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Join AAO-HNSF President Dr. Kennedy in San Diego

AAO-HNSF is working to encourage unity with inclusivity and dialogue at the meeting in San Diego.

AAO-HNSF is working to encourage unity with inclusivity and dialogue at the meeting in San Diego.

The city of San Diego is set to welcome more than 9,000 otolaryngologists, guests, and exhibitors from around the world for the 2009 AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO, October 4-7. Academy President David W. Kennedy, MD, said he believes the meeting site and educational offerings present members with the best of two worlds.

“We want this to be the best educational meeting we can put together, and we want the overall meeting to be fun, and San Diego is the ideal city in which to have both,” said Dr. Kennedy. “Given the momentum for healthcare reform, this is an important time for otolaryngologists to come together as a body, to learn from each other, and to better understand the rapidly changing environment in which we practice.”

He also said the meeting’s program is exciting and offers learning opportunities for otolaryngologists in every subspecialty and at every career level. The Academy’s annual meeting has also significantly increased its international presence, he said, and will work to welcome its worldwide members and to make them feel at home. In 2008, international attendees made up nearly 30 percent of the meeting attendance.

In 2009, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela, all countries with a strong record of support for the annual meeting, will be recognized as this year’s guest countries during the Opening Ceremony on October 4. Internationally recognized classical guitarist Ricardo Cobo, originally from Colombia, will perform during the ceremony in honor of guest country attendees. Cobo is the brother of Colombian otolaryngologist and AAO-HNS member Roxana Cobo, MD. “All global attendees are encouraged to attend the International Reception on October 6, which promises a Latin flavor,” Dr. Kennedy said.

“Each year the Opening Ceremony features a prominent ethics theorist during the John Conley Lecture on Medical Ethics, and this year is no exception,” Dr. Kennedy said.

“This year’s distinguished lecturer is bioethicist Arthur Caplan, PhD, who was recently named by¬†Discover¬†magazine as one of the smartest people on the planet,” he said.

Dr. Caplan is the Emanuel and Robert Hart Professor of Bioethics and Director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

“Art is very intellectually stimulating and is probably the single most quoted individual for his views on topical medical ethics issues,” Dr. Kennedy said. “He is widely recognized for bringing common sense to difficult ethical problems and to providing thoughtful but concise interpretations of otherwise complex situations.”

Another leading researcher and key academic lecturer at the annual meeting will be University of Rochester School of Medicine professor of pediatrics Jonathan D. Klein, MD, MPH, who will deliver the Robin T. Cotton and Cynthia M. Fitton Pediatric Otolaryngology Lecture.

“Dr. Klein is going to talk about the effects of second-hand smoke on kids,” Dr. Kennedy said. “There is increasing evidence of the long-term problems that second-hand smoke exposure can cause, particularly for children. This is something that physicians and otolaryngologists need to be more aware of as we see our patients, particularly within the field of pediatrics.”

As director of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Julius B. Richmond Center of Excellence, Dr. Klein leads a national research and education program designed to engage pediatricians in helping eliminate children’s exposure to tobacco and secondhand smoke.

Dr. Kennedy said a miniseminar of special interest to otolaryngologists this year is one jointly sponsored by the Board of Governors and the Academy’s Physician Resources Committee about workforce issues. For more information, read “BOG Miniseminar Takes on OTO-HNS Workforce Issues,” page 3.

“The scope of the specialty is certainly not the same today as it was 30 years ago, and we guarantee it will change even more rapidly in the years ahead. It is time to begin a debate about what the otolaryngologists of tomorrow are likely to be doing, and then, based upon input we gain, try to work to mold the specialty for its future benefit, along with the education we provide the Academy membership,” he said.

Dr. Kennedy, who concludes his term as president on the last day of the 2009 Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO, said he is excited about the depth of information and expertise available this year. The annual meeting will also have many of the popular prior instructional courses and miniseminars, as well as new and topical offerings.

“It’s significant that the way our meeting is organized makes it possible to expose every attendee to research occurring in the specialty that will likely change his or her future practice,” he said.