I’ll take mine with barbecue, please
I don’t know about you, but I am really looking forward to some good Texas barbecue when we get to Dallas for our Annual Meeting in September. When I was a surgery intern in Baltimore, one of the nurses brought some “barbecue” to a potluck.
By Gayle E. Woodson, MD, AAO-HNS/F President
I don’t know about you, but I am really looking forward to some good Texas barbecue when we get to Dallas for our Annual Meeting in September. When I was a surgery intern in Baltimore, one of the nurses brought some “barbecue” to a potluck. It was not barbecue. It was ground meat in barbecue sauce (aka a sloppy Joe). Also, you do not “barbecue” a steak when you cook it over a grill. “Barbecuing” is a highly developed process for cooking meat, especially brisket and ribs.
I know this very well because I have deep Texas roots. I was born in Galveston, when my father was a medical student at the University of Texas Medical Center and my mother was a pioneering occupational therapist. I grew up in a small town near the Gulf Coast where my father was the family doctor for nearly everyone I knew. We had quarter horses and I was a barrel racer in summer rodeos. I had barbecue so many times, in so many versions, that it was almost like barbecue sauce flowed through my veins. But I have not had access to this delicious food for most of my adult life.
I have another reason to feel special about presiding over our AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting in Dallas. This was the city where I attended my very first Academy meeting, in 1979. It was also the very first meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology (not yet amended with Head and Neck Surgery) after separating from the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology. I was totally blown away and inspired by that meeting. One of the highlights for me was a movie (in the days before video) demonstrating the use of a laser to remove a cancer from the scalp. The film was produced by Paul Ward, MD, a giant in our field who has recently passed away. The movie was quite bloody, and it turned out that the tumor had spread intracranially. (There were no CT scans in those days.) Dr. Ward concluded that the laser was not such a good tool for this lesion! I had great admiration for his courage and honesty in presenting this—an observation that was repeatedly confirmed during the years I knew this man.
Every year, I look forward to the Annual Meeting with great anticipation. One of my mentors, Gail Neely, MD, once explained to me that such a gathering is like a baked potato. Allow me to explain this analogy. A potato is very nutritious. There is ample evidence that one could be quite healthy on a diet that consisted of nothing but potatoes and water. (Similarly, you could probably eventually gather all the information presented at the AAO-HNSF Meeting by using journals, textbooks, and online resources.) But the real enjoyment of a baked potato is the other stuff: the sour cream, the cheese, the chives, the bacon. And at the AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO EXPOSM, we not only hear live presentations and discussions, we can also talk about the issues with friends and colleagues. And to top it all off, we can see all the latest products that we need for our practices and are able to meet personally with the vendors.
So I hope to see you all in Dallas. In addition to barbecue, you should also try chicken fried steak, which I consider to be the “national” food of Texas. I can vouch for the chicken fried steak at our headquarters hotel as being possibly the best that I have ever tasted!