International is the new local
The International Affairs program of the AAO-HNSF was built on the strong foundation laid out by the former International Coordinators Eugene N. Myers, MD, KJ Lee, MD, and Gregory W. Randolph, MD, over the last 20 years. These leaders have shaped our international activities to engage Members and encourage participation from everyone.
AAO-HNSF programs reach every corner of the globe
by James E. Saunders, MD, Coordinator for International Affairs
The International Affairs program of the AAO-HNSF was built on the strong foundation laid out by the former International Coordinators Eugene N. Myers, MD, KJ Lee, MD, and Gregory W. Randolph, MD, over the last 20 years. These leaders have shaped our international activities to engage Members and encourage participation from everyone. Our current programs are richly diverse and literally touch every corner of the globe. From experienced international leaders to young academic physicians, from the Americas to Zimbabwe, the Academy offers something for everyone.
Much like the United States itself, the AAO-HNS/F is a melting pot of otolaryngologists from many different cultures, countries, and backgrounds. In recent years, our international colleagues have made up a little more than 10 percent of our membership and historically have comprised more than 30 percent of the attendees at our Annual Meeting. These international participants represent a wide cross-section of global otolaryngology. One of the ways that the Academy manages this global challenge is to divide the world into regions, each with its own Regional Advisor. (See “AAO-HNSF regional advisors” below.) These 20 Regional Advisors form the International Steering Committee, which has worked tirelessly to develop programs that are meaningful to the regions they serve. This organizational structure has been critical to the expansion of our programs. If you have an interest or connection to a particular region of the world, I encourage you to contact the Regional Advisor for that area.
Corresponding Societies provide a strong network
Another centerpiece of our international program is the network of 58 International Corresponding Societies (ICS). These societies maintain close administrative contact with the AAO-HNSF and provide a channel of communication with their membership on relevant issues. Many of these ICS partners also host joint meetings with the AAO-HNSF. Our membership participates in roughly half a dozen such meetings every year. These joint meetings provide for a wonderful exchange of ideas between hosting ICS countries and colleagues from the United States.
Annual Meeting international attendees embraced through special events
With more than 2,000 international attendees, our Annual Meeting is one of the largest annual international gatherings of otolaryngologists in the world and offers many opportunities for international attendees to network and interact with U.S. colleagues. There are multiple programs at the Annual Meeting that honor international leaders and recognize scientific achievement from around the world. Each year the AAO-HNSF designates International Guests of Honor, who are honored at the Opening Ceremony and International Reception, and the Global Otolaryngology Miniseminar offers an opportunity for “goodwill ambassadors” from these areas to present the status of otolaryngology in their homeland. There are many other opportunities for international attendees to socialize and network with other international and U.S. colleagues. There are numerous international committee meetings and informal regional meetings, or “caucuses,” which allow attendees from a region to meet and discuss issues with Academy leadership and U.S. colleagues. In addition, the recently adopted International Assembly provides for a forum to discuss issues relevant to international attendees. We also have a strong international presence on AAO-HNS/F committees.
International Visiting Scholarship Program and travel grants benefit young physicians
One of our most successful programs at the Annual Meeting is the International Visiting Scholarship program. This program provides scholarship support to young academic physicians from all over the world to attend the Annual Meeting and spend time studying and observing in U.S. academic institutions. Since its inception in 2008, there have been 56 such scholars from more than 20 countries. Some of these scholarships are dedicated to specific regions and one is dedicated specifically to women otolaryngologists. The International Otolaryngology Committee also provides travel support for young international physicians in U.S. fellowships to attend the annual meeting. Efforts are underway to further connect these participants to the Women in Otolaryngology Section, the Resident and Fellows Section, and the Young Physicians Section. These programs build the foundation for future academy leaders, connecting to these up-and-coming international attendees.
Global outreach spreads education
The Academy is also strengthening our ability to connect with our international colleagues more effectively through the AAO-HNS website and ENTConnect. These tools allow us to share our vast educational resources and more easily connect with colleagues throughout the world. Almost a third of the general activity on the website comes from outside of the U.S., and we are further exploring ways that we can harness these resources to engage our international membership.
Humanitarian efforts reward us all
Finally, our academy recognizes that strengthening otolaryngology programs and services in low-resource countries is a worthwhile endeavor. Working through our Humanitarian Efforts Committee, we support the growth of our specialty and help local providers to improve the care of their patients through collaborative projects and training. These efforts are not without reward to the Academy. A stronger global otolaryngology community is good for our colleagues, their patients, and for the Academy. The bonds that grow out of these humanitarian projects are strong, and the Academy benefits greatly from these international partnerships.
The International Programs at the Academy are staffed by Scott Andrews, manager of International Affairs, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Richard Carson, director of Component Relations, email@example.com. Whether you live and work inside or outside of the United States, we encourage you to get involved with the international activities of the academy. There is truly something for everyone.
Susan R. Cordes, MD, Member
James L. Netterville, MD, Member
KJ Lee, MD, Member
Elizabeth H. Toh, MD, Member
At-Large Young Physicians
Mark E. Zafereo Jr., MD, Member
At-Large International Women
Nancy L. Snyderman, MD, Member
Eugene N. Myers, MD,
FRCS Edin (Hon), Member
Patrick Joseph Gullane, MD, CM, FRCSC, FRCSI, Member
Terry A. Day, MD, Member
David W. Kennedy, MD, Member
Marc J. Remacle, MD, PhD, Member
Bernard Gil Fraysse, MD, Member
Merry E. Sebelik, MD, Ex-Officio
Nikhil J. Bhatt, MD, Ex-Officio
J. Pablo Stolovitzky, MD, Member
Soha N. Ghossaini, MD, Member
Ahmed M. S. Soliman, MD, Member
Juan Manuel Garcia Gomez, MD, Ex-Officio