Published: August 29, 2017

Education Process and Participation: Continuous Learning

The launch of the new platform in 2015 helped highlight AAO-HNSF’s commitment to education. Since 1931, our Academy has been developing the resources our members need to enhance their knowledge, competence, and skills in their practice of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery.

Richard V. Smith, MD, AAO-HNSF Coordinator for Education

Richard V. Smith, MDRichard V. Smith, MDThe launch of the new platform in 2015 helped highlight  AAO-HNSF’s commitment to education. Since 1931, our Academy has been developing the resources our members need to enhance their knowledge, competence, and skills in their practice of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. We continue today through AcademyU® by providing a wide array of learning formats designed for all stages of learning.

Comprehensive Curriculum

One current project we are especially excited about is the Comprehensive Curriculum, The Comprehensive Curriculum Task Force and Work Group, comprised of representatives from all of the subspecialty societies, has been working on developing a comprehensive curriculum to support the education needs of otolaryngologists at all stages of their careers. This updated curriculum will exist in an outline form and serve as a roadmap of topics, learning objectives, and references. The outline will have hypertext linked education programs supporting that topic on AcademyU and the subspecialty websites, as appropriate. The goal is to provide residents, program directors, faculty, and practicing otolaryngologists a standard study guide with teaching tools to assist with board certification, recertification, and lifelong learning. It will serve as a single online repository for all otolaryngology education content developed by the Foundation and the otolaryngology specialty societies. OTOSource will be accessed at

The Foundation is also aware of the expanded importance of simulation and is involved with several projects in the field. The SimTube project has developed a network of centers participating in a simulation-based research collaborative, which will serve as a future network for additional simulation projects. Currently, this project assesses the usefulness of a low-cost, low-tech simulator for developing the skills to perform a myringotomy with tube insertion. This simulation based approach may assist residency programs to prepare residents to become skilled, early- career surgeons. For more information about SimTube, visit

Simulation-related activities at the 2017 Annual Meeting & OTO Experience in  Chicago include:

  • The Simulation Experience allows otolaryngologists to sample a range of simulation modalities (for example, simple task trainers, high technology human manikins, and biologic material). The Simulation Experience takes place at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Northwestern Simulation™.
  • The Simulation Showcase provides a forum for otolaryngologists to present simulators that they have developed using a variety of technologies and physical materials. The forum supports the exchange of ideas and opportunities to collaborate in validating the education effectiveness of simulation. Over 25 simulations were presented during the showcase.
  • The top three simulations were presented in the first Sim Tank session in which the judges provided recognition of otolaryngologists who have developed exemplary simulators.

The Foundation offers education products that can benefit otolaryngologists at any stage of their career. The Home Study Course is as popular with practicing physicians as it is with residency programs. Young physicians have embraced the new AcademyU Professional Development Podcasts as a fantastic way to receive education while on the go. AcademyQ and the Otolaryngology Lifelong Learning Manual are excellent resources for those preparing for recertification. Many of the products offer CME credit to help practicing physicians receive the credit they need for state licensing.

The nine Education Committees that create the content are comprised of some of the best and brightest minds in our specialty. The committees, along with the Education staff, have commited to our members. We are also revising the pricing structure of the AcademyU offerings to enhance educational materials’ access including the content from the Annual Meeting., your otolaryngology education source, is the one-stop-shop for the education needs of all otolaryngologists, no matter the stage of their career.

More from September 2017 - Vol. 36, No. 8