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2013 Opening Ceremony Highlights

James L Netterville, MD

James L. Netterville, MD

Otolaryngologists are a family and Annual Meeting is our family reunion. “Family” is not a metaphor for otolaryngology. It is reality.

“Look around, you are a very diverse audience of people, representing many countries, many cultures, yet we are family,” said AAO-HNS/F President James L. Netterville, MD, during the opening session on Sunday morning. “We have common goals, we have a common mission. The Annual Meeting of American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery is our precious time to do what family do when they come together. We are here to learn from each other, to share our experiences, to cheer success, to honor those of us who have achieved for the good of the whole.”

The role of a family member is not to think selfishly about what he or she can gain from the rest of the family, Dr. Netterville continued. The real sustaining value of family is each member envisioning and creating ways to support other family members and to help each other flourish.

“Wise members of the family continue to find opportunity to bring the extended family back together,” he said. “They provide a feast, a place of community where diverse family members come back together again, remembering their past, rekindling the spirit of what makes family so important to each of us. We cheer success, we honor achievement. This warm unifying event is often referred to as the family reunion, a place where families are reunited.”

David R. Nielsen, MD

David R. Nielsen, MD

For Dr. Netterville, this annual meeting is literally a family reunion. His brother,
J. David Netterville, MD, received a Presidential Citation in recognition of his work directing numerous medical missions to Africa.

“With remarkable talent, gained from the practice of cardiothoracic anesthesiology, and heavenly gifted wisdom, he has saved countless African lives, and influenced a generation of young head and neck surgeons to look outside their comfortable worlds, to give the gift of their time and resources to help those less fortunate,” the Academy’s president said.

David R. Nielsen, MD, Academy Executive Vice President and CEO, focused on the AAO-HNSF organizational family of employees and countless volunteers. The Academy is one of 24 “primary societies” and offers a broad range of services.

“We do it all—federal and state advocacy; education; research; quality improvement and patient safety; health policy; member services and practice management; communications online and through our academic journal; society relations; and superior IT, financial, and executive support for our mission,” he said. “We get more mileage per dollar, more effective use of staff, more volunteerism, and more member dedication than other societies.”