Published: September 15, 2023

An Enthusiastic and Engaged Future for Private Practice in the Academy

Private Practice Study Group (PPSG) will become the Otolaryngology Private Practice Section (OPPS).

Marc G. Dubin, MD, Chair, AAO-HNS Private Practice Study Group, and Director, AAO-HNS/F Board of Directors

Sept2023 Bltn Ppgs To Opps 1500x845 Base2In the summer 2021, the Private Practice Study Group (PPSG) was conceived by then AAO-HNS/F President Ken Yanagisawa, MD, Executive Vice President and CEO James C. Denneny III, MD, and Board of Directors Eugene G. Brown, MD, RPh, and William R. Blythe, MD, among others. Their goal was to provide a home for the disillusioned private practice community within the AAO-HNS. Their hope for the PPSG was to serve the unique needs of the private practitioners who represent a majority of AAO-HNS membership and to foster future and enthusiastic private practice leaders in the Academy. This focus still holds true today and as the PPSG transitions to an Academy section.

A full two years have passed since that summer, and in August the PPSG applied to the AAO-HNS Executive Committee (EC) to become the Academy’s newest section, the Otolaryngology Private Practice Section (OPPS). It was unanimously approved by the EC and upon formal approval by the full AAO-HNS Board of Directors on September 30, OPPS will be an official section, joining the Section for Residents and Fellows-in-Training, Women in Otolaryngology Section, and Young Physicians Section.  

To become a section, a study group must be formed independent of Academy support, solely by members and have a productive existence for two years prior. In addition to justifying that the new section serves the unique needs of a subset of the Academy membership, the minimal additional criteria include submission of proposed bylaws, listing at least two accomplishments, and providing minutes from two formal meetings.  

In our first year, in addition to our active ENT Connect page, the PPSG achieved the following:

  • Elected leadership (myself and Mary T. Mitskavitch, MD)
  • Hosted several webinars
  • Extended our leadership to include
    • David E. Melon, MD, Vice Chair
    • Daniel R. Gold, MD
    • Annette M. Pham, MD
    • Melanie Wilson Seybt, MD
    • Conducted several panels at the AAO-HNSF 2022 Annual Meeting & OTO Experience in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Heading into year two, we kept our pace and presented several additional webinars throughout 2023 and are excited about our offerings in Nashville, Tennessee, during the 2023 Annual Meeting.

Throughout the entirety, the PPSG ENT Connect page has blossomed with over 730 members with respectful, constructive dialogue on the business of medicine occurring on a continual basis. 

Please note the following PPSG/OPPS Panel Presentations at the 2023 Annual Meeting that are moderated and presented by our prominent private practice leaders:

Challenges of Private Practice Economics: Strategies to Expand Your Practice
1:45 – 2:35 pm (CT)
Monday, October 2
Moderator: Douglas D. Reh, MD
Panelists: Basheer A. Alismail, Marc G. Dubin, MD, and Moshe Ephrat, MD

Employee Engagement and Retention: Practical Preparation for Workforce Challenges
1:45 – 2:45 pm (CT)
Monday, October 2
Moderator: David E. Melon, MD
Panelists: Jim Fedio, Sarah S. Laughlin SHRM-SCP, COMP-C, and Gene C. Liu, MD, MMM

Practice Aggregation and Value Creation: Three Different Growth Models
8:00 – 9:00 am (CT)
Tuesday, October 3
Moderator: Neil Hockstein, MD
Panelists: Marc G. Dubin, MD, and David M. Yen, MD

Understanding Practice Vitals: Metrics to Maximize Success
9:15 – 10:15 am (CT)
Tuesday, October 3
Moderator: Daniel R. Gold, MD
Panelists: Annette M. Pham, MD, and J. Pablo Stolovitzky, MD 

Navigating the Post-Residency Job Search: Strategies for Success
9:15 – 10:15 am (CT)
Tuesday, October 3
Moderator: Mary Mitskavich, MD
Panelists: Krishna G. Patel, MD, PhD, Rajanya S. Petersson, MD, and Melanie W. Seybt, MD

Navigating Private Practice Life Knowing What I Know Now
9:15 – 10:15 am (CT)
Wednesday, October 4
Moderator: Wesley H. Stepp, MD, PhD
Panelists: Melanie W. Seybt, MD, Manan Udayan Shah, MD, and Michael W. Sicard, MD

Coffee Talk with the PPSG
10:15 – 11:15 am (CT), Monday, October 2 (sponsored by Olympus America Inc.)
10:15 – 11:15 am (CT), Tuesday, October 3

In addition to these Panel Presentations, the inaugural OPPS General Assembly (GA) will occur  4:45 – 6:15 pm (CT) on Monday, October 2, at the Music City Center, Davidson Ballroom B, with an off-site reception at Martin’s Bar-B-Que, 6:30 – 8:30 pm (CT), generously sponsored by Acclarent. All current private practitioners (currently defined as not employed by an academic institution, nonmilitary, or nonretired) are welcome.

At the GA, we will hear from those who planted the seed of the PPSG, review the OPPS Bylaws, introduce the inaugural OPPS leadership, and chart the course for the next year. In anticipation of this meeting, I am proud to announce the following officers were approved by the AAO-HNS EC and will take the helm of the OPPS at the conclusion of the 2023 Annual Meeting:

Chair: David E. Melon, MD
Chair-Elect: Annette M. Pham, MD
1st Vice Chair: Daniel R. Gold, MD
2nd Vice Chair: Melanie W. Seybt, MD
Past Chair: Marc G. Dubin, MD

In addition to these inaugural appointed leaders, the OPPS will expand its leadership and elect a secretary and treasurer in the fall and will also offer membership on several committees.

Finally, and on a more personal note, I want to offer sincere and personal thanks to everyone who helped over the last two years to get us to this point. Those who deserve a special shoutout include  Dr. James Denneny, Dr. Mary Mitskavitch, and Dr. Gene Brown as well as the entire AAO-HNS staff with special mention of Maura Farrell, Tina Maggio, and Elise Swinehart. Additionally, it goes without saying that without the assistance of Dr. Melon, Dr. Mitskavitch, Dr. Gold, Dr. Pham, and Dr. Seybt, the PPSG would be a shadow of its current self.

Keep an eye out for all of our offerings in Nashville and for all the OPPS will offer as a formal AAO-HNS section. I am proud of what we have accomplished as a study group, and as a future member of the OPPS, I eagerly await all of the amazing things that the section will do under the leadership of Dr. Melon, Dr. Pham, Dr, Gold, and Dr. Seybt.