discussions with an otolaryngologist from Paris over coffee at the European Summit.
  • Attend research presentations at the International Symposium.
  • Go to the African Caucus, and learn about otolaryngology in Zimbabwe or Rwanda.
  • Visit the Humanitarian Forum for impressive presentations of Academy surgical mission work, and then scan the Humanitarian Initiatives Map developed by Susan R. Cordes, MD, Humanitarian Committee chair.

The final program, available this summer, will have the times and locations of these activities.

The magnitude of our international program is remarkable. Our international members numbered over 1,000, with an attendance of nearly 1,900 from 84 countries at our San Diego meeting—almost 35 percent of attendance overall. Our international members are intrinsic to our Academy’s activities. In 2016, international submissions were 49 percent of all manuscripts submitted and 27 percent of those were accepted. John H. Krouse, MD, MBA, PhD, editor-in-chief, has also reinvigorated the journal’s International Editorial Board in an effort to expand the journal’s reach around the world. Since 2011, 54 International Travel Grants have been awarded to facilitate the attendance of international otolaryngologists at the Annual Meeting, with the recent generous support from Nancy L. Snyderman, MD, Nikhil J. Bhatt, MD, and Eugene N. Myers, MD. Of course, we owe thanks to Dr. Myers and KJ Lee, MD, the “founding fathers” of our global programs.

The backbone of our Academy’s international  outreach is our network of 64 International Corresponding Societies (ICS). Newest ICS members include the Rwanda Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Society, the African Head and Neck Society, and the Otorhinolaryngology Society of Ghana. In 2017, Academy-ICS meetings are planned in the Caribbean, Mexico, Israel, Honduras, and Uruguay. Thanks to Gayle E. Woodson, MD, we will hold the inaugural convocation of the International Advisory Board (IAB) on September 11 in Chicago, IL. The IAB will be a gathering of all 64 ICS, chaired by Johan Fagan, MD, of South Africa, with Co-Chair Sady da Costa, MD, PhD, of Brazil.

Our meeting in Chicago provides tremendous opportunities to meet otolaryngologists at six international caucuses on September 10: Cumbre de Lideres, Middle East Caucus, Asia-Pacific Rim Caucus, European Summit, Africa Caucus, and International Women in Otolaryngology Caucus. Thanks to Mark K. Wax, MD, Annual Meeting Program Coordinator, international research presentations are concentrated in the International Symposium sessions. Also, James E. Saunders, MD, AAO-HNSF International Affairs Coordinator, welcomes all to observe the Pan-American, Humanitarian, International, and International Steering Committee Meetings as guests.

Other prominent International programs:

  • The Humanitarian Committee, chaired by Cordes, has served 18 countries since 2011, through 134 Humanitarian Travel Grants.
  • Chinese Society of Otolaryngology Initiative: James C. Denneny III, MD, and I were invited to Beijing in March to initiate discussions with the leadership of the Chinese Academy of Otolaryngology, an organization of over 30,000 otolaryngologists. We discussed their delegation traveling to Chicago as well as short- and long-term collaborative goals. The Chinese and American academies total approximately 42,000 otolaryngologists.
  • Global Young Physicians Initiative: J. Pablo Stolovitzky, MD, Academy Latin American regional adviser and Academy International Coordinator-elect, is leading a global Academy youth initiative whereby leadership of the Young Physicians Section (YPS) and the Section for Residents and Fellows-in-Training (SRF) are liaising with young physicians in our guest countries, including Mexico, France, China, and South Korea.
  • AAO-HNS Resident Exchange Program: initiated and expanded by Mark E. Zafereo, Jr., MD, involves Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, the House Clinic, UC San Diego, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, and Harvard Medical Schools.

Key to our Academy’s global successes are Johnnie White, senior director Global Education, Meetings and Strategic Partnerships,, and Rebecca Dobbins, senior manager, Global Affairs,